Interior of a regional train in Versailles (Shutterstock)

Rail punctuality challenges persist in Paris region

Interior of a regional train in Versailles Shutterstock

Île-de-France Mobilités has released consolidated punctuality figures for RATP and SNCF rail services in the Île-de-France region for November 2023, revealing continued disappointment on certain lines.

The metro system remains significantly compromised on five lines, prompting Île-de-France Mobilités to initiate recovery plans aimed at improving these lines and ensuring the smooth operation of all trains and metros according to Île-de-France Mobilités’ transportation schedule. Positive results are already evident on Line 7, which has shown substantial improvement.

On the SNCF front, November proved challenging due to the impact of storms Ciaran and Domingos. Apart from weather-related disruptions, the troubled RER B, C, and D lines persist.

Valérie Pécresse, President of Île-de-France Mobilités, emphasises the urgent need for RATP and SNCF to swiftly address issues on all troubled lines and achieve the punctual operation of all trains and metros as per Île-de-France Mobilités’ directives, which is currently not the case. An extraordinary board meeting on January 29 will host presentations by Jean Castex, President of RATP, and Jean-Pierre Farandou, President of SNCF, detailing the progress of ongoing recovery plans. Pécresse reiterates that the performance objectives set by Île-de-France Mobilités must be attained on each line as quickly as possible.

Metro

In terms of peak-hour metro regularity, eight lines are close to meeting their contractual objectives, with Line 14 exceeding expectations, and Lines 1, 2, 4, 5, 9, 10, and 11 nearing their goals. Line 7 has improved, moving out of the troubled category, achieving close to 90% punctuality during peak hours. Also, five lines continue to face significant challenges: Lines 3, 6, 8, 12, and 13.

The causes of these challenges echo those of October, including driver unavailability (due to absenteeism and recruitment issues), maintenance difficulties with RATP infrastructure and rolling stock, and an increase in suspicious packages. Following a punctuality decline in September 2023 compared to June of the same year, Pécresse directed RATP to implement action plans on each troubled line to swiftly rectify punctuality issues.

These action plans will be complemented by monthly initiatives, especially targeting driver unavailability. RATP is concluding a significant recruitment plan, funded by Île-de-France Mobilités, bringing in over 200 additional drivers in the coming weeks. Several actions to improve working conditions for RATP staff are also underway. A plan to enhance infrastructure and rolling stock maintenance actions is being implemented, and RATP is intensifying communication in trains to combat abandoned packages.

Train/RER

Punctuality figures for trains and RER in November were significantly affected by storms Ciaran and Domingos. Ciaran, in early November, led to preventive stops on several lines, with notable impacts on RER A West, RER C North, Line L, Line J, Line H, Line N, Line P, and Tram T13. Domingos, while less severe, also affected train operations, causing speed restrictions, disruptions, and cancellations from November 2 to 4.

Apart from these weather events, the overall punctuality of trains and RER was satisfactory, except for lines B, C, and D, which continue to face challenges, and Line P, subject to temporary speed limits at Chelles until mid-November due to SNCF Réseau works.

Île-de-France Mobilités highlights the introduction of 170 new and renovated metros, trains, and RER on its network in 2024, with the entire order funded to modernise metro rolling stock. In 2024, Line 4 will be fully automated, all metros on Line 11 (the oldest in the network) will be renewed and semi-automated, while Lines 6 and 8 continue to receive renovated metros.

Regarding Line 13, the automation tender was initiated in December 2023. In line with Île-de-France Mobilités’ commitment to significantly improve passenger information, efforts are underway to replace all platform indicators on Lines 2, 3, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, and 12 with digital “PANAME” screens indicating congestion and disturbance messages. This initiative, costing 15 million euros, is funded by Île-de-France Mobilités.

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Author: Emma Dailey

Emma Dailey is an editor at RailTech.com and RailTech.be.

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