On 4 December, East Japan Railway Company (JR East) officially announced its first steps towards automated metro operation, with demonstration tests of an autonomous train on the Yamanote Line.
JR East are now testing the first elements of a new ATO system on the line, which will be able to automatically adapt the speed of trains based on operation conditions. These tests will take place on 29 and 30 December and on 5 and 6 January, after the last passenger service train, using an E235 series train without passengers on board.
The introduction of driverless operation is part of JR East’s management vision “MOVE UP 2027”. JR East is planning driverless operation for the Yamanote line and the high speed Shinkansen (bullet train).
Source: JR East (press release in Japanese)
São Paulo-Morumbi Station, the tenth station on São Paulo’s Line 4 (yellow line), opened in October. The new stop facilitates access to the so-called Morumbi Stadium, home to football matches and many shows.
This one-station extension brings the line length to 11.3 km.
It is estimated that the new station will receive an average of 75,000 passengers per business day.
During the first few weeks, the new station will run daily from 10:00 to 15:00. The reduced operation occurs during the maturation phase of equipment and systems, such as power supply, signaling and telecommunications.
The new station, underground like all stations on the line, is 27.53 meters below street level and comprises 13 escalators and four elevators.
Line 4 is operated by concessionaire ViaQuatro.
Source: ViaQuatro press release (in Portugueuse)
Phase 2 of Istanbul’s fully automated metro line, M5, opened on 21 October. This line now runs from Üsküdar to Çekmeköy. It is 20km long and consists of 16 stations.
Line M5 lies on the Anatolian side of Istanbul. It connects to the Metrobus line and to the Marmaray tunnel which links the Anatolian and European sides. By 2023, M5 will also be linked to three metro lines: M8 (Dudullu-Bostancı), M12 (Göztepe-Ataşehir) and M13 (Hastane-Yenidoğan).
The M5 line carried approximately 90,000 passengers/day until the recent extension; a figure which has risen to 200,000 after the opening of phase 2.
All stations of M5 are underground and are equipped with half-size platform screen doors. They are all accessible for disabled passengers and comprise a total of 194 escalators and 62 elevators.
The current stations are: Üsküdar, Fıstıkağacı, Bağlarbaşı, Altunizade, Kısıklı, Bulgurlu, Ümraniye, Çarşı, Yamanevler, Çakmak, Ihlamurkuyu, Altınşehir, İmam Hatip Lisesi, Dudullu, Necip Fazıl, Çekmeköy.
The line has 26 six-car trains provided by a consortium of Mitsubishi and CAF. They are 130 meters long and can carry 1,620 passengers each.
According to the figures of the UITP Observatory of Automated Metros, trains of Istanbul M5 have the highest capacity in Europe and the third highest capacity in the world (after the trains of the Circle line and the North East line in Singapore).
Depot and OCC
The depot area is still under construction. Once completed, it will include an automatic car wash unit, the car maintenance and repair unit, the depot control centre and a power generator building.
The operations control centre is deployed in S08-Çarşı station for now and consists of six systems including communications, depot traffic, vehicle traffic, TCC, SCADA and supervisor.
Source: Metro Istanbul
The Société du Grand Paris (SGP) has awarded a consortium of Siemens Mobility and Thales with the delivery of the automated train control system for the Grand Paris Express project.
This project, the largest for metro construction in Europe, comprises the future fully automated lines 15, 16 and 17 in the Paris suburbs. These lines will have a total of 125 kilometers of tracks and 50 stations. They are to be served by 159 passenger trains and 27 work trains.
Under the €360m contract, Siemens will design and implement the communications-based train control (CBTC) system and Thales will design and implement the operating control centers, as well as trackside equipment and a secure communication network.
Twelve construction and commissioning phases are planned throughout the contract. The first one will be completed in 2024 and the others by 2030. The contract also includes associated maintenance services for 30 years.
Thales will also provide onboard systems for the Grand Paris Express including passenger information systems and CCTV cameras. The latter will include video protection with smart real-time decision support tools relying on artificial intelligence, to automatically detect, for example, a passenger remaining on board a train returning to the depot.
Thales will also provide automatic passenger counters to inform operators in real time about the number of riders in each train so that train frequency can be adjusted to match usage.
On 20 September, the Société du Grand Paris awarded the contract for the rolling stock for lines 15, 16 and 17 to Alstom.
Besides four new automatic metro lines around Paris (15, 16, 17 and 18), the Grand Paris Express project includes the extension and upgrade of line 14 to the north and south of Paris, to Orly airport. The network will serve major business areas (airports, business centers, research centers and universities) and metropolitan areas that are currently difficult to access.
On 8 September the Barcelona operator TMB opened Line 10 South, a new line which uses newly built infrastructure and existing track shared with L9 South, which opened in 2016.
The new metro line currently has five stations. The trains run every 7’20” and take nine minutes to cover the 4.5 kilometres that separate the terminus stations Foc (Barcelona) and Collblanc (L’Hospitalet), of which 2.5km represent a new section of track and 2km that are shared with L9 South. There is also a 1.6km long double-track tunnel that the trains use to change direction, meaning that the entire operation extends over a distance of 6.1km.
With the opening of Line 10 South, the total automated sections of the Barcelona metro network are 33km long.
The Barcelona metro is the second largest in Spain in terms of size and demand. The new line takes it to some of the last residential areas of the city that lacked access to the urban rail network.