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Alstom to construct the new metro for the Métropole Aix-Marseille-Provence

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26 November 2019 – Alstom is to carry out the renewal and automation of Marseille metro for the sum of 430 million euros financed by Métropole Aix-Marseille-Provence. As part of this contract, Alstom will develop, supply and install the operating system and equipment for the automatic operation of the network’s two lines. Alstom will also commission 38 new rubber-tyred metros (4 cars) and modernise all the audiovisual passenger information inside the stations. The new trains are scheduled to enter service in early 2024.

The trains will run in semi-automatic mode with drivers until mid-2025 on line M2 and until 2026 on line M1, before switching to full automation.

"It is a great honour for us to contribute to modernising the mobility offer of Métropole Aix-Marseille-Provence. Our metro experts are already at work on several of our French sites to get started quickly with developments," says Jean-Baptiste Eyméoud, Senior Vice-President France at Alstom.

 The new trains, based on Alstom's rubber-tyred metro solutions, will incorporate the latest technological developments to increase comfort, availability, accessibility and passenger information, as well as facilitate maintenance.

Each 4-car train, 65 metres long and in "boa"[1] configuration, will be able to carry up to 500 passengers[2]. The sleekly designed trains will feature large bay windows, a highly efficient air conditioning system and modern passenger information systems, providing a pleasant on-board experience. Alstom called on Marseille designers Ora-ïto and Fabien Bourdier for the design and the sound conception of the new trains.

Three designs were proposed to the Metropole Aix-Marseille-Provence, which chose to set up an Internet consultation to give residents the opportunity to give their opinion on the design they would like to see selected.

The new metros for Marseille are environmentally friendly and will be eco-designed, enabling them to be 96% recoverable at the end of their lifespan. They will consume 25% less energy than the metros currently in service, thanks in particular to electric braking (up to 0 km/h), LED lighting and other optimisations.

For the automation system, Alstom will provide its Urbalis 400 solution, already deployed on more than 1,500 kilometres of metro lines worldwide. The Marseille metro will benefit from a proven, continuously improved system (on-board computers equipped with the latest technology, vital computers that are over 99% available, beacon tracker, etc.).

Alstom currently equips 25% of the CBTC[3] metro automations in service (60 lines, including 28 fully automated lines).

In total, more than 400 people in France will work on this project, including more than 60 in Métropole Aix-Marseille-Provence. Jobs will also be generated at our suppliers in France, but also in the Métropole for the installation and deployment of the signalling system.

Alstom will draw on the excellent skills of six of its French sites: Aix-en-Provence for the project management, Valenciennes for the design, interior layout, assembly, tests and validation of the trains, Ornans for the engines, Le Creusot for the bogies, Villeurbanne for the on-board electronics, passenger information, predictive maintenance and signalling system equipment, and Saint-Ouen for the coordination of the artistic design, development and integration of the signalling system.

[1] Trains with inter-car circulation

[2] 4 passengers / m2

[3] Communication Based Train Control: automatic control system based on continuous radio communication between the train and the control centre