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Alstom’s Metropolis leads the metro market

Posted: 23 June 2006 | Bernard Dailly, Technical Director of Alstom’s Metro Platform, and Engineering Director of Alstom’s site in Valenciennes, France | No comments yet

Alstom has extensive experience in the metro business, with a history that goes back over 50 years. Worldwide the company has achieved a high level of customer satisfaction, having sold 25,000 modular cars in over 40 cities, including Singapore, Warsaw, Shanghai, Buenos-Aires, Sao Paulo, Nanjing, Santiago and Barcelona.

Today, one in four metro cars in operation worldwide is an Alstom Metropolis vehicle, accounting for the transportation of 6 billion passengers every year. Currently, more than 1,600 Metropolis cars are under contract worldwide.

Alstom has extensive experience in the metro business, with a history that goes back over 50 years. Worldwide the company has achieved a high level of customer satisfaction, having sold 25,000 modular cars in over 40 cities, including Singapore, Warsaw, Shanghai, Buenos-Aires, Sao Paulo, Nanjing, Santiago and Barcelona.Today, one in four metro cars in operation worldwide is an Alstom Metropolis vehicle, accounting for the transportation of 6 billion passengers every year. Currently, more than 1,600 Metropolis cars are under contract worldwide.

Alstom has extensive experience in the metro business, with a history that goes back over 50 years. Worldwide the company has achieved a high level of customer satisfaction, having sold 25,000 modular cars in over 40 cities, including Singapore, Warsaw, Shanghai, Buenos-Aires, Sao Paulo, Nanjing, Santiago and Barcelona.

Today, one in four metro cars in operation worldwide is an Alstom Metropolis vehicle, accounting for the transportation of 6 billion passengers every year. Currently, more than 1,600 Metropolis cars are under contract worldwide.

A number of improvements and optimisations have been introduced in the product range to increase reliability and availability and thus make this product even more satisfactory for operators and users while also reducing overall operation and maintenance costs. Both stainless steel and aluminium material are used for Metropolis applications and full flexibility is offered, tailored to the specific situation of each application to satisfy every customer needs.

Metropolis modular products feature

– A fully flexible body shell to fit all physical constraints and customer requirements

  • Material Aluminium (or stainless steel)
  • Length from 16 to 25m
  • Floor height from 1,060 to 1,200mm
  • Doors / side from 2 to 5 (electrically actuated)
  • Doors width from 1,300 to 1,500mm

– A flexible width to fit customer requirements

  • Standard A from 3.0m to 3.2m
  • Standard B from 2.6m to 2.9m
  • Standard C less than 2.6m

– Various external shapes facilitated by different side panels

Metropolis combines a flexible, basic design using pure standard products and equipment such as propulsion and electronics, with flexible major sub-assemblies using variable characteristics such as body shell and customisable elements, such as front ends and passenger amenities. This approach was developed in the mid-1990s with the definition of modules and sub-modules. After a methodical evolution of technical processes and numerous test programmes, standards were set up for the interfaces of these modules and each of them was assigned a range for customisation. The flexibility this allows is attributed to the Metropolis’ market success.

Similar to Alstom’s trams, repairs of minor and major accidents are easily carried out thanks to the modular design. The Metropolis is designed in a way that limits accident damage to a very small zone and enables damaged parts to be quickly and easily replaced. For example, broken windows and exterior panels of the drivers cab can be exchanged in a few minutes; complete driver’s cabs can be replaced as quickly as in a few days. Thanks to the large number of Metropolis cars in operation utilising common parts and equipment, spare parts are easily and readily available.

Manufacturing is carried out through a proven industrial process that provides a quality product. Technological changes are carefully tested and are only introduced in cases where they bring worthwhile improvements. This approach nearly eradicates the risk of problems.

Three Alstom manufacturing locations produce Metropolis metros:

  • Barcelona (Spain)
  • Sao polo (Brasil)
  • Valenciennes (France).

Alstom’s development objectives go beyond the mere supply of rolling stock. A full range of services, from vehicle maintenance to turnkey supply of complete rail systems is available – all tailored to the specific situation of each application.

In order to keep historic city centres free from overhead wires, a number of non-cantenary solutions are available, and others are under development. At the same time, technologies to reduce overall and peak energy consumption of the Metropolis are underway – an advantageous feature with energy prices rising.

Some examples of recent supplies and orders of Metropolis metros:

  • Singapore NEL: Wide gauge, 150 cars, 1998
  • Warsaw L1: Medium gauge, 108 cars, 1998
  • Shanghai L3: Wide gauge, 168 cars, 1999
  • Buenos-Aires: Medium gauge, 80 cars, 1999
  • Sao Paulo L5: Medium gauge, 48 cars, 2000
  • Shanghai L5: Medium gauge, 152 cars, 2000
  • Singapore CCL: Wide gauge, 120 cars, 2002
  • Nanjing L1: Wide gauge, 120 cars, 2002
  • Santiago L4: Medium gauge, 180 cars, 2002
  • Shanghai L8: Medium gauge, 168 cars, 2003
  • Barcelona L9: Medium gauge, 250 cars, 2004
  • Shanghai L1: Wide gauge, 128 cars, 2004
  • Shanghai L2 ext: Wide gauge, 96 cars, 2006
  • Budapest: Medium gauge, 170 cars, 2006

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