The T12 express linee, the Greater Paris’ newest tram-train line, which connects Massy-Palasieau to Évry-Courcouronnes in 39 minutes, entered into service on 10 December 2023, is enjoying excellent public acceptance after only a month.

Paris public transport is facing a real revolution. The extension of line 11 to the east of Paris, with 6 new stations, is already planned, and the new T10 tram line has been inaugurated in summer 2023. Besides this, “the venerable Paris Métro is about to get its most significant upgrade in decades with the arrival of the Grand Paris Express, a new 200-kilometer (120-mile) system that will add four lines and 68 brand-new stations to the network”, as reported on the CNN.

Paris T12 line: the description

The twenty-five Alstom Citadis Dualis (SNCF U 52.600 series), which have been delivered to the line as of 2021, are assigned to the new Massy depot.

Paris T12 line is 20.4-kilometre long and runs through 13 municipalities in the Essonne department: Massy, Palaiseau, Champlan, Longjumeau, Chilly-Mazarin, Épinay-sur-Orge, Savigny-sur-Orge, Morsang-sur-Orge, Viry-Châtillon, Grigny, Ris-Orangis, Evry and Courcouronnes. 40,000 travellers per day, 3,000 per hour in each direction, are expected as soon as traffic stabilised in the coming months.  A characteristic feature of the line is the use of both tram and rail tracks, with obvious economies of scale, both in terms of infrastructure and equipment, tram-type but capable of running on rail, as is typical of tram-train services. The service starts at 5 a.m. and ends at 11.30 p.m.

Paris T12 line uses also a RER previously served by RER

Paris T12 line will use between Massy and Épinay-sur-Orge, for about 10 km, the route previously served by the RER C suburban railway, and integrate it with the new 10.4 km section, on its own track and similar to the traditional tram line, up to Évry-Courcouronnes.  The planned commercial speed will be 39 km/hour on the railway section and 25 km/hour on the typical tramway section.

Paris T12 line

Île-de-France Mobilités and SNCF for Paris T12 line

The alignment and extension projects have also led to a considerable redesign of the surrounding road space and, in some cases, to a redistribution of traffic areas, redesigning of intersections.

Supporters of the project are Île-de-France Mobilités (new urban section from Épinay to Évry), SNCF Réseau (transport infrastructure and new stations of the national railway network) and SNCF Mobilités (maintenance and depot site and existing stations of the national railway network).

Sixteen stations are served by Paris T12 line, 11 of which are completely new stops, all of which are obviously barrier-free: Massy-Palaiseau (RER B and D, line 18 of the Grand Paris Express in future), Massy Europa, Champlan, Longjumeau, Chilly-Mazarin, Gravigny-Balizy, Petit Vaux, Epinay-sur-Orge (RER C), Castle Park, Coteaux de l’Orge, Amédée Gordini, Ferme Neuve, Forest of Saint-Eutrope, Treaty of Rome, Bois Briard, Evry-Courcouronnes (RER D).

T12 line paris

There are several possibilities for correspondence between T12 line and other lines: with the RER B and C to and with the TGV to Massy (in future with metro line 18) and Epinay, with the RER D to Evry-Courcouronnes. In the first period of operation, the frequency will be 15 minutes, from spring 2024 it will be 10 minutes.

The project of Paris T12 line included the renovation of the stations along the section already covered by the RER C, with the exception of the newly built Massy .- Europe and Champlan stations, while the stations between Evry-Courcouronnes and Epinay-sur-Orge were built from scratch.

The stations on Paris T12 line

Modern, comfortable, accessible, of excellent design, the stations have contributed, as they did in Paris, to the redevelopment of the area and allow travellers to stop in optimal conditions of comfort and safety.

The stations, equipped with real-time information on the state of the line and upcoming crossings, allow travellers to stay in optimal comfort and safety conditions. Seats and glass windows have been provided for shelter from the weather; the stops are illuminated in constant, low-consumption mode, with presence detectors to modulate brightness, as well as a video surveillance and emergency call system.  There are also 6.5 km of bicycle lanes, with dedicated bicycle parking spaces at each station.

T12 line paris

The twenty-five Alstom Citadis Dualis (SNCF U 52.600 series), which have been delivered to the line as of 2021, are assigned to the new Massy depot.

These 42-metre-long vehicles can reach a maximum speed of 100 km/h and can accommodate up to 250 travellers, 95 of whom are seated; the platform is low and accessible to disabled persons, who have space at their disposal. Very bright, thanks to the large windows, the vehicles are equipped with an integral air conditioning system, 72 USB sockets, and an acoustic-light communication system, confirming the high standard of the rolling stock.

The units on Paris T12 line can be used in double and triple traction, and can easily negotiate ramps of up to 65 per thousand, with rapid acceleration and deceleration typical of metro-type equipment.  Normal use in double traction is envisaged, thus guaranteeing the transport of up to 500 people per run.

When fully operational, a traffic volume of around 14 million passengers per year is expected. The T12 line is certainly an example for various possible applications.

by Stefano Alfano


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