Automated Metros Observatory

To identify key trends for automation, the Observatory has analyzed the evolution in the last years; the following data portray the evolution of all UTO metro lines in the world since 2002 in each of the following aspects. In yellow in each graph, the predominant trend as identified by the Observatory.

Train capacity – The last 5 years depict a clear increase in mid-capacity trains (300-700 passengers), whereas small and high capacity trains follow a slower, but parallel progression, demonstrating that UTO continues to be employed to respond to very different mobility needs.

Line Capacity: Passengers per train (as a % of last decade’s new km)

Signalling – Inductive loop remains, in absolute terms, the leading technology in the last 5 years (considering number of new km in operation). However, analysis of the Observatory data for new projects not yet in operation shows as predominant trend the use of free propagation radio-based CBTC systems in the near future.

Signalling solutions – Share of Inductive loops vs radio vs µwave (as a % of last decade’s new km)

Track protection – Platform Screen Doors appear clearly as the predominant trend, leaving ground for a reflection on the opportunity for other detection technologies, considering the costs of PSD and the growing market.

Line Capacity: Passengers per train (as a % of last decade’s new km)

Wheel systems – Both rubber and steel wheels are used for UTO systems. Rubber wheels dominated in the early years. The current trend is for a predominance of steel wheel systems, with a strong growth in the last 5 years. Both technologies are fit for UTO.

Wheel systems – Rubber vs steel, as % of last decade’s new km

Constructive model – An analysis of the trend confirms the current picture, with practically equal growth levels on both elevated and underground kilometres; however, considering information for projects not yet in operation, the Observatory foresees a future increase in the share of elevated lines.

Constructive model – Elevated vs. Underground (as a % of last decade new stations)

Conversions – Whereas current data depict a very low number of cases (Nuremberg and Paris), the success of these complex projects has demonstrated the viability of this option, opening the ground for new conversions. The Observatory’s data for future projects point to strong growth in the years to come.

Nuremberg U2, converted in 2009

Paris Line 1, converted in 2012