Alstom Metropolis

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Alstom Metropolis
Metro Amsterdam M5 Kraaiennest 4.JPG
An Amsterdam Metro M5 Series
Family nameMetropolis
Constructed1993–present (rubber-tyred)
1998–present (conventional steel wheel)
Traction systemAlstom ONIX or OPTONIX IGBTVVVF
Electric system(s)
Current collector(s)
Track gauge
  • 1,432 mm (4 ft 8+38 in) (Bucharest Metro)
  • 1,435 mm (4 ft 8+12 in) (most trains)
  • 1,600 mm (5 ft 3 in) (Federal District Metro)

The Alstom Metropolis is a family of electric multiple units designed and produced by the French rolling stock manufacturer Alstom. It is designed for high capacity rapid transit or metro rail infrastructure systems. Trains can be run in various configurations, the length alone varying between two and ten cars; it is also suitable for both manned or unmanned operations.

More than 4,000 Metropolis cars have been manufactured, the type is reportedly in service with 50 operators distributed around the world.[1] Cities operating the Metropolis include Singapore, Shanghai, Budapest, Warsaw, Nanjing, Buenos Aires, São Paulo, Lima, Santiago, Barcelona, Guadalajara, Istanbul, Santo Domingo, Chennai, Kochi, Dubai, Lucknow, Sydney, Amsterdam and Xiamen.

Design features[edit]

Alstom's Metropolis family of electric multiple units is highly adaptable; the basic body can significantly vary in size between small, medium and wide configurations to meet a variety of client's needs. A typical trainset is deployed in two to six car arrangement.[1] The Metropolis has been designed to be both flexible and reliable, incorporating a high level of technology to do so. It has been designed for a maximum speed of up to 120 km/h (75 mph), which has been deemed to be sufficient for its use on mass transit systems.[1] The propulsion system incorporates the ONIX (ONduleur à Intégration eXceptionnelle) or OPTONIX VVVF drive with IGBT transistors that control asynchronous 3-phase alternating current (AC) traction motors. Amongst other abilities, this arrangement enables regenerative braking, reducing the train's energy consumption.[1]

It can be configured to operated as part of an entirely automated driverless system, enabling the train to have unattended train operation (UTO) functionality.[1] To achieve this, Alstom typically offers the Metropolis as one element of a complete turnkey system, including the trainset itself along with the signalling system, track works and services. Several operators have procured the train in such a configuration, including the Sydney Metro (Australia’s first fully-automated rail network) and the Budapest Metro (the first automated metro line in Central-Eastern Europe).[1]

The car body is highly adjustable, being composed either of aluminium or stainless steel, while the width can range from 2.30–3.2 m (7 ft 6+12 in – 10 ft 6 in) and the length from 13–25 m (42 ft 7+34 in – 82 ft 14 in).[1] It can be fitted with either steel wheels or rubber tyres, depending upon the customer’s requirement. As standard, each Metropolis features a trainborne Ethernet backbone, providing resilient broadband communications for subsystems, including security apparatus, an optional public address system, and passenger information equipment; these are organised into integrated modules within the onboard security and communications subsystems.[1] For ease of maintenance, the Metropolis is compatible with an internet-delivered TrainTracer tool, which monitors major components of each train and can display condition information in real-time to depots and operational control centres alike.[1]

The interior can also be customised as per customer requirements.[1] Optional features include closed-circuit television (CCTV), wider seats, additional grabpoles, more space around the doors, wheelchair space and equipped with electronic displays - the latter is typically used to depict journey information, safety messages and advertisements. The size of the doors can be customised along with the width of the gangways, while a modular seating arrangement is typically installed.[1] A specialised glass named Climavit is used for the windows, it is supplied by the French manufacturer Sekurit Saint-Gobain; amongst its claimed benefits is a reduction in the typical internal noise level by five decibels.[citation needed]

Major deployments[edit]

During July 2006, OPRET signed an initial contract for the supply of 19 Metropolis trainsets to equip the first line of the Santo Domingo Metro with Alstom; these were configured to be nearly identical to the 9000 series on the Barcelona Metro save for the livery applied.[2] In January 2011, an order was announced for a further 15 Alstom trainsets for Line 2.[3] During March 2012, the first trainsets for the second line were delivered to the operator.[1]

Alstom secured a $253m (€200m) order in February 2010 from GVB for 23 six-car Type M5 Metropolis trainsets for the Amsterdam Metro. Three years later, this was followed by an supplemental order, valued at €42m ($53m), for five more trains.[1] Each being configured to carry up to 1,000 passengers, they have replaced all of the legacy M1-M3 sets on the East Line as well as increased overall capacity, being used on all routes except Route 51.[4]

During March 2012, Singapore's Land Transport Authority placed an order valued at $303m for the supply of 34 Metropolis trains, 18 of which were for the North East Line (NEL) while the remaining 16 were allocated to Circle Line (CCL). Furthermore, accompanying signalling upgrades for both of these lines was also included in the arrangement.[1][5][6]

A total of 15 Metropolis trainsets were ordered for Hungary’s Budapest Metro. During March 2014, operations of the type on the Metro's underground line four commenced, thus becoming the first automated metro line in Central-Eastern Europe.[1]

In 2010, Alstrom secured a large order, valued at approximately $307m (€243m), to supply 42 train sets for Phase I of the Chennai Metro.[7] The first nine trains were imported from Brazil and the remaining were manufactured at a new facility established at Sri City, Tada about 75 kilometres (47 mi) from Chennai.[8][9] The trains are air-conditioned with electrically operated automatic sliding doors and a regenerative braking system. The cars operate on 25 KV AC through an overhead catenary system with a maximum speed of 80 kilometres per hour (50 mph).[10] During July 2014, Alstom delivered the first pair of Metropolis trainsets, which were the first trains to be manufactured at Alstom's new Indian production site.[1]

During September 2014, Alstom was awarded a substantial contract to equip the Sydney Metro Northwest, Australia’s first fully-automated rail network. The deal involved the production and supply of 22 six-car Metropolis train sets, along with the communications-based train control (CBTC) signalling infrastructure to facilitate its automated operations.[1]

In November 2020, Alstom secured an order of 13 six-car Metropolis BM4 trains for use on Bucharest Metro line M5, for 100 million euros, which can be expanded up to 240 million euros for an extra 17 trains. These will also be equipped with Alstom's URBALIS 400 CBTC system onboard for STO operation. [11]

Rolling stock[edit]


Systems which use Metropolis cars[edit]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q "Alstom Metropolis Trains". Retrieved 31 December 2020.
  2. ^ "City News July 2006". Railway Gazette International. 1 July 2006. Retrieved 1 April 2015.
  3. ^ "World rolling stock market January 2011". 7 January 2011. Retrieved 1 April 2015.
  4. ^ "Nieuwe metro: de M5 Metropolis (New Metro: the M5 Metropolis)" (in Dutch). GVB. Archived from the original on 17 August 2014. Retrieved 1 August 2014.
  5. ^ "LTA and SMRT Award Contracts for New Trains and Re-Signalling Project". Land Transport Authority. 1 February 2012. Archived from the original on 29 September 2013. Retrieved 16 November 2013.
  6. ^ "Alstom to supply 34 Metropolis trains and signaling upgrade to Singapore metro". 3 February 2012. Archived from the original on 31 December 2013. Retrieved 16 November 2013.
  7. ^ "Alstom completes in Lapa plant the first train for Chennai metro, in India". Alstom (Press release). May 2013. Retrieved 6 June 2016.
  8. ^ "First coach for Chennai Metro by April 2013: Alstom Transport". Business Line. Retrieved 6 June 2016.
  9. ^ Sekar, Sunitha (28 October 2013). "Chennai Metro to have 1st class compartment". The Hindu. Retrieved 2 March 2014.
  10. ^ "Alstom to provide 168 cars for Chennai's metro for €243 million (approx. INR 1470 crore)". Alstom (Press release). September 2010. Retrieved 6 June 2016.
  11. ^ "Alstom to provide new Metropolis trains for Bucharest Metro Line 5".
  12. ^ Collet, Coralie; Chan, Jane (2021-09-30). "Alstom-led consortium to deliver innovative integrated system for Taipei's fully automated metro line" (Press release). Alstom. Retrieved 2022-01-15.
  13. ^ "Alstom to supply integrated metro system for Taipei Metro Line 7" (Press release). Alstom. 2018-07-10. Retrieved 2022-01-15.
  14. ^ Miller, Samuel; Collet, Coralie; Chan, Jane (2020-07-10). "Alstom to supply integrated metro system for Taipei Metro Line 7 extension" (Press release). Alstom. Retrieved 2022-01-15.
  15. ^ "Alstom completes in Lapa plant the first train for Chennai metro, in India". Alstom. Retrieved 20 January 2018.

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