The automation of Paris subway line 1 contributes to on-going modernisation

25 April 2012  •  Author(s): Gérald Churchill, Director of line 1 Automation Project, RATP

The Paris subway was built between 1900 and 1935. Its Operational Control Centre (OCC), Automatic Train Operation (ATO), controlled manual driving mode and new generations of rolling stock were commissioned between 1955 and 1990. The opening of line 14 (Météor) in 1998 initiated the transition between this first wave of modernisation and the second wave programmed over the period between 2005 and 2020.

The foundations of the new modernisation programme were defined in April 2002. They were based on new technologies, equipment modularity and interchangeability and factored in the lessons learnt from the line 14 operation. Within this framework the automation of an existing line was considered. However, although the creation of an entirely automatic under – ground line did not present a particular challenge, no network had ever launched a conversion project without traffic interruption.

The choice of an automatic line depends on the benefit brought by integral automation of train movements. The three main advantages, which are universally recognised, are:

  • Adaptability and the potential tailoring of the offer
  • Increase in commercial speed
  • Traffic reliability improvement.

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