Forty years of collaboration between the Santiago Metro and SYSTRA
19 August 2016

Forty years of collaboration between the Santiago Metro and SYSTRA

Santiago is home to some five million people, or one-third of the population of Chile. For them, the metro system is a part of everyday life, thanks to a 110 km network developed since the 1960s by SYSTRA. And soon, two new lines built using SYSTRA’s expertise will make travelling even easier for them.

SYSTRA and the Santiago Metro: a longstanding partnership

In 1968, a Franco-Chilean consortium called BCEOM-Sofretu-CADE won an international tender for the study of metropolitan transport in Santiago, which would ultimately recommend the construction of a metro network for the city. Sofretu, which eventually became SYSTRA, was thus the creator of the metro system of Chile’s capital city. Teams from France designed the first metro line, while Chilean teams travelled to France for training on operating the system and driving the trains.

Line 1 was opened in 1975, followed by Line 2 in 1978, Line 5 in 1997 and Line 4 in 2005. The network now contains 108 stations and has a total length of 110 km. In all, SYSTRA SA assisted the operator, Metro de Santiago, with over 75% of the engineering studies for the current network. And the story doesn’t end there!

Two new metro lines

Since 2012, SYSTRA has been responsible for the engineering of two new lines, Lines 3 and 6. Totalling 28 stations and 37.3 km of track, the lines will be automated using driverless technology, and the stations will be equipped with platform barriers and screen doors.

Line 6 is scheduled to be opened to the public in 2017, followed in 2018 by Line 3. And the Santiago Metro is already studying the construction of a seventh line on its network, to be opened by 2025.

Automation technology

In addition to the development of Lines 3 and 6, SYSTRA provided technical assistance for the implementation of a Communication Based Train Control (CBTC) system on Line 1. In response to increased passenger volumes, the Santiago Metro had decided to upgrade its signalling and driving systems to a more efficient solution, aimed at reducing the minimum headway between trains from 120 to 90 seconds. Approved in 2010, the new system was put into commercial operation on 7 July 2016.

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