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The great transformation of the extension of metro line 14 to the north

The commissioning of the extension of metro line 14 to the north is the culmination of a gigantic project and a collective challenge, led by two project owners, RATP and Île-de-France Mobilités, and five project partners, Société du Grand Paris, the City of Paris, the Île-de-France region and the Hauts-de-Seine and Seine- Saint-Denis départements. Today, it forms the backbone of the future Grand Paris automated metro network that is coming to life and, with it, several rapidly changing neighbourhoods.



The metro line passes through neighbourhoods undergoing transformation: this is the case with the Clichy-Batignolles joint development zone, in the 17th arrondissement of Paris. While the construction work was going on, an eco-district was emerging around the future Martin-Luther-King park: at the foot of a “flagship”, the site of the Paris courthouse, and of the regional headquarters of the Judicial Police, transferred from the centre of Paris, new housing units, office buildings, shops and more can be found.




The new Pont-Cardinet station is located under Martin-Luther-King park, serving the south of the Clichy-Batignolles neighbourhood as well as the Saussure district, on the other side of the rail tracks. It will quickly become an essential mobility hub for the life of this new neighbourhood: approximately 6,500 new residents are expected here, as well as 12,700 workers, while 5,000 daily visitors are expected at the courthouse.





The route of the northern extension passes through a very dense urban area, which presented real technical challenges during the construction work. Buildings at ground level had to be preserved, while managing the boundaries of complex work sites, notably when creating station entrances or connecting corridors, or assembling and disassembling the giant tunnel boring machines used to dig the tunnel.



To limit disturbance on the surface, the work site was mostly underground, with two tunnel boring machines, excavating at a rate of 250 metres a month, to dig the 5.8-kilometre tunnel between Saint-Lazare and Mairie de Saint-Ouen stations, as well as the new maintenance and garage site for trains. Sandy ground, a water table close to the surface: there was no shortage of difficulties. Likewise, to preserve the life of the neighbourhood and maintain car traffic, Saint-Ouen and Mairie de Saint-Ouen stations were built in a covered trench.





Ending congestion on metro line 13, with around a quarter of current passengers switching to metro line 14, just 15 minutes to reach Mairie de Saint-Ouen from the centre of Paris (Châtelet), stations with stylish architecture, accessible to all, latest-generation trains making less noise: the passenger experience is calmer and of higher quality.




The successful start of works on the extension to the north was a joint effort: the project mobilised the resources of ten RATP Group departments over seven years. At the same time, metro line 14 has implemented a ten-year transformation plan to support change and continue to provide a very high level of service with the doubling of the number of passengers on the line, from the current 500,000 passengers per day to 1 million in 2024, notably with the extension of the line to the south. The line has also expanded its teams to welcome passengers and ensure its operation: 100 new staff members have been recruited, bringing the workforce to 400.





With the extension, the metro line changes scale. The four new stations, Pont Cardinet, Porte de Clichy, Saint-Ouen and Mairie de Saint-Ouen, plunge to a depth of 26 metres under the city, compared with 10 to 15 metres for other line 14 stations. In order to accommodate ultra-modern, higher-capacity trains, the platforms are 120 metres long, compared with 75 metres in existing stations.




The white tiling of the new stations picks up the famous bevelled “metro tiling” and adapts it to a more oblong format with meticulous details such as rosettes. As for the round lamps, they evoke the circle in the RATP logo.


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