Alstom has unveiled the Axonis mini-metro concept and its new communications-based train control (CBTC) system called Urbalis Fluence at the UITP Mobility & City Transport Exhibition, held 26-30 May 2013 in Geneva, Switzerland.
Axonis is an elevated metro system capable of carrying around 45,000 passengers an hour in each direction, which has been designed to operate on a viaduct, but can also run at ground level and in tunnels.
Designed for densely populated cities seeking to develop an automated metro network, the system is composed of industry-standard subsystems and interfaces to enable upgrades and line extensions.
Axonis would use a cost-effective precast guideway with minimum curve radii of 45m, allowing an elevated alignment to follow the street layout of many urban areas.
Alstom said that the system is suitable for urban areas as its narrow viaduct leaves space for greenery and shops to be developed under the system.
Designed in collaboration with a subsidiary of Bouygues, the viaduct is built with precast concrete girder boxes that can be pre-cast off-site to minimise the disruption caused by on-site construction.
After the construction of the viaduct, concrete railway tracks can be laid using Alstom’s Appitrack, which is a fast building method for trams and metro tracks.
According to the company, through the Appitrack mechanised track-laying method about 150m of track can be laid every day compared to 20m-50m of track achieved by conventional methods.
Axonis will become commercially available by the end of 2013.
Alstom Transport president Henri Poupart-Lafarge said: "With these new solutions, we will further strengthen our cooperation with cities to help them solve the challenges they are facing today: congestion, saturation, high pollution and tight budgets."
Alstom’s second unveiling at the UITP conference, Urbalis Fluence, is the first urban signalling solution that is designed to reduce the amount of lineside equipment by 20% by transferring interlocking functions to the train.
With the new CBTC system, the train registers only the track resources it needs to optimise traffic fluidity and communicate with other trains more quickly, reducing headways from three minutes to one.
The system’s first installation will be on Line 1 of the Lille light metro in northern France as part a €250m contract awarded to Alstom to upgrade the 13.5km railway line and deliver 27 new trains, which are scheduled to enter service in 2015, with project completion expected to take place in 2017.
Image: Alstom’s elevated metro system ‘Axonis’ is capable of carrying about 45,000 passengers an hour per direction. Credit: Alstom.