AN agreement has been signed to finance the installation of the NExTEO CBTC system on 90km of RER lines B and D in central Paris by the Île-de-France region, which will contribute 70% of the €967m cost of fixed infrastructure, and central government, which will fund 30%.

Operators French National Railways (SNCF) and Paris Transport (RATP) will also contribute €35m to the project.

Île de France Mobility will also finance installation of on-board equipment on 350 trains valued at €239m. Tenders have been launched to secure a contractor to install the system. Installation over the full network will take around 10 years.

NExTEO facilitates attended operation at Grade of Automation Level 2 (GoA2) and is expected to support the operation of 32 trains per hour through the central tunnel shared by lines B and D. Current limits means that the number is rarely more than 27. 

Following a past decision not to add two more tracks under central Paris, RER Lines B and D share the two tracks between Gare du Nord and Châtelet-Les Halles. Between them the two lines carry 1.7 million passengers on weekdays, with up to 20 trains operating every hour at peak times on Line B and 12 trains per hour on Line D.

Siemens Mobility is installing NExTEO on RER Line E, which is being extended from Haussmann-Saint Lazare to Mantes-la-Jolie. The first of a new fleet of double-deck trains equipped with NExTEO technology was rolled out on this line earlier this week.