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EXCITING: The future metro of Marseille is being assembled! Here's all you need to know

EXCITING: The future metro of Marseille is being assembled! Here's all you need to know
photo: Alstom/EXCITING: The future metro of Marseille is being assembled! Here's all you need to know
04 / 08 / 2022

The first two cars of the future Marseille metro are coming out of production! Entirely built and assembled by Alstom's teams, this first train (out of the 38 planned, i.e. 152 cars) will begin a series of static tests at the end of August, which will last nearly five months. At the end of this period, the first wheels will be turned during dynamic tests at the Alstom site in Valenciennes. This achievement is the result of work carried out jointly by the Aix-Marseille-Provence Metropolis, RTM, Alstom teams and PRM associations. Passengers will be able to benefit from it at the end of 2024!

To welcome the first trains of the future metro, the project management team, based in Marseille, is working day and night on the deployment of the control systems (100 communication and control cabinets installed, 13 km of cable trays laid, and 90 km of cables unwound). Alstom is mobilizing the whole French rail industry on this project, with more than 150 people, including 50 in the Aix-Marseille-Provence metropolitan area.

One of the main challenges of this project is to ensure a relevant and efficient integration by guaranteeing a renovation without interruption of operation, hence a progressive work by objectives which will integrate the management of a mixed fleet with old and new trains.

The city is investing 580 million euros in an accessible, automatic, comfortable metro

By the end of 2024, the current Marseille metro will gradually give way to a metro that will eventually be automatic and driverless, and, as soon as it opens, air-conditioned and accessible to people with reduced mobility from the platform. It will benefit from state-of-the-art technology to improve operations, service quality and passenger comfort, including the installation of platform doors to enhance safety. Designed by Marseille-based designer Ora-ïto, the exterior and interior design of the new Marseille metro trains were chosen by residents.

"Building a transport network worthy of France's second-largest metropolis is an absolute emergency for the inhabitants, and it is my priority as President of the Metropolis. More comfortable, accessible and innovative, the future metro will be the flagship of our mobility network, for the benefit of all travellers," says Martine Vassal, President of the Aix-Marseille-Provence Metropolis,
President of the Bouches-du-Rhône Departmental Council

"Alstom is proud to present this first new-generation metro train that meets the high mobility challenges of the Aix-Marseille-Provence Metropolis, our long-standing customer and partner. This project will showcase the expertise of the French rail industry," comments Jean-Baptiste Eyméoud, President of Alstom France.

Innovative rolling stock designed to improve comfort and accessibility

  • Each four-car train (65 meters) will be able to carry up to 500 passengers
  • The new metro will benefit from large windows opening onto the outside, an efficient air conditioning system and modern passenger information systems, offering a more pleasant travel experience
  • The feeling of safety on board will be enhanced by the visibility and ease of movement along the entire length of the train
  • Particular attention has been paid to accessibility for people with reduced mobility: open architecture, wide corridors and intercirculations, three wide doors per side, lowering the train's height, access ramp, and high-visibility handrails thanks to contrasting colours
  • Associations of PRMs were involved in the design with tests on wooden models and an immersive visit thanks to virtual reality, for a metro adapted to their specific needs
  • Virtual reality technology was used to validate the ergonomics and visibility of the driver's cab, with RTM drivers
  • The new environmentally friendly Marseille metro trains will be eco-designed, allowing for 96% recycling at the end of their life. Thanks to electric braking down to 0 km/h, LED lighting and other optimizations, they will consume less energy than the trains currently in service. Innovative technology for coating the trains will also be deployed, which is more resistant than paint and has a better carbon footprint. The Marseille metro will be the second project in the world to use this innovation.

A proven, high-performance signalling system that saves energy

  • The Urbalis automatic control system is efficient and proven: it equips 103 metro lines in 23 countries, 60 of which are in service, and has been deployed on ten projects to modernize existing lines around the world, including Amsterdam, Santiago and Milan
  • The Marseilles metro will benefit from a continuously enhanced system: onboard computers equipped with the latest technology, safety computers with over 99% availability, a location chain using beacons, etc
  • It will offer a higher transport capacity with a reduced interval between each train: up to 60 trains per hour will be able to run on the same line.


Source: Alstom Press Releases