Automated Metros Observatory

Conversion of metro lines from conventional to fully automated operation is a complex project that requires careful timing to ensure the technical and financial viability of the project. The signalling upgrade must be complemented with a significant modification or the renewal of the rolling stock fleet and the retrofitting of platform-track protection systems at stations.

When timed appropriately with the end of the life cycle of the existing assets, the investment can be recovered in a relatively short time (within a decade). Conversion projects must also consider and address from the beginning the organisational implications of full automated operation for the company, and involve staff at all company levels since the early stages of the project. Following the successful conversions of U2 in Nuremberg in 2009 and L1 in Paris in 2012, six European cities have confirmed conversion projects in the coming decade: Glasgow – G. Subway, London – Docklands, Lyon – LA & LB, Marseille – L1 & L2, Paris – L4, Vienna – U5.