September 20th, 5.15 am at the Cesson Viasilva terminus in the north-east: the first train of line B of the Rennes metro set off to cross Rennes to the south-west, to the Saint-Jacques-Gaîté terminus. This first commercial departure with passengers marks the end of a marathon project, which began in February 2012 for SYSTRA France teams.
For this contract, which was won in partnership with Xelis, SYSTRA acted as project management assistant to SEMTCAR, the public transport company for the Rennes conurbation, the organising authority and project owner.
“We carried out an audit of the transport system, to technically evaluate some innovative rail systems such as the guiding system or the Cityval rolling stock from Siemens, which is being put into service for the first time internationally.”Arnaud Lefèvre Pontalis, Project Director, SYSTRA France
Previously, SYSTRA had assisted SEMTCAR from 2007 to 2010 in confirming its choice of transport mode (VAL metro, see below), launching the consultation process for the system’s turnkey contract and choosing the system manufacturer.
A new automatic metro line in France
Line B in Rennes is the 10th automatic metro line in France, with a very specific rolling stock: the Neoval. It is the successor to the Véhicule automatique léger (VAL), the first automatic metro project in history, which was inaugurated in Lille and for which SYSTRA was the project manager from 1974 to 1983. It is a tyre-based metro system developed by Siemens.
Key facts – Line B of Rennes Metro
- 14.1 km long
• 11 km underground
• 3.1 km on viaduct
- 15 stations
- Automatic driving
- 3 municipalities served
- Ridership: 100,000 passengers/day
- VAL equipment (CityVal from Siemens)
- 3 to 4 minutes between each train
- Journey time: 21 minutes