Paris-Lyon High-Speed Line to Get Atlas ERTMS Level 2

SNCF Réseau has chosen the Alstom-Setec Ferroviaire consortium to supply Atlas ERTMS Level 2 for 500km of the Paris-Lyon high-speed line. The system will be configurable to the hybrid Level 3. This contract is worth around 50 million euros.

As part of the contract, Alstom will be responsible for the design, equipment supply, installation work, tests and maintenance of the Atlas solution. Setec Ferroviaire meanwhile will verify the design and perform integrated project management and testing.

LGV+ Paris-Lyon High-Speed Line

The high-speed railway line connecting Paris and Lyon is the busiest route in Europe. The main section handles 240 trains every day. It currently serves a third of domestic high-speed traffic, including trains that run on major trans-European routes, such as into Spain, Italy and northern Europe.

Alstom Atlas ERTMS Level 2 for Paris-Lyon line
Alstom will install its Atlas ERTMS Level 2 on the Paris-Lyon high-speed line

Demand for capacity increases are only set to rise, however. The rail passenger transport market will open up for competition in 2019, meaning that new operators can make additional train path requests. With the technology as it currently stands, the line is already running at capacity. This is why upgrading the technology to bring about capacity increases is a priority for both SNCF Réseau and for Europe, which is contributing 125 million euros in funding.

Technological Improvements

Technology can help optimise the use of the infrastructure that is already in place. Starting in 2025 the line will be able to handle 14 trains per hour in each direction. Then, improvements to the railway infrastructure will mean that 16 trains can run on the line every hour by 2030. The current number is 13.

The upgrades will make traffic on the high-speed line more regular and also bring it up to European interoperability standards.

Patrick Jeantet, Chairman and CEO, SNCF Réseau, said:

“The LGV+ Paris-Lyon project is one of the cornerstones of the high-performance rail network. We're going to switch to high throughput on this key European transport link. Increasing the capacity of the existing network and the quality of service of traffic is a priority for SNCF Réseau to promote rail use. This collaboration with Alstom is a major step forward for the project.”

SNCF Performance Upgrades

SNCF Réseau will implement a number of strategies to improve performance on the line:

  • deploying computer-based interlocking
  • reinforcing the train power supply system
  • installing ERTMS Level 2
  • implementing ‘centralised network control’
  • introducing operational traffic management 2.0

ERTMS Level 2 for Paris-Lyon

The European Rail Traffic Management System makes it possible for operators to manage the gap between two trains in real time. This improves the capacity on a line and the regularity of trains.

Currently, ERTMS Level 2 is the most advanced signalling system on the market. Over the coming years it is to replace the 27 systems in use in Europe at the moment. Alstom’s Atlas ERTMS Level 2 solution is a digital one. It means trains can run without lineside signalling equipment. There will be no interruption to services on the Paris-Lyon high-speed line during the implementation of the Atlas ERTMS Level 2 solution.

Jean-Baptiste Eyméoud, Senior Vice President France at Alstom, said:

“We are very proud to win this contract and to support SNCF Réseau in its ambitions. This project is a key step in the development of the future high-performance rail network in France. After the commissioning of Atlas ERTMS Level 2 technology in Spain on the Valladolid-Léon very high-speed line, this contract is further proof of Alstom's expertise and its status as a leader in this field.”

Alstom has installed almost 40 percent of the ERTMS Level 2 trackside equipment currently in service in Europe. Alstom’s centre of excellence for rail signalling systems in Charleroi, Belgium, will develop the Atlas ERTMS Level 2 system for the Paris-Lyon high-speed line.

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