Third Paris Metro line introduces driverless trains

The Local France
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Third Paris Metro line introduces driverless trains

A third Paris Metro line has begun the transformation to driverless trains, running its first -fully automated service on Monday.


Line 4 will shortly join lines 1 and 14 as a fully automated services on the Paris Metro network, following extensive work to prepare the infrastructure. 


On Monday, the north-south line ran four automatic services between Porte de Clignacourt and Bagneux-Lucie Aubrac, after several months of testing with empty carriages.


The line, which first opened in 1908, will now begin a steady transfer to becoming fully automated, starting immediately with four automated trains per day, out of the 52 that operate on the line.

Almost half (20) of the trains on the line will be driverless by the end of 2022 and the entire line is expected to be fully automated by the end of 2023, as the RATP promises a "70 percent reduction in delays" according to Paris Secret. 

Line 4 links the northern to the southern suburbs of the French capital, serving three of Paris' biggest train stations: Gare du Nord, Gare de l’Est and Gare Montparnasse, and carrying more than 175,000,000 passengers per year.

READ MORE: How France is preparing for a future of driverless vehicles

Not only do driverless trains avoid problems with staff shortages or absence, they also make it easier for RATP to keep services running when there is a strike.

The first fully automated line in Paris was Line 14, which opened in 1998, while Line 1 went automated in 2012 - on strike days these usually run full services, although they do tend to be extremely busy as commuters switch from strike-hit lines.  

The planned new Metro lines that will connect the city to the 'greater Paris' area - lines 15, 16, 17 and 18 - will all be fully automated when they open, although they are not scheduled for completion for some years yet.

Of the existing lines, it seems that Line 13 will be the next to be automated, as transport bosses are currently running a feasibility study. Lines 7, 8 and 9 are also under review for possible automation in the future.

As well as changing the trains and the tracks, automation also requires platform modifications to install automated platform doors to ensure that passengers cannot fall onto the tracks. 


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