UITP 2013: Alstom launches Axonis and Urbalis Fluence, two major innovative solutions

Posted: 27 May 2013 | Alstom | No comments yet

“Innovation is at the heart of our strategy…”

Alstom is launching today at UITP1 World Congress & Mobility and City Transport Exhibition two innovations: Axonis, a metro system and Urbalis Fluence, a signalling solution.

Axonis is a non-proprietary integrated metro system, able to carry up to 45 000 passengers per hour per direction, available in a record time and designed to run on a viaduct but also at ground level and underground.

Urbalis Fluence is the first urban signalling solution that is train centric and train-to-train communication enabling headways to be down to only one minute.

“Innovation is at the heart of our strategy. We remain focused on differentiating ourselves by state-of-art technologies and our strong expertise”, commented Henri Poupart-Lafarge, President of Alstom Transport. “With these new solutions, we will further strengthen our cooperation with cities to help them solve the challenges they are facing today: congestion, saturation, high pollution, and tight budgets”.

Alstom remains the one-stop-shop for urban mobility solutions adaptable to every city across the world.

Axonis – a fully integrated metro solution available in a record time

Axonis is an elevated metro system able to transport from 15 to 45 000 passengers per hour per direction which run mainly on viaduct but can also run on ground level and tunnels. It is a non-proprietary system, allowing cities to increase their fleets and develop line extensions through a competitive bidding process. Axonis fits smoothly into the cityscape thanks to a narrow viaduct that follows the curves of the street (45m curve radius) allowing for greenery, shops etc. to be installed underneath.

The viaduct designed in partnership with a subsidiary of Bouygues (VSL) uses precast concrete girder boxes for technological simplicity, enabling them to be built by a large number of public works companies around the world. To limit construction nuisances, the viaduct superstructure is formed by concrete beams, cast off-site. Once the viaduct is elevated, concrete railway tracks will use Appitrack – an Alstom fast building method for trams and metro tracks that lays 150 metres of tracks per day compared with 20-50 metres when using traditional technology.

The train is Metropolis comprising two to five cars that can run at a speed of up to 80 km/hour on a gradient as high as 6%. With over 70 years of experience, Alstom sold 4,000 Metropolis in more than 40 cities across the world. For safe, easy evacuation, this metro opens up at both ends to allow passengers to walk to the next platform. Energy consumption is limited as it is equipped with steel wheels, 100% motorised bogies and Hesop, a technology that enables full reuse of the kinetic energy generated by the train in breaking phases. Hence combination of these three elements reduces the traction energy required up to 40% compared with metro trains running on rubber wheels. The metro is driverless, equipped with the latest Alstom CBTC solution, Urbalis Fluence, which ensures maximum fluidity with minimum headways.

Axonis is designed for cities with high population density not yet equipped with metro systems or seeking to extend their current networks. It is also intended for cities with underground areas that have protected status as UNESCO World Heritage Sites or are difficult to access. Lastly, it can meet the needs of cities looking for a faster metro system at lower cost.

The system will be available to market by the end of the year 2013.

Urbalis Fluence – a breakthrough innovation through simplification

Urbalis Fluence, the new Alstom signalling solution, has been chosen by the Urban Community of Lille Metropole in France for Line 1 to be delivered in 2015.

Urbalis Fluence is the first vehicle-centric CBTC2. For the first time, most routing and interlocking functions are efficiently built into the train. This optimal architecture reduces equipment down to 20% and eliminates the need for the traditional split into separate automatic train control and interlocking sub-systems. In addition, Urbalis Fluence is innovative in its use of direct train-to-train communication. The train registers only the track resources it requires to optimise traffic fluidity and communicate with other train much more quickly, leading to headways reduced from three minutes to only one.

With intervals reduced, Urbalis Fluence increases transport capacity and decreases saturation. With more trains, crowding is less frequent; waiting periods at stations and travel time are shorter making the journey much more enjoyable for passengers. Furthermore, the new solution offers higher operation availability (24/7 operations) with extreme flexibility of train movements. Therefore in the event of incidents such as a station closure or a point failure, the solution allows the train to move back to the previous station or bypass the failed point. Passengers are no longer blocked between stations. Additionally, Urbalis optimises train operations as it enables it to plan its speed according to each situation during the day, allowing 30% energy savings. In terms of safety, the new solution meets with the highest standards of safety assurance recommended by official authorities.

The system can be installed on standard and elevated metro lines, metro-trams and automated light transit systems. Urbalis Fluence provides the performance needed for heavy ridership exceeding 1 million passengers per day as well as smaller ones of 10,000 passengers a day. It applies to manual and automatic train operations, and new and older lines alike. It takes less than 24 months to implement the system.


  1. International Association of Public Transport
  2. communication based train control

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