Three extensions in four years: where does Paris’ M14 metro line stand?
Having already been extended three times since it entered service, a fourth extension is planned for metro line M14, before the start of the Paris Olympics. It will link Orly airport to Saint-Denis-Pleyel in just 40 minutes by 2024. Despite numerous works, the line has been described as one of the best in the country.
Line 14, the first fully automated metro line in France, is an essential part of the future Grand Paris Express (GPE) network. It will be the only metro line connecting with the new lines: 15, 16, 17 and 18. After an extension to the north towards Saint-Ouens in 2020, the line will also be extended as far as Saint-Denis Pleyel to the north, and Orly airport to the south. Its fourth extension since opening in 1998 will serve 10 towns spread across Paris, Val-de-Marne and Essonne, and provide a direct link between Orly and the centre of Paris.
The extension of line M14 will see the construction of 15.6 kilometres of completely underground line, 14.8 kilometres of double track laid, 7 new stations (2 in the north, and 5 stations in the south, 11 service structures, as well as a maintenance site. Once the northern and southern extensions are complete, the line will have 21 stations over 28 kilometres of tracks, compared with 13 stations over 14 kilometres at present. Metro trains will travel at an average speed of 40 kilometres an hour on this fully automated line, which will accommodate 250,000 to 300,000 passengers a day. Line 14, currently used by 650,000 passengers a day, will be able to carry 1 million passengers a day by 2024 with 8-car trains.
The cost of this infrastructure project, financed by the Société du Grand Paris (SGP), is 2,240 million euros, and that of the rolling stock, financed by Île-de-France Mobilités (IDFM), is 565 million euros. By 2024, 72 trains will be running on the line, forming the largest fleet of rolling stock on the Paris metro. Operations will be managed by IDFM, and SGP has transferred project management to RATP.
South: Extension progresses at Chevilly-Larue
The President of the Île-de-France Region, Valérie Pécresse, and the Chairman and CEO of the RATP group, Jean Castex, visited the town of Chevilly-Larue last week, to see the worksite for the extension of line 14 to the south. The site is located in a busy area, with the Rungis international market on one side and the Belle Épine shopping centre on the other. According to IDFM, there are 11,000 jobs and 5,000 residents within a one kilometre radius of the station. In 2024, users taking the metro at Chevilly-Larue will take just 20 minutes to get to Châtelet, in the centre of Paris, compared with 38 minutes at present.
The two structures that will make up the future Chevilly-Larue station have already been built. Right next door, users of the line will have access to two T7 tramway stations, as well as a connection with the TVM (Trans-Val-de-Marne). Civil engineering work on the station is now complete. The building houses a large concourse and a mezzanine. The platforms have been fitted with platform doors, and the tunnel already reveals the tracks on which the MP14 trains will be running in a year’s time. Four tunnel boring machines (TBMs) are being used on this project, travelling at a speed of around 12 metres a day and digging to a depth of over 15 metres.
Plan of the Metro 14 extension from Olympiades to Orly airport
North: Saint-Denis Pleyel station
The extension of the line to the north, built by Société du Grand Paris, runs from Mairie de Saint-Ouen to Saint-Denis Pleyel, a distance of 1.6 kilometres. The tracks to Saint-Denis Pleyel were laid in 2022. Work is now continuing on the refurbishment of Saint-Denis Pleyel station, which the Société du Grand Paris Express describes as the “nerve centre of the Grand Paris Express”, as well as equipping the technical rooms and passenger areas.
BESIX France is building Saint-Denis Pleyel station, designed by the architect Kengo Kuma. It will be one of the largest stations in the Grand Paris Express, accommodating 250,000 passengers a day as it links lines 14, 15, 16 and 17. The contract, worth €100 million, includes work to develop the station, which will have a total surface area of 34,000 m² spread over nine levels, including four underground levels. The work will take 53 months to complete, in time for the 2024 Olympic Games. The station will serve the main Olympic venues. Kéolis will be responsible for managing Saint-Denis-Pleyel station until passengers on lines 16 and 17 arrive at the end of 2026.
Award for excellence
Due to preparatory work for the extension of line 14 to Orly Airport and the arrival of 8-car MP14 trains, the line will be regularly interrupted. There will be closures on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday evenings until 27 July. Additional closures are scheduled for Mondays 29 May, 11 June and 9 July, as well as the weekends of 15-16 July and 29 July to 11 August.
Despite these temporary inconveniences, the M14 line has been awarded 6-star European Foundation for Quality Management (EFQM) status and the “Grand Prix Qualité de France”. It is the first French line to obtain this certification. The EFQM model is a management framework designed to help organisations manage change and improve their performance.