Siemens Mobility has completed the six-year extension project of the Paris metro’s Line 14 just a month before the French capital hosts the Olympics, making it the first driverless line to be upgraded to the latest automation system. 

Working with the city’s public transport authority RATP, Siemens added 14km to the line and upgraded its operations from the standard GoA4 level to the Trainguard MT CBTC system. 

Michael Peter, CEO of Siemens Mobility, said: “Through the dedication and expertise of our teams, we achieved a world first by migrating an existing driverless line to a more advanced CBTC GoA4 system and extending the automated technology to the line’s new sections. 

“This technical premiere enables Line 14 to handle up to one million passengers a day with 85-second headways by 2025.” 

Work on the Line 14 project began in 2018 and has included building a new Operations Centralised Control Station, equipping 72 new trains, doubling the length of the line, and replacing the 26-year-old METERO GoA4 system with Trainguard MB CBTC. 

Completion of the project will be particularly welcome as it comes a month before Paris will host the 2024 Olympics, an event that has sparked widespread concerns over the capability of the city’s transport networks to handle the influx of visitors. 

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In November last year, Parisian Mayor Anne Hidalgo admitted that public transport in some areas of the region would not be ready for the event, citing a lack of rolling stock. 

However, the upgrade to Line 14 will allow visitors to get from Orly airport to Paris city centre in just 20 minutes, and to the city’s northern business districts in 40. 

The project is just one of the contracts handed to Siemens for upgrades on the Paris metro network, with the company also installing the CBTC technology on lines 15,16 and 17, as well as the new Grand Paris Express lines.