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Parisian transport firm awards operations on new commuter line to ORA


The new Line 15 metro enters the Rolling stock Maintenance and Storage facility (RMS) at Champigny-sur-Marne IDFM

Île-de-France Mobilités has awarded the ORA consortium the contract to operate and maintain the Southern section of the Grand Paris Express (GPE)’s line 15. This announcement comes just a few days after the GPE company awarded the design-build contract for the western section of line 15 to VINCI.

At the end of the procedure launched in January 2021, Île-de-France Mobilités proposed to its Board of Directors on 18 July 2023 that it appoint the ORA consortium, made up of RATP Dev, Alstom and ComfortDelGro, as the holder of the public service contract to operate the new metro line 15 South. RATP holds a 60 per cent stake in the consortium, while Singapore’s ComfortDelGro and the giant Alstom each hold 20 per cent.

The contract covers a period of 6 years, with a possible extension to 9 years, and includes the operation of the automatic metro, the stations, the centralised control centre (PCC), as well as the maintenance and upkeep of the rolling stock. The consortium will also be responsible for managing passenger relations and providing travel information.

When it enters partial service at the end of 2025, the ORA consortium will operate the southern section of this new Grand Paris Express line, linking Pont de Sèvres and Noisy-Champs stations in half an hour. Scheduled to enter service at the end of 2025, this section of the new fully automated metro line will be 33 kilometres long, crossing 22 communes and serving 16 stations located close to Paris.

Line 15

According to the Société du Grand Paris Express, the full line 15 will be the central link in the project, forming a 75-kilometre ring road around Paris that will link 45 communes and carry 1.5 million passengers a day when completed in 2031. The many connections line 15 will have include metro lines 4, 7, 8, 9 and 13, RER lines A, B, C, D and E, as well as trams and regional trains.

The arrival of line 15 Sud will make it easier for residents of Hauts-de-Seine, Val-de-Marne, Seine-Saint-Denis and Seine-et-Marne to get around. Fully automated and connected, the new metro will run at speeds of between 55 and 65 kilometres per hour, making the journey from Pont de Sèvres to Noisy-Champs in 37 minutes, compared with over an hour at present. This represents a saving of several hours each week, which can be devoted to family and leisure activities.

Map of Line 15 (southern section). Photo: Société du Grand Paris Express
Map of Line 15 (southern section). Photo: Société du Grand Paris Express

The next steps

The first train set for line 15 is currently being assembled at the Champigny-sur-Marne site, marking a crucial stage for this future metro line in the Île-de-France region. The next phase will involve static testing. Once the next three carriages have been delivered, the train set will be complete and static tests can begin. These tests are essential to check that everything is working properly, including the lighting, control systems, USB sockets, etc., and will enable any necessary adjustments to be made.

Île-de-France Mobilités has already ordered and financed 27 trainsets to operate this line. After this stage, the dynamic tests will follow. These will take place on a closed circuit to test the equipment in circulation before it enters service, scheduled for the end of 2025.

To the west

The first design-build contract for the Grand Paris Express has been awarded by Société du Grand Paris to a consortium comprising various VINCI Construction and VINCI Energies subsidiaries. The contract concerns the first section of Line 15 West, which will link Pont de Sèvres station to La Défense, a very densely populated urban area.

The contract, worth 2.71 billion euro, 20 per cent of which will be awarded to local SMEs, will cover the design and complete construction of 14 kilometres of tunnels, 5 stations (Saint-Cloud, Rueil-Suresnes Mont-Valérien, Nanterre La Boule, Nanterre La Folie and La Défense), a back station at Nanterre La Folie, and 16 service structures. This section of line 15 West will interconnect with several transport lines, offering connections with Transilien lines L and U at Saint-Cloud and La Défense, with RER line E at Nanterre La Folie, and with RER lines A and E, metro line 1 and Transilien line T2 at La Défense. Entry into service is scheduled for the end of 2031.

VINCI Construction and VINCI Energies companies are already actively involved in several lots of the Grand Paris Express, notably on line 15 South between Pont de Sèvres and Noisy-Champs, and on line 18 between Orly and the Saclay University campus.

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