The transport authority of Île-de-France Mobility (IdFM), Société du Grand Paris (SGP), the company managing the Grand Paris Express project, and Alstom presented the final design of the rolling stock for the future metro line 18, which will connect Orly Airport to Versailles.

The new line 18 of the Paris network is 35 km long and is part of the ‘Grand Paris Express’ project,  which is a very interesting project involving the construction of five new automatic metro lines to connect the suburbs without necessarily having to pass through the centre of Paris. The Grand Paris Express lines will develop a total length of 200 km, with 68 stops, and will be active by 2030. Environmental awareness,  technology, passenger comfort and a new management system are among the main features of the new metro line network.

Line 18 will connect Paris-Orly airport with Versailles via Massy and Saclay (home to education and research centres); interchanges will be guaranteed with the RER and with tram lines T 12 at Versailles , at Massy , T 7 and 9 at Orly. The operation will be automatic, driverless and will run every minute and a half during peak hours. There will be 10 stations, the average speed of the trains will be 65 km/h, but 100 km/h may be reached. The expected journey time between Orly and Versailles will be about 30 minutes. The third rail is planned for electrification. The depot-workshop will be newly projected, combining the functions of rolling stock management and maintenance with infrastructure management.

The plan of the new line 18

Line 18 will be put into service in three phases, over a period of four years, from 2026 to 2030:
2026: Massy-Palaiseau – CEA Saint-Aubin
2027: Massy-Palaiseau – Orly Airport
2030: CEA Saint-Aubin – Versailles Chantiers

Since 2021, Ile de France Mobilitè ( idFM), with a view to increasing citizen involvement, has presented to the public three projects proposed by Alstom, the company chosen to supply the rolling stock. Citizens voted for the project offering the greatest rationalisation of space and the brightest interior of the rolling stock, which will have a panoramic window at both ends.

Completely financed by IdFM, the new fleet, comprising 37 three-car trains, was designed by Alstom’s Advanced & Creative Design office, in collaboration with IdFM, SGP and Egis Rail, to meet the specific needs of Line 18 and the expectations of passengers. Definitely a good design. The three-car trains, 47 metres long, will be able to carry up to 350 passengers. Each carriage will be equipped with three wide doors to facilitate passenger flow, as well as wide corridors and intercommunicating gangways. In the project, priority was given to environmental and energy aspects. Among other things, the traction units will be equipped with regenerative braking.

The interior offers passengers fixed and folding seats. The passages between the carriages are equipped with a rigid lining that replaces the traditional bellows design and allows more space and a forward-looking view of the entire rolling stock.

Photo Credit: Alstom

Seating and wheelchair spaces are provided for passengers with reduced mobility, who were involved in the design process. The seats will be easily identifiable thanks to the red colour of the upholstery .
In anticipation of the service to Paris Orly airport, mixed spaces for passengers with pushchairs and luggage have been specially created in the centre of the convoy.

The interior is equipped with Wi-Fi, USB sockets, dynamic passenger information screens, heating, ventilation and air conditioning. The lighting follows the circadian rhythm to adapt the natural light to the time of day. For added security, each door is fitted with special lighting and CCTV cameras have been installed.

Alstom is also implementing a complete signalling system that includes solutions for automatic driverless train control, data transmission and centralised supervisory controls. Alstom will act as the overall project integrator.

“Alstom’s teams are particularly proud to have been awarded the contract for Line 18 of the Île-de-France network. After the Toulouse metro, awarded last year, this contract is further recognition of our expertise in integrated turnkey metro systems and digital mobility. This contract also indicates the renewed confidence of our customers, Île-de-France Mobilités and Société du Grand Paris”, said Jean-Baptiste Eyméoud, President of Alstom France.


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