Demographic growth, development of emerging countries, increased urbanisation that is sprawling into megacities, asphyxia of cities lacking public transport and subject to the nuisances of automobile traffic… in the 21st century, it is more important than ever to develop efficient, sustainable public mobility solutions. With more than 60 years of experience, our engineering teams are developing solutions for local governments and transport networks around the globe that allow people to move rapidly in complete safety.
01. Several core skills
As a major player in urban transport engineering, our engineering division has developed several core skills:
- The engineering teams integrated in our parent company are equally at home ensuring missions as the contracting authority (defining a project’s objectives, calendar and budget) or as the prime contractor (detailed design and monitoring of the realisation of projects). Since 1949, our teams have been responsible in all domains for the maintenance and modernisation of our Île-de-France region’s multimodal network. Their expertise is in high demand around the globe, to provide comprehensive solutions as well as punctual interventions on a project in one phase or another.
- Systra, a joint subsidiary of RATP and SNCF, is the world leader in the design of transport infrastructure, offering tailor-made solutions developed by its 6000 experts. More than half of Systra’s engineers and experts are based outside of France.
- Ixxi, specialising in intelligent mobility, proposes complete solutions for ticketing, passenger information, and computer-assisted operating systems. It is already operating in France, Italy, Canada, and the UK.
02. Cross fertilisation in an integrated group
Working in direct contact with teams responsible for the daily operations and maintenance of the Île-de-France network, our engineers have developed expertise in finding concrete solutions that can be exploited directly.
Full automation of the Paris metro’s century-old lines, with long phases of mixed operations (both automated and manually-operated trains), poses major technical and organisational challenges. These world firsts in terms of safety hinge on the perfect coordination and integration of the RATP Group’s operations, maintenance and engineering teams, and a solid understanding of their respective challenges.
03. Economically sustainable solutions
The operation and continual modernisation of a hundred year old metro line has given us exceptional experience: a global vision of the life cycle of transport infrastructure over several decades. This enables us to provide our clients with innovative solutions that are reliable, economical and sustainable, and that can benefit from incremental improvements throughout their life cycle.
For example, as part of the Grand Paris Express it will be possible to introduce 8-car trains to the M14 automated metro line, as opposed to the 6-car trains used during the first two decades of its operation, since the platforms were designed from the outset to accommodate longer trains.
04. World leadership in automated systems
As a world leader in high-capacity automated metros, our engineering division has achieved several world firsts: start-up of the first wide-gauge, automated metro line in 1998 (M14 in Paris), followed by the full automation of a century-old line (M1) without interruption of service, a performance that we are now repeating with metro line 4.
Pioneers in automated steering systems for metros with drivers since the 1950s, we have developed expertise in integrating digital technology in train circulation systems. Octys, an innovative system designed by our engineers for piloting and controlling train movements, is thus being gradually deployed throughout the Paris metro network (M6 and M11, after lines M3 and M5): on-board and ground-based calculators continuously ensure optimal train movements in complete safety, allowing more trains to circulate on the same line, notably during peak hours. On the RER A, which transports 1.2 million passengers on weekdays, we are deploying the automated steering of trains with drivers on the central segment.