Track Modernisation - Articles and news items

BVB’s extensive modernisation programme

Issue 5 2012  •  31 October 2012  •  Jürg Baumgartner, Director, Basel Public Transport Company (BVB)

BVB, the Basel Public Transport Company, is the most important carrier in the inner part of the tri-national agglomeration of Basel with 800,000 inhabitants. Under its new management, the long-standing company is undergoing an in-depth process of modernisation. The 65km-long tram network is to be extended by up to 19km of new lines; some of them across the border into Germany and France. Sixty new Flexity trams are expected between 2014 and 2016, replacing the old rolling stock built between 1967 and 1991. By 2025, BVB expects to carry 10% more passengers, a challenging objective given the fact that its current market share in the region is already very high at 50%. The investment linked to BVB’s modernisation amounts to almost one billion Swiss Francs (approximately €800 million).

Public transportation in the tri-national agglomeration of Basel: The city of Basel, situated in the north of Switzerland at the borders with France and Germany, is the centre of a tri-national agglomera tion with more than 800,000 inhabitants, with 500,000 living in Switzerland and 300,000 in Germany or France. On the Swiss side, the largest part of the agglomeration is situated within the two cantons of Basel-Stadt (Basel-City) and Baselland.

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

Issue 2 2012  •  25 April 2012  •  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.