A co-branded livery hits the Paris Metro – Part 3

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!

Mf 2001 train #096 arrives at station Franklin D. Roosevelt along the Paris Metro Line 9. Photo Credit: Minato.
Mf 2001 train #096 arrives at station Franklin D. Roosevelt along the Paris Metro Line 9. Photo Credit: Minato.

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.

A co-branded livery hits the Paris Metro – Part 2

MF 2001 train #096 prepares to depart Place d'Italie, Line 5. Photo Credit: Minato.
MF 2001 train #097 prepares to depart Place d’Italie, Line 5. Photo Credit: Minato.

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.

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A co-branded livery hits the Paris Metro – Part 1

The MI 09 commuter rail train featuring co-branded RATP/STIF livery. Click here for photo details.

With the rolling stock transition soon coming to a close on Line 5, the RATP has already begun preparing for the next phase of rolling stock replenishment for Line 9. Line 9 currently possesses the aging MF 67 series D rolling stock, which are gradually reaching the ends of their useful lives. In 2011, the STIF voted to purchase 66 MF 2000 trains to replace the existing 70 MF 67 on Line 9. Because of changes in government policy (ORTF Law of 8 December 2009), the STIF is now required to fund replacement rolling stock by 50% and rolling stock for new lines or extensions by 100%. This eventually lead the STIF to fund the purchase of the MF 2000 rolling stock for Line 9, as well as the MP 05 rolling stock for Line 14.

With these two lines about to be equipped with new rolling stock, evidence of what has become the norm on the Parisian transport system has already been seen on the Paris Metro system…at least by a few so far. That new norm is a co-branded livery that features the white and mint green tones of the RATP, and the grey tones of the STIF (along with the string of leaflets). On SNCF-controlled rail lines, this co-branded livery comes in the form of the grey tones of the STIF and the shades of red of the SNCF. Though this co-branded livery presents a very unique and modern style for rolling stock, as well as buses, I have to say that the livery stops short of being anything close to “awesome”. In other words, I’m not really that thrilled to see the new livery, though things could have been much worse in my opinion.

The first co-branded livery appeared on renovated MI 79 trainsets (RER Line B) in 2011. This particular co-branded livery was unique in the sense that it included tones from all three agencies; the RATP, the STIF, and the SNCF, creating what I call an “organized colorful mess” of mint green, white, grey, and red. The co-branding trend quickly followed onto the numerous fleets of buses that the RATP has purchased since 2010, though in a more simpler form of green, grey, and white. In 2011, the MI 09 rolling stock (RER Line A) was unveiled with a co-branded livery featuring mint green vertical stripes down each door and a horizontal grey banner of the STIF. More recently, the new SNCF Z50000 suburban rail trains and the refurbished SNCF Z20500 commuter rail trains have received similar treatment with grey, white, and red tones, creating a fresh, modern look for both sets of rolling stock.

Now, we have the MF 2000 subway stock for Line 9 gracing a similar co-branded livery to that of the MI 09 commuter rail trains, with the green/white body replaced with grey/white tones and green vertical stripes along each door. This livery has officially marked the beginning of the new norm along the Paris Metro, where the RATP’s mint green and white livery has dominated the underground landscape since the early 1990s. With the MP 05 next on the list for Line 14 reinforcement, we can expect to see the blackend tones be replaced with a lighter shade of grey and the same vertical green stripes on the doors. Don’t think that I’m thrilled to see that happening either…because I’m really not.

Just putting in my 2 cents on the matter folks!

HARTride 2012