Paris Metro, Île-de-France, France

Metro de Paris is a rapid transit metro system serving the capital city of Paris within the Île-de-France region, France. It is the second busiest metro system in Europe, the first being Moscow’s Metro. It is reputed as one of the best transport systems in terms of service density, frequency and safety. It was officially inaugurated in July 1990 and has a daily ridership of approximately 4.5 million people.

The metro runs over 214km of track length and has around 300 stations. It is operated by Régie Autonome des Transports Parisiens (RATP).
History and background to Paris’s public transport network

Fulgence Bienvenüe, a renowned French civil engineer, designed the Parisian Metro to serve the city’s traffic needs in April 1896. Compagnie de Chemin de Fer Metropolitan won the construction bid for the project in July 1897, competing with five bidders.

The construction began in November 1898. The first line of the metro, named Porte Maillot-Porte de Vincennes, was inaugurated on 19 July 1900. The proposed ten lines (Line 1 to Line 9) of the route were completed by 1920.

Société du chemin de fer électrique souterrain Nord-Sud de Paris (the Paris North-South Underground Electrical Railway Company) won a concession to build three lines in January 1904. These lines were completed by 1930s.
Line routes making up the Parisian Metro rapid transit system

Paris’s Metro currently has 16 lines. Line 1 is a 16.5km stretch running from La Défense – Grande Arche to Château de Vincennes, with 25 stations in between. In November 2011 a driverless, fully automated train was inaugurated on this line. Full automation of Line 1 is currently underway, with completion scheduled for December 2012.

Line 2 is a 12.4km semi-circular stretch between Porte Dauphine and Nation, with 32 intermediate stations.

Line 3 is an 11.7km stretch between Pont de Levallois – Bécon station in the western suburbs to Gallieni in the east, with 25 stations between them. Line 3b is a 1.3km stretch between Gambetta and Porte des Lilas stations, with just four intermediate stations.

Line 4 is a 10.6km stretch between Porte de Clignancourt in the north and Porte d’Orléans in the south, running through 26 intermediate stations. It is being extended southwards up to Mairie de Montrouge. Construction on the extension began in 2008 and is expected to be completed by 2012.

Line 5 is a 14.6km stretch between Place d’Italie and Bobigny – la Folie, with 22 intermediate stations. An extension is being planned from Place d’Italie to Place de Rungis.

Line 6 is a 13.6km stretch between Charles de Gaulle – Étoile in the west and Nation in the east, comprising of 28 intermediate stations.

Line 7 is a 22.4km stretch between La Courneuve – 8 Mai 1945 in the north with Mairie d’Ivry and Villejuif – Louis Aragon in the south, with 38 intermediate stations. Line 7b is a 3.1km stretch between Louis Blanc and Pre Saint-Gervais, with only eight intermediate stations. Studies are underway to connect Line 3b with Line 7b, through an existing rail tunnel, and re-open a closed station, Haxo.

Line 8 is a 23.4km stretch between Balard and Pointe du Lac, with as many as 38 intermediate stations. It previously ran up to Créteil – Préfecture, but was extended to Pointe du Lac in October 2011.

Line 9 is a 19.6 km stretch between Pont de Sèvres in Boulogne in the west and Montreuil in the east, with 33 intermediate stations. Line 10 is an 11.7km stretch between Boulogne – Pont de Saint Cloud metro station in Boulogne in the west and Gare d’Austerlitz, with 23 stations in between.

Line 11 is a 6.3km stretch between Mairie Les Lilas in the north-east of the city to Châtelet in the centre of Paris, with 13 stations.

Line 12 is a 13.9km stretch between Issy-les-Moulineaux in southern Paris to Porte de la Chapelle in the north, with 28 intermediate stations. It will be extended to Front Populaire by 2012 and proposals for further extension to Mairie d’Aubervilliers are underway.

Line 13 is a 24.3km stretch between Chatillon-Montrouge in south to Asnieres Gennevilliers Les Courtillies and Saint-Denis University in the north, comprising of 32 intermediate stations. In June 2008, the north-west branch was extended to Les Courtilles from Gabriel Péri.

Line 14 is a nine kilometre stretch between Saint Lazare and Olympiades, with nine intermediate stations.
Rolling stock variations being run along Metro de Paris

Paris’s Metro uses two types of rolling stock, MF (matériel fer) and MP (matériel pneu). The MF variant has steel wheels, whereas the MP variation uses rubber tyres.

RATP ordered 66 new MF01 train sets to replace some of the MF 67 running on the fleet currently on Line 9. Deliveries are expected to be made between 2013 and 2016.
Re-signalling programme contract initiated by RATP

RATP started a re-signalling programme on the Paris Metro. The programme was initially called Offre Urbaine Renouvelée et Améliorée Gérée par un Automatisme Nouveau (OURAGAN), which means renewed, improved, automatically controlled urban offer, but was renamed as the OCTYS system later. The signalling system of the metro is based on OCTYS-CBTC (communication-based train control).

A $25.8m contract was awarded to Ansaldo STS for maintenance of signalling systems of all lines along the Paris Metro, except the fully automatic Line 1.
Future and extensions of France’s capital city’s major metro network

Some extension plans to the metro system are currently being considered by the Metro Authorities. Extension of Line 14 at both ends and extension of Line 11 are being studied as possibilities. Other proposals include an extension of Line 1 at both ends, a new station at Line 5, a southern extension of Line 7, two stop extensions of Line 9, plus an extension of Line 10.

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