GREATER Paris transport authority Île-de-France Mobility (IdFM), Société du Grand Paris (SGP), the company leading the Grand Paris Express project, and Alstom have unveiled the final design of the rolling stock for the future metro Line 18, which will connect Orly Airport with Versailles.

The Grand Paris Express project includes the construction of five new metro lines (14, 15, 16, 17 and 18) to connect suburban centres without requiring a journey via the centre of Paris.

Fully funded by IdFM, the new fleet has been designed by Alstom's Advanced & Creative Design office, in collaboration with IdFM, SGP and Egis Rail, in order to meet the specific needs of Line 18 and the expectations of passengers.

The 47m-long three-car trains can carry up to 350 passengers. The driverless fleet will enter service on Line 18 from 2026.

Each car had three wide doors to facilitate passenger flow, along with wide aisles and inter-car gangways. There are panoramic windows at each end.

The interior offers passengers fixed and tip-up seating. The inter-car gangways feature a rigid lining that replaces the traditional bellows design.

There are dedicated seats and wheelchair spaces for passengers with reduced mobility, who were involved in the design process. The priority seats are easily identifiable by their specific red colour. In anticipation of the service to Paris Orly Airport, mixed spaces for passengers with pushchairs and luggage have been specifically created in the central car.

The interior is equipped with Wi-Fi, USB sockets, dynamic passenger information display screens and heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning. Lighting follows the circadian rhythm to match the natural light according to the time of day. For enhanced safety, each doorway has special lighting and CCTV has been installed throughout.

IdFM launched an online consultation at the end of 2021, allowing the public to vote on three proposed designs from Alstom. The wider end window in the winning design offers a panoramic view from the front of the train and optimises the available surface area to create additional space for passengers. 

The 35km Line 18, which includes a 13km at-grade section, will have 10 stations and an operations centre combining rolling stock maintenance and stabling and infrastructure maintenance functions.

Line 18 will be commissioned in three phases:

2026: Massy-Palaiseau - CEA Saint-Aubin

2027: Massy-Palaiseau - Orly Airport

2030: CEA Saint-Aubin - Versailles Chantiers

Line 18 will be fully automatic, and will operate with headways of up to 85 seconds at peak times with an average train speed of 65km/h and a maximum speed of 100km/h. The line will use third rail electrification and the fleet will be equipped for regenerative braking.

New Nantes LRV unveiled

Alstom also unveiled the first Citadis XO5 LRV for Nantes at its La Rochelle plant on February 13, in the presence of the vice-president of the Nantes Métropole conurbation in charge of transport, Mr Bertrand Affilé, president of transport operator Semitan, Mr Pascal Bolo, and Alstom France president, Mr Jean-Baptiste Eyméoud.

Nantes ordered 49 LRVs at a cost of €218m and these will be introduced from late 2023 until 2026, replacing the TSF LRVs built for the opening of the city’s first line in 1985, and allowing the extension of Line 1 from Babinière to La Chapelle-sur-Erdre.

The new 46m-long 100% low floor LRVs will carry 20% more passengers than the TSF fleet vehicles. A further 12 LRVs will be delivered in 2027 for the opening of lines 6 and 7.

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