Driverless automatic metro system

In 1983, the VAL Light rail system(Light Automatic vehicle) in Lille, France became the focus of the world, because it is the first truly autonomous urban transportation system. This is a revolutionary breakthrough in the field of public transport, the French company SYSTRA is involved in the development of the system. Over the next 20 years, SYSTRA not only promoted autonomous urban transportation systems worldwide by participating in the construction of fully automatic urban transportation systems around the world, but also make the fully automatic driverless technology more mature and perfect, and SYSTRA has accumulated rich working experience from these projects.


■ Lille

As a result of local government decisions and technological innovations by MATRA, VAL system was born in Lille, northern France, and was officially put into operation in 1983. At present, there are two VAL metro lines in Lille, with a total length of more than 45 kilometers and 60 stations.

Through close cooperation with MATRA, SYSTRA has made its due contribution to the successful application of the new system:

- Design of civil engineering (1974-1975), construction supervision, system equipment research and development of line 1 (1978-1983)

- Technical and economic feasibility study for line 2 (1980-1982)

- After 1983, SYSTRA successively completed the scheme design and construction supervision of line 2. The first phase of the project was put into use in 1989, and the second phase of the project extending to the border of Belgium consisted of five stations, which was put into operation in 2000.

■ VAL system in Orly Airport

Since 1991 Orly airport has been directly connected to the Paris metropolitan express via a convenient VAL light rail system. With a total length of 7.2 km (2.8 km underground and 1.6 km in viaduct), the system has three stations and can handle 7,500 passengers a day.

Between 1988 and 1992, SYSTRA undertook the civil engineering design and construction supervision of the system, as well as the development of other system equipment other than the VAL automatic control system.

In addition, SYSTRA undertook the technical and economic feasibility study for the extension section of the line.


Orly Airport

■ Lyon

The Metro line D is Lyon's first driverless line, with a total length of 14km and 15 stations. MAGGLAY system is used, which can carry 150,000 passengers a day.

SYSTRA has been involved in the system design and construction supervision of the project since 1985, and has been responsible for the first phase of the line (1992) and the commissioning test of the entire line.

■ Toulouse

Toulouse is the second city in France to apply VAL system to the construction of urban public transport network. The first phase of the city's rail transit line A was put into service in 1993, with a 3 km long extension completed in 2004. The total length of the line reached 18 kilometers (including 16 km underground line and 2 km in viaduct), with 18 stations.

On the basis of the completion of the pre-feasibility study and the comparison study between the VAL system and tramway system (1984-1985), SYSTRA undertook the civil engineering design and system equipment development of line A (1985-1987) and also provided technical support to the client throughout the project management process (1989-1993).

In 1992, SYSTRA was selected again by the client, based on its successful construction experience of line A, its familiarity with the site and its excellent project management ability, to be responsible for the preliminary design of Toulouse line B (15.6 km in total length with 20 stations).

In addition, SYSTRA is fully responsible for the project management of line B, which is put into operation in 2007.


■ Metro line 14 in Paris

The first phase of the Paris metro line 14 was put into operation in 1998. The extension was completed in December 2003 and opened in early 2004.The fully automatic driverless line is 7.8 km long and has 8 stations. The daily passenger volume has reached 305,000.

SYSTRA is involved in the project's design and development of the system and equipment, especially for the software development and product acceptance testing for suppliers and research and development of on-board safety computing devices.

In addition, SYSTRA's experts helped the client to draft functional specifications for traction systems and transportation operations support systems, completed maintenance procedure audit and track automation system safety validation, and was responsible for the implementation of the project management process supervision and safety document review for trial running.

■ Rennes

In March 2002, the first metro line in Rennes was put into operation, with a total length of 9.5 kilometers and 15 stations, most of which are underground. VAL automatic metro system is adopted. The route has become a popular travel tool in the region, carrying 95,000 passengers a day.

SYSTRA has been involved in the Rennes metro project since 1986, first completing a feasibility study for a new transport system. During the execution of the works, SYSTRA, on behalf of the client, is responsible for the coordination of the construction site, civil engineering design and project management of the installation of system equipment other than VAL system.


■ Lausanne

In late 2002, the state of VAUD approved the construction of a fully automated 6 km long metro line between Ouchy and Epalinge through a public opinion poll.

The line is built on a steep ramp with a 2-minute headway and rubber wheels, which is the first of its kind in the world.

During the implementation of the project, SYSTRA was first responsible for the graphic design of the main line and siding track,then in 2003, SYSTRA was entrusted by the client to undertake the compilation of operation requirements.

The United States

■ New York

New York's CANARSIE line used originally the traditional large gauge metro system. In 2000 the line's operator decided to replace the system with the CBTC system (Communication based train control) to complete the line upgrade.

The specific tasks of the renewal project include the upgrading of the signaling system and the replacement of the original train with the R143 trains with the CBTC system. During the implementation of the project, SYSTRA was entrusted by the client to develop customized functional specifications for CANARSIE line based on the functional specification of line 14 in Paris, combined with the actual situation of the existing rail transit network in New York City, particularly for the actual requirements of the signaling system.

Since April 2003, SYSTRA's French headquarters and its representative offices in USA have been providing professional training to operational staff, being responsible for the preparation of operation guidelines and training manuals with the focus on the technical support for the implementation of ATC system (automatic train control system).


■ Turin

The automatic metro line 1 project in Turin was officially launched in December 2000, and the overall system coordination of the first phase of the project was carried out in 2006. The line is the first fully automatic driverless line in Italy.

The first phase (Collegno-Porta Nuova)is 9.6 km long, basically in underground,with 15 stations.

The second phase (Porta Nuovo-Lingotto) is about 4 km long, also in underground, and a trial running of the system is finished in 2008.

As the project management leader for the technical engineering of the first and second phase, SYSTRA is responsible for the civil engineering design of the entire project and the project management for the installation of system equipment other than VAL system.

In February 2003, SYSTRA was entrusted once again by the client to undertake the preliminary design of the west and south extensions of line 1, with a total length of more than 15 km, basically in underground.


In 2001, SYSTRA won a contract for the northeast line (fully automatic metro line) project in Singapore, based on its expertise in system integration and the success of line 14 in Paris.

During the implementation of the project, SYSTRA participated in the procurement of system equipment as a subcontractor or partner,and provided technical support for the client's project decision as a consultant. In addition, SYSTRA undertook the organization of the trial running of the new line.

United Arab Emirates

■ Dubai

In March 2003, SYSTRA won a management consulting contract for a major construction project in the city of Dubai. The consulting service contents include: responsible for project bidding, research and development of fully automatic driverless system, etc.

The project consists of two lines: the green line, with an east-west orientation, which mainly connects the airport and the port and runs through the downtown area; the red line which is in north-south direction, parallel to the coastline, with a total length of 70 km.