I can’t believe that this will be my 250th blog post! I want to thank everyone for following my blog, as well as my social media accounts, throughout the past few years! I truly appreciate everyone who has been able to stop by and read up on the various transit happenings throughout Tampa Bay, New York City, Norfolk, and Paris! In September, after Labor Day, I hope to be able to return to my regular posting schedule and start getting back on track with my Transit Staycations and Norfolk Subway series.
Now originally, I was planning on doing something even bigger than this for my 250th post, but with my website activities being limited right now, this posting on the Paris Metro will have to suffice for now. I actually had this post written up back in July and originally scheduled it to be posted in September. But when I published my last post, it was my 249th post. I immediately thought to myself, “I can’t let my Labor Day transit service schedule become my 250th post! That just wouldn’t be right!”
So I spent several days trying to think up some neat ideas for this 250th post. Unfortunately, I only came up with a blank slate, over and over again. Realizing that I wouldn’t be able to get too far with something that was over the top, I began to review my posting log to see what posts I have in queue. When I found that I had this Paris Metro post sitting in queue, I decided that this would have to be my 250th post. It’s not necessarily what I wanted for this milestone, but I am definitely going to be planning something huge for my 300th post. So please stay tuned for that!
So to begin on this 250th post, I am actually following up on my previous post about the incoming MF 2001 trains to the Paris Metro Line 9, it has come to be that these new trains are already running revenue service. However, Line 9 isn’t quite ready to debut these new trains, and won’t be ready until sometime in September. So where exactly are the new trains? The answer is Line 5.
To continue seamless delivery of the MF 2001 stock, the RATP and STIF have allowed for the newest batch of trains to operate on Line 5 to get the trains accustomed to revenue service and work out any last-minute kinks before being transferred to Line 9. Line 9 meanwhile, is currently undergoing some final preparations to get it ready for the MF 2001 stock. These preparations include training all of the conductors along the line, and finalizing the line’s signaling system to be able to handle the train’s ASVA (or audio and visual automatic) systems. MF 2001 train #001 from Line 2 is currently deployed to Line 9 to help facilitate conductor training. If all goes well with the Line 9 preparations, the line should be ready for the MF 2001 stock sometime in September of 2013.
As I’ve mentioned in my last post, the MF 2001 stock for Line 9 is the first set of rolling stock along the Paris Metro to receive a joint RATP/STIF livery, which is very similar to that of the MI 2009 commuter rail stock that debuted on the RER Line A. This is because the STIF is now responsible for the purchasing of rolling stock for Paris’ transit system (Metro, RER, Suburban, LRT, and bus). This joint livery will become the norm for all future rolling stock along the Paris Metro, including the MP 2005 rolling stock that will reinforce Line 14 until 2019, and the future MP 2014 rolling stock that will be deployed to several lines after 2019. My inkling is that both trains will receive very similar liveries to that of the MI 2009.
It is to note that only the exterior livery of the MF 2001 trains have changed. Aside from some technological advances that are mostly invisible to the everyday commuter, all other elements of the Line 9 trains (including the interior layout) are exactly the same as their Line 2 and Line 5 counterparts. In the photo above, you can see that the traditional RATP logo has been replaced with a chrome one, with the lettering RATP just above the logo.
One big stipulation
Now, I must stress that the deliveries of the MF 2001 to Line 9 is going to be largely dependent on one thing, whether the workshop of Boulogne will be ready in time to accomodate the mass influx of MF 2001 trains. The Boulogne workshop is currently undergoing a massive reconstruction project, which is not slated for completion until 2015. In the meantime, trains from Line 9 and Line 10 must share a workshop near Auteuil, which is not able to support the MF 2001 stock. This means that any MF 2001 stock train will have to travel to the Line workshop in Bobigny for maintenance operations.
What’s next for the MF 2001?
There are some rumors circulating that the MF 2001 could be deployed to Lines 10 and 12. Of course though, nothing has been confirmed. I have heard however that there was a Line 5 train that was on a revenue service test on Line 12, just after the opening of station Front Populaire. No one seems to know the purpose of the test though. MF 2001 trains are sometimes selected for testing along Lines 8 and 12 from time to time, but it was only the one time along Line 12 that an actual revenue service test took place.