After 10 years of studies and major work (200M€ investment), the new centralized traffic control in the Gare de Lyon area was successfully commissioned on March 20th. The two electromechanical interlocking units dating back to 1933 have been replaced by brand new computorised units (see pictures), connected to a control centre located in South of Paris. This new traffic center supervises a 10 km area, controls 4 signal boxes and is designed to centralise more in the future.
SNCF Réseau has taken up a major challenge: stringing 700 km of cable, connecting 2 500 infrastructure elements (switches, signals, track circuits, detectors…) and running tests over a 48-hour period. This last stage of the project mobilized no less than 700 people,of SNCF Réseau. The overall traffic in Gare de Lyon - 1 000 trains per day - was totally suspended during the March 18/19 weekend, leading SNCF Réseau to reroute international and interregional trains to other stations in Paris (Paris Montparnasse, Paris Est, Paris Austerlitz) as well as in the urban periphery (Massy Palaiseau, Chessy, Marne-la-Vallée, Versailles-Chantiers, Aéroport Charles-de-Gaulle).
For Patrick Jeantet, Chairman of SNCF Réseau: “in just 48 hours the signal boxes of Paris-Gare de Lyon have been brought into the 21st century. This successful technological leap forward testifies to the commitment of all those involved in the modernisation and acceleration of the transformation of the railway system that we have undertaken. At the heart of this commitment, there is, of course, the improvement to the life of millions of passengers who travel on our lines everyday.”