Alstom is unveiling two innovations at the UITP’s World Congress & Mobility and City Transport Exhibition being held in Geneva this week — Axonis, a metro system and Urbalis Fluence, a signaling solution.
Axonis is an elevated metro system able to transport from 15 to 45,000 passengers per hour per direction, which run mainly on viaduct but can also run on ground level and tunnels. It is a non-proprietary system, allowing cities to increase their fleets and develop line extensions through a competitive bidding process. Axonis fits smoothly into the cityscape thanks to a narrow viaduct that follows the curves of the street allowing for greenery, shops etc. to be installed underneath.
The viaduct designed in partnership with a subsidiary of Bouygues (VSL) uses precast concrete girder boxes for technological simplicity, enabling them to be built by a large number of public works companies around the world. To limit construction nuisances, the viaduct superstructure is formed by concrete beams, cast off-site. Once the viaduct is elevated, concrete railway tracks will use Appitrack — an Alstom fast building method for trams and metro tracks that lays approximately 492 feet of tracks per day compared with approximately 65 feet to 164 feet when using traditional technology.
Axonis is designed for cities with high population density not yet equipped with metro systems or seeking to extend their current networks. It is also intended for cities with underground areas that have protected status as UNESCO World Heritage Sites or are difficult to access. Lastly, it can meet the needs of cities looking for a faster metro system at lower cost, according to Alstom.
The system will be available to market by the end of the year 2013.
Urbalis Fluence is the first vehicle-centric communications-based train control system (CBTC). For the first time, most routing and interlocking functions are efficiently built into the train. This optimal architecture reduces equipment down to 20% and eliminates the need for the traditional split into separate automatic train control and interlocking sub-systems.
In addition, Urbalis Fluence is innovative in its use of direct train-to-train communication. The train registers only the track resources it requires to optimize traffic fluidity and communicate with other train much more quickly, leading to headways reduced from three minutes to only one.
With intervals reduced, Urbalis Fluence increases transport capacity and decreases saturation. With more trains, crowding is less frequent; waiting periods at stations and travel time are shorter making the journey much more enjoyable for passengers.
Furthermore, the new solution offers higher operation availability (24/7 operations) with extreme flexibility of train movements. Therefore in the event of incidents, such as a station closure or a point failure, the solution allows the train to move back to the previous station or bypass the failed point. Passengers are no longer blocked between stations.
Additionally, Urbalis optimizes train operations as it enables it to plan its speed according to each situation during the day, allowing 30% energy savings. In terms of safety, the new solution meets with the highest standards of safety assurance recommended by official authorities.
The system can be installed on standard and elevated metro lines, metro-trams and automated light transit systems. Urbalis Fluence provides the performance needed for heavy ridership exceeding one million passengers per day as well as smaller ones of 10,000 passengers a day. It applies to manual and automatic train operations and new and older lines alike. It takes less than 24 months to implement the system.