In my 3rd installment covering the MF 2001 subway railcars in Paris, I am very delighted to report that four of these railcars are now in revenue service operation on Line 9 of Paris Metro!
For the past few weeks, the RATP has been finishing up final preparations to allow the use of the MF 2001 railcars on Line 9. These preparations included making sure that the new signaling systems would work in sync with the new trains, as well as the ASVA system and automated station announcements on board the trains. On Monday, October 21, 2013, the first four railcars (#s 096, 097, 098, and 099) entered revenue service on Line 9, after spending a couple months running along Line 5.
The pacing of delivery of trains to Line 9 will be somewhat slow, similar to when the MF 2001 trains were first delivered to Line 2 (that process took about three years to do, compared to just two years with Line 5), and is expected to be complete by sometime in 2016. Additionally, it seems that all subsequent trains will follow the same pattern of running revenue service on Line 5 for a short time before entering revenue service on Line 9. I’m not sure if this pattern will eventually change.
The reason for this kind of oddball pattern is likely due to the Boulogne workshop being reconstructed. As I mentioned in my second installment post, the Boulogne workshop reconstruction will not be finished until sometime in 2015, and the Auteuil workshop cannot support heavy maintenance operations for the new MF 2001 trains. As a result, all heavy maintenance operations for now must be done at the Bobigny workshops along Line 5. I would suspect that once the new Boulogne workshop is ready, that train deliveries will speed up.
As the train cascading enters this next unique phase, the RATP is gearing up for the reinforcement of Line 14 by the MP 05 railcars, as well as the northern extension of the line towards the municipality of Saint Ouen. The RATP is also working with the STIF to determine the best course of replenishing railcars along Lines 4, 6, and 11. Let’s just hope that the MP 1989CC railcars aren’t scrapped too early.