Paris Metro Rolling Stock

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Page Updated on 11/9/15

Updated information on each of the rail cars and added in corresponding videos


Overview

One of the unique characteristics of the Paris Metro is the rolling stock. While, many lines utilize traditional steel-wheel rolling stock, there are five lines (1, 4, 6, 11, & 14) that utilize rubber-tyred trains. In fact, the RATP (along with its respective partners) is actually the brainchild of the rubber-tyred metro train, first developing the MP 51 prototype in 1951, and then eventually unveiling the MP 55, which ran on Line 11 between 1956 and 1999. From my understanding, the rubber-tyred metro train is credited with having a far more superior grip against the tracks than their steel-wheeled counterparts. Today; rubber-tyred trains are used in many cities across the world, including Santiago, Chile and Montreal, Quebec, Canada.

On this page, I will be profiling each of the active trains that operate on the system. All of the trains utilize a naming convention that is based on what type of material the train uses (either steel wheel or rubber tire) and the year that the train was put into the planning books (not necessarily the year that the train went into service).


Contributor Photos/Videos

Photos on this page were either taken by me (HARTride 2012), Benobve, Minato, or Josh C. Photo credits are noted in the photo captions.


MP 59

Photo courtesy of Benohttp://beno.org.uk/train/paris.html
The MP 59 arrives at station Gare du Nord, Line 4. Photo Credit: Benobve.
http://beno.org.uk/train/paris.html
  • MP 59 (Materiel Pneumatic 1959)
  • Designed: 1959
  • Manufactured: 1962 through 1967 (train series A, B, C), & 1974 through 1976 (train series D)
  • Lines of Operation:
    • Line 1: 1963 through 2000 (train series A, B, C, D)
    • Line 4: 1967 through 2012 (train series A, B, C, D)
    • Line 11: 1997 through the present (train series B & C)

The MP 59 is the oldest rolling stock still in operation in Paris. This particular stock has rubber tires fitted on the outside of each axle.  Behind each tire is a steel wheel that keeps the trains running if a tire goes flat. The MP 59 stock was originally deployed to Line 1 in 1963 and Line 4 in 1967 when both lines were converted to rubber-tyred operation (prior to this, they operated as traditional steel-wheel lines). With the arrival of the MP 89 in 1997, the trains were shuffled to Line 11 to replace the aging MP 55. Trains that were no longer fit for service were pulled from the system altogether.

With the conversion to automated operation on Line 1, the MP 59 stock on Line 4 have been replaced by the MP 89 stock from Line 1. The cascading process began in May of 2011 and was completed in December, 2012. The last MP 59 train to run on Line 4 was #6021, which was retired from service on December 21, 2012.

While the future of the MP 59 stock on Line 11 is unclear, the STIF has expressed interest in replacing the trains with the next generation rubber-tyred rolling stock that is being developed for Line 14, the MP 2014.

This MP 59 roars into station Belleville, along Line 11. Today, the MP 59 only operates on Line 11. Photo Credit: Minato.
This MP 59 roars into station Belleville, along Line 11. Today, the MP 59 only operates on Line 11. Photo Credit: Minato.

Although the MP 59 stock still run pretty good on Line 11, the tires do generate an immense amount of heat, causing the trains to be unbearably hot and uncomfortable throughout the day. During my travels in Paris, one of the MP 59 trains that I rode on actually came to a screeching halt for several minutes. I’m not sure if someone tried to pull the emergency stop in one of the cabs, or if the signaling system was malfunctioning. Line 4 is currently the worst of the lines when it comes to track signaling, as it is the most obsolete in the entire Paris subway system.

Videos of the MP 59 in action

Credit goes to Benobve.


MF 67

Photo courtesy of Beno. http://beno.org.uk/train/paris.html
A renovated MF 67 train parked at station Galleni, Line 3. Photo Credit: Benobve.
http://beno.org.uk/train/paris.html
  • MF 67 (Materiel Fer 1967)
    • Designed: 1967
    • Manufactured: 1967 through 1976
    • Lines of Operation:
      • Line 2: 1975 through 2011 (train series C, D)
      • Line 3: 1967 through the present (train series A, C, D)
      • Line 3b: 1981 through the present (train series D, with 3 car configurations)
      • Line 5: 1973 through the present (train series D, E from 1973 until 1981, train series F from 1981 through mid 2013)
      • Line 7: 1974 through 1983 (train series E, F)
      • Line 7b: 1974 through 1994 (train series E, F)
      • Line 8: 1974 through 1994 (train series E)
      • Line 9: 1967 through the present (train series A, C, CX, D, E)
      • Line 10: 1994 through the present (train series D, E)
      • Line 12: 1974 through the present (train series D, E)
The MF 67 is the oldest of the steel-wheeled trains, which run on Lines 3, 3b, 5, 9, 10, and 12. At nearly 40 years old, they still run pretty good. However, trains on Lines 2 & 5 have been replaced by the newer MF 2000 stock (commonly known as the MF 01) and Line 9 is currently undergoing replacement. Line 12 is rumored to get a replacement stock (possibly also the MF 01, or a future generation) sometime in the next few years. Trains on Line 2 were retired between 2008 and 2011, with the cascading of stock beginning on Line 5 on June 25, 2011, and continued through 2014. Replacement of Line 9 trains quickly followed the completion of Line 5, and will continue through the end of 2016. Trains that are in better condition (have been refurbished to extend their lifespan through at least 2025 (lines 3, 10 & 12). The above photo is that of the Line 3 trains, which received a heavy renovation due to modernization of the line (new signaling, etc.).
Photo courtesy of Beno.http://beno.org.uk/train/paris.html
Inside a renovated MF 67 stock train, Line 3. Photo Credit: Benobve.
http://beno.org.uk/train/paris.html
This is inside one of the refurbished MF 67 trains on Line 3. They sure look much nicer than the un-refurbished ones. Besides the newer lighting and seating, the refurbished MF 67 trains also include dynamic station displays (also apparent on the MF 01 stock) and automated station announcements.

MP 73

Photo taken by HARTride 2012.March, 2009.
Two MP 73 stock trains at station Passy, Line 6. Photo taken by HARTride 2012. March, 2009.
  • MP 73 (Materiel Pneumatic 1973)
    • Designed: 1973
    • Manufactured: 1974 through 1976
    • Lines of Operation:
      • Line 6: 1974 through the present.
      • Line 11: 1974 through the present (one train).
The MP 73 is the fourth generation rubber-tyred rolling stock on the Paris Metro. They were designed for use on Line 6 and follow the design of the MF 67 stock. Line 6 was converted to rubber-tyred operation during the early 1970s due to the various number of elevated sections along the line by which steel wheeled trains caused heavy vibration to the tracks. The above photo is that of station Passy, where one train departs towards station Nation while another arrives in the opposite direction, headed towards station Étoile.
Photo courtesy of Beno.http://beno.org.uk/train/paris.html
Inside the MP 73, Line 6. Photo Credit: Benobve.
http://beno.org.uk/train/paris.html
Inside the MP 73. The interior is very similar to that of the MF 67 stock on Lines 10 and 12.

MF 77

Photo courtesy of Josh C.Taken April, 2011.
An MF 77 stock train arrives at station Ledru Rollin, Line 7. Photo Credit: Josh C. Taken April, 2011.
  • MF 77 (Materiel Fer 1977)
    • Designed: 1977
    • Manufactured: 1978 through 1982
    • Lines of Operation:
      • Line 7: 1978 through the present.
      • Line 8: 1978 through the present.
      • Line 13: 1978 through the present.

The MF 77 is another mainline fleet on the Paris Metro. They consist of a totally different design that was better suited for suburban connections along the Metro. These trains run on Lines 7, 8, and 13. As part of an improvement project on Line 13, the MF 77 trains on that line received a heavy refurbishment and modernization, and the busiest stations along the line were fitted with platform screen doors. There are plans for Lines 7 and 13 to eventually become automated.

An MF 77 stock train at station Creteil-Pointe du Lac. Photo Credit: Minato.
An MF 77 stock train at station Creteil-Pointe du Lac. Photo Credit: Minato.

Before the implementation of the RATP’s current logo and livery in 1992/1993, the MF 77 stock possessed a white livery, with a trace of blue on the front of each end. Travelers affectionately nicknamed the trains métro blanche, or white subway.


MF 88

Photo Unavailable
  • MF 88 (Materiel Fer 1988)
  • Designed: 1988
  • Manufactured: 1993 through 1994.
  • Lines of Operation:
    • Line 7b: 1993 through the present.
The MF 88 (Not Pictured) is a prototype articulated train that runs along the lesser-used Line 7b. The RATP began testing articulated trains during the 1980s (with the BOA prototype) to increase capacity on the system’s busiest lines. Although the MF 88 trains have been plagued by many problems, their overall design eventually led to the development of the MP 89, MF 2000, and MP 05 trains.

MP 89

Photo courtesy of Josh C.Taken April, 2011.
An MP 89CC stock train at station Bastille, Line 1. Photo Credit: Josh C. Taken April, 2011.
  • MP 89 (Materiel Pneumatic 1989)
  • Designed: 1989
  • Manufactured: 1997 through 2000.
  • Lines of Operation:
    • Line 1: 1997 through 2013 = Manually driven (CC).
    • Line 4: 2011 through the present = Manually driven (CC).
    • Line 14: 1998 through the present = Fully automated (CA).

The MP 89 is the fifth generation of rubber-tyred rolling stock on the Paris Metro system, the first series of modernized rolling stock on the system, and the first of the Alstom Metropolis brand trains. There are two subclasses to this rolling stock, as one set was designed to replace the MP 59 on Line 1 and the other to operate on the fully automated Line 14.

Two MP 89CC stock trains at station Etienne Marcel, Line 4. Photo Credit: Minato.
Two MP 89CC stock trains at station Etienne Marcel, Line 4. Photo Credit: Minato.

The first subclass is a manually driven version called the MP 89CC (CC meaning Conduite Conducteur). It originally operated on Line 1 from 1997 until early 2013. They replaced the aging MP 59 stock on Line 1, with some of the older trains going to Line 4 or 11. In-turn, the MP 89CC also replaced the MP 59 on Line 4 when Line 1 was converted to fully automated operation and received new rolling stock (the MP 05). Lines 1 & 4 are today still the two busiest lines on the Metro. So much so that Line 4 is slated for automation in the next five to ten years.

There are currently 47 MP 89CC trains in operation on Line 4, with the remaining 5 in reserve.

Photo courtesy of Beno.http://beno.org.uk/train/paris.html
Photo courtesy of Beno.
http://beno.org.uk/train/paris.html
The second subclass is the fully automated version called the MP 89CA (CA meaning Conduite Automatique), which operate on Line 14. There are currently 21 of these trains in operation on Line 14 and there are plans to bring aboard 18 MP 05 trains for reinforcement and testing of the planned northern extension of the line.

MF 01

Photo courtesy of Beno.http://beno.org.uk/train/paris.html
Photo courtesy of Beno.
http://beno.org.uk/train/paris.html
  • MF 2000 (Materiel Fer 2000)
    • Designed: 2000
    • Manufactured: 2004 through the present.
    • Lines of Operation:
      • Line 2: 2008 through the present. Comprises of railcars 002 through 045.
      • Line 5: 2011 through the present. Comprises of railcars 046 through 095.
      • Line 9: Deployment to begin June/July, 2013. Comprises of railcars 001, and 096 through 161 (railcar #001 was permanently reassigned to Line 9 from Line 2). All of these railcars are painted in the joint RATP/STIF livery.

The MF 2000 (known officially as the MF 01) is the newest generation of steel wheel rolling stock. They current operate on Lines 2 & 5 (the Line 5 trains went into service on June 25, 2011). Due to technological improvements, the wheels and axles don’t squeal as much around turns like the old steel wheel trains do. They are also the first series of rolling stock to be equipped with air conditioning.

Photo taken by HARTride 2012.March, 2009.
Photo taken by HARTride 2012.
March, 2009.

I previously mis-labeled this photo as being that of the MP 89, but this is actually inside the MF 2000 train (Line 2). The elevated sections of Line 2 often crowd up severely, causing a scene like this where there is only standing room.


MP 05

Two MP 05 automated trains at station Esplanade de la Defense, Line 1. Photo Credit: Minato.
Two MP 05 automated trains at station Esplanade de la Defense, Line 1. Photo Credit: Minato.
  • MP 05 (Materiel Pneumatic 2005)
    • Designed: 2005.
    • Manufactured: 2010 through the present.
    • Lines of Operation:
      • Line 1: 2011 through the present. Comprises of railcars 501 through 554. Railcars 550 through 554 are painted in the joint RATP/STIF livery.
      • Line 14: 2013 through the present. Comprises of railcars 581 throguh 594. Railcars 585 through 594 are painted in the joint RATP/STIF livery.
The MP 05 is the sixth generation of rubber tyred rolling stock on the Paris Metro system. They are carbon copies of the MP 89CA stock, but with many technological advancements (including air conditioning) and a modernized interior. These trains operate on Line 1, with roughly 50 trains in operation. There are also plans (as I mentioned earlier) to deploy 18 trains to Line 14.
Photo courtesy of Beno.http://beno.org.uk/train/paris.html
Photo courtesy of Beno.
http://beno.org.uk/train/paris.html

Retired Railcars

Now that I’ve gone through the active rolling stock, let me just briefly highlight the trains of the past. The Paris Metro has operated the following stock during the past century:

  • The M1: These were the original wooden frame subway cars. They ran on Lines 1 and 2, among a couple others for several years. However, efforts to group the trains into multiple motor units proved to be fatal when a horrific fire, known as Couronnes disaster, occurred along Line 2 consumed several of these trains and killed many people. After the incident, improved subway trains were developed and the original wooden cars were discarded (with the exception of a few that are displayed at the city’s transport museum). Learn more about the Couronnes disaster at the Soundlandscapes Blog.
  • The Sprauge: For over 50 years, the Sprague-Thomson, which replaced the M1, circulated throughout all the original lines of the Metro, as well as traveling through the various extensions that opened throughout the years. These trains comprised of four car sets, with three car sets running on Line 3b. When Lines 1, 4, and 11 were converted to rubber-tyred operation, the end of the Sprague became inevitable, and the gradual replacement commenced. The last set of Sprauge trains ran on Lines 5 and 9 during the early 1980s and were officially retired in 1983. Until 2012, one Sprague train could be seen running heritage tours throughout the system, thus bringing back a piece of the subway’s charmed past. However, usage of the train is now heavily restricted due to its age and is rarely seen today.
  • The MA 51: The MA 51 was a unique steel-wheeled train that ran along Lines 10 and 13, where at the time, traffic was relatively weak. The MA 51 was unique in the way train cars were connected to each other. The trains used a special coupling system that allowed the RATP to quickly change the configuration of trains from 2 cars to 4 cars, depending on passenger loads. When the MF 67 went into service on Line 13, the trains were shifted to Line 10, where they were modernized. The trains then ran as a permanently fused 6 car layout until their retirement in 1994, when they were replaced by MF 67-D and E stock from other lines.
  • The MP 55: The MP 55 was the second generation of rubber-tyred rolling stock, which ran on Line 11 between 1956 and 1999, following successful tests of the first-generation prototype, the MP 51. The design of the MP 55 is heavily derived from the MA 51. In-turn, the MP 59 is heavily derived from the MP 55.
  • Prototypes: In addition to the MP 51, other prototype trains included the stainless steel MF 67 (the Zebulon), and the modified MF 77 train (the BOA).

The Future

Finally, I would like to talk briefly about the future of the Paris Metro rolling stock. There is currently a next-generation rubber-tyred rolling stock being developed for Line 14, which is about to undergo two simultaneous extensions. These extensions will greatly increase the passenger load on the line, and will require trains of 8 cars to operate. The new rolling stock will be similar in nature to that of the MP 89 in respects to it having two subclasses. The first will be a fully automated 8-car series that will operate on Line 14. It is currently unclear if existing stock would be modified to run alongside the new trains, or if they will be reassigned. The second subclass will be manually driven 5-car variants that will operate along Lines 6 and 11, replacing the aging MP 59 and MP 73 trains respectively.

With all of this said, if you would like to contribute something, or notice something that is incorrect, please feel free to drop me a line via the contact form.
HARTride 2012.

4 thoughts on “Paris Metro Rolling Stock”

  1. Thank you! This is excellent and I think the best review of the rolling stock of the Paris Métro that I’ve seen. I can confirm that Line 14 is very overcrowded for a lot of the time so the improvements will be very welcome.

    1. Thanks for stopping by and commenting! I’m not sure when the deliveries of the MP 05 are set to begin for M 14, but it will be welcome indeed.

      I think that somehow, the MP 89CC of Line 4 will wind up on Line 11. I can’t see the trains being transferred to the 6.

  2. This answered many questions I had regarding the utilization of rubber tyred trains. It seems there are advantages and disadvantages. Looks like for the future, the Metro will utilize both steel and rubber. I’m a big fan of the rubber. I was living in Paris when it was introduced.

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