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Author Topic: "Exceptional" failure of CBTC on Paris Metro  (Read 3204 times)
stuving
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« on: January 23, 2016, 01:34:39 pm »

Yesterday there was a total failure of Line 1 on the Paris metro. All trains stopped at 17:00, and the eleven trains stuck between stations were evacuated along the track, which took over two and a half hours. RATP say it was caused by a problem in the communications between the trains and the controller, which they describe as "exceptional" - presumably meaning it hasn't happened to them before.

Service didn't restart until 8:30 this morning, after lots of frantic work overnight. The reports are accompanied by loads of complaints about the complete lack of information, horrendously crowded stations, etc. The fact that there were three other major rail/metro disruptions at the same time didn't help.

Line 1 has been fully automatic for two years, having been converted by the installation of Siemens SAET system of CBTC (Communications-based train control) (communications-based train control). Of course it's not necessarily their fault, but ...

Several reports, but only in French, e.g. The Huffington Post.

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IndustryInsider
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« Reply #1 on: January 23, 2016, 01:50:05 pm »

I thought such things only happened to the UK (United Kingdom)'s railways...  Tongue
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stuving
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« Reply #2 on: January 23, 2016, 03:40:43 pm »

I thought such things only happened to the UK (United Kingdom)'s railways...  Tongue

But is that a reliable thought? It's very difficult to equip yourself with comparable information about the places you know and the groups of people you belong to (whether Brits, Bristolians, or blond(e)s) and "foreign" ones (whether Parisians, Peruvians, or pilots). So I've come to the conclusion that most of our ideas about what's distinctive about "us" or "here" are pure self-delusion.

So the best default belief is that people and stuff are much the same everywhere, until and unless the contrary is proved. And, in the case of London and Paris, I'm forever being struck by the similarities, rather than the differences.

Siemens call this CBTC (Communications-based train control) system Trainguard MT; SAET is RATP's label for the system function, presumably one they used before they chose a supplier. It is installed on lines 1 and 14, and a semi-manual version of it is going into lines 3, 5, 9, 10, and 12. Line 13, however, uses Thales SelTRac (with drivers).

London Underground has so far only used Thales SelTrac, on Docklands, Jubilee, and Northern. After Bombardier found their CITYFLO 650 would need too much adaptation, SelTrac is also going to be used on the Metropolitan, District, Circle, and Hammersmith & City lines. The next contract(s) will be for the Piccadilly, Bakerloo, Central, and Waterloo & City lines, and choosing that supplier appears to be still going on.

The Victoria line has Invensys "Distance-to-Go", but I think that's more of a radio-based renewal of the previous ATO (Automatic Train Operation). (Note that "ATO" is also a standard term for automatic operation as a function of CBTC.) Sirius (another CBTC design, which Siemens acquired with Invensys) is not used in Britain. Trainguard MT has not been used so far, but will be used on Crossrail, along with a whole soup of other abbreviated signalling systems. Thameslink is different, I guess because the central "metro-like" section is so short and most of it is sharing with heavy rail. It will have ETCS (European Train Control System) level 2, with lineside signals, and some kind of ATO added "later".

Bombardier CITYFLO 650 is, however, used within Heathrow. I think that gets replaced by ETCS, due for installation all the way from Paddington by 2018 (well that was the date in August last year, anyway). CITYFLO 650 is also used in the people movers at both Heathrow and Gatwick.

Finally, in case you think North Americans don't screw up such projects, or that Thales is more reliable, there's always the Edmonton LRT Metro Line as a counter-example. Whose fault the delays are is still the subject of a four-way slanging match between Thales, and Edmonton's councillors, transportation department, and external consultants. But no-one's coming out of it smelling very good.

« Last Edit: January 23, 2016, 06:26:25 pm by stuving » Logged
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