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Railway Technical Info - France

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heavy rail: high-speed linesstandardLH25kV 50Hz AC overhead 
heavy rail: main systemstandardLH pref. (see below for exceptions)25kV 50Hz AC / 1500V DC overhead (see below) 

Rule of the Road
This is LH, except for lines in Alsace-Lorraine, which are RH.

Lines north of Paris (radiating from Paris Est, Nord and St. Lazare stations), and all LGV lines, are electrified at 25kV 50Hz AC. Lines south of Paris (radiating from Paris Montparnasse, Austerlitz and Lyon stations) are mostly electrified at 1500V DC, but certain lines electrified recently (e.g. Marseille - Nice - Ventimiglia) are also at 25kV 50Hz AC.

Regional and rural systems

Ligne du Blanc-Argentmetren/a?nonepart of SNCF
Ligne de la Cerdagnemetren/a850V DC 3rd railpart of SNCF
Ligne de Savoiemetren/a830V DC 3rd railpart of SNCF; some cross-border through working with [CH] Martigny-Châtelard
Chemin de Fer de la Provencemetren/anone 
Chemin de Fer de Chamonix au Montenversmetre, Strub rackn/a11kV 50Hz AC overhead 
Tramway du Mont Blancmetre, Strub rackn/a11kV 50Hz AC overhead 
Chemins de Fer Corses {Corsica}metren/anone 

Paris area

Paris Metro: 'MF' linesstandardRH750V DC 3rd rail'MF' = 'matériel fer'
Paris Metro: 'MP' lines'MP' (see below)RH750V DC 3rd rail'MP' = 'matériel pneu'; lines 1, 4, 6, 11, 14
Paris: tramsstandardRH, stubs750V DC overhead 

Lyon area

Lyon: metro, line Cstandard, rackLH? 3rd rail 
Lyon: metro, lines A, B, D'MP'? (see below)LH? 3rd rail 
Lyon: tramsstandardRH? overhead 

Other urban systems

Angers: tramsstandardRH? overhead 
Aubagne: tramsstandard?RH? overheadunder construction
Besançon: tramsstandardRH? overheadunder construction
Bordeaux: tramsstandardRH? overhead 
Brest: tramsstandardRH? overhead 
Dijon: tramsstandardRH? overhead 
Grenoble: tramsstandardRH, stubs? overhead 
Le Havre: tramsstandardRH? overhead 
Le Mans: tramsstandardRH? overhead 
Lille: metroVAL (see below)RH?? 3rd rail 
Lille: trams ("Le Mongy")metreRH, stubs? overhead 
Marseille: metro'MP'? (see below)?? 3rd rail 
Marseille: tramsstandardRH? overhead 
Montpellier: tramsstandardRH? overhead 
Mulhouse: tramsstandardRH? overhead 
Nantes: tramsstandardRH? overhead 
Nice: tramsstandardRH? overhead 
Orléans: tramsstandardRH? overhead 
Reims: tramsstandardRH? overhead 
Rennes: metroVAL (see below)?? 3rd rail 
Rouen: tramsstandardRH, stubs? overhead 
St. Étienne: tramsmetreRH? overhead 
Strasbourg: tramsstandardRH, stubs? overhead 
Toulouse: metroVAL (see below)?? 3rd rail 
Tours: tramsstandard?RH? overheadunder construction
Valenciennes: tramsstandardRH, stubs? overhead 

French rubber-tyred metros:
There are two types:

Paris 'MP'
This comprises, on each bogie, steel wheels running on steel rails, vertically-mounted rubber-tyred wheels (for traction) running on concrete or steel bearing beams, and horizontally-mounted rubber-tyred wheels (for guidance) running in contact with vertical guide bars, which are also the power rails. The steel wheels make contact with the rails on pointwork (where the bearing beams are lowered) and if a tyre deflates.
This is a purely rubber-tyred system; the wheels and track are similar to the 'MP' system with the steel wheels and rails removed. Guidance of trains at points is achieved using vertical blades on the bogies and movable deflectors in the "track".


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Last update: 2013-02-20 16:53