Parisians know it, tourists love it.
Line 6, famous for its breathtaking view of the Eiffel Tower at the price of a metro ticket, is beginning its modernization and will put the trains of the 1970s out of circulation. The renewal of the fleet begins next week and will be completed by here 2026.
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Its cars are recognizable at a glance, by the 400,000 daily travelers (pre-Covid attendance in 2019).
The jade green trains, half a century old, will give way to modernized cars straight from line 4. They will nevertheless be adapted to the specificities of line 6.
The end of an era
For almost fifty years, line 6 has seen a model that everyone knows: the MP73 (for “
subway tire call for tenders 1973
This RATP jargon simply means that the equipment runs on tires and was ordered in 1973.
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The MP73 trains have been associated in the collective imagination with the Parisian metro par excellence.
And this is due in particular to certain particularities of these trains: independent cars, latches on the doors, green seats and interior, sliding windows, very narrow squares of seats, etc.
Put into circulation in 1974, the MP73s remain the second oldest trains still in circulation, after the MP59s ("
metro tire call for tenders 1959
") of line 11, promised for its part, to a total replacement of its fleet in 2023 with brand new MP14 equipment (“
metro tire call for tenders 2014
The MP73s on line 6 will therefore become the oldest metro trains in circulation at the end of 2023, by their total replacement scheduled for 2026, according to the RATP.
The MP73 model arriving at a station in Paris, September 30, 2019. RATP - Bruno Margherite
Now a railway heritage
These MP73 trains have a "
strong historical and heritage value
", according to the RATP, which "
is aware of and takes their preservation very seriously
Before completing that it will add in the next two years “
an MP73 trainset and an MP59 trainset to its reserve of historic rolling stock in Villeneuve-Triage, located in Val-de-Marne
They will rub shoulders with different generations of metros, but also RER, buses and trams
,” she adds.
This RATP reserve is not open to the general public, with the exception of European Heritage Days, which will take place on September 16 and 17.
Modernization adapted to the line
The MP89 trains (“
metro tire call for tenders 1989
”) of line 4, for their part, will be deployed “
from the beginning of next week
”, assures the RATP.
A dozen MP89 trains
" will be put into service this year, she adds.
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Adaptations are nevertheless necessary.
It must be said that line 6, "
historic symbol of the city of Paris
" as the RATP specifies, requires special arrangements: narrower platforms, double opening of the doors at Charles-de-Gaulle-Étoile, etc.
The new trains have therefore begun their modernization in recent months to comply with the requirements of the 6 and find a new life: five cars instead of six, automatic door opening, video surveillance, boa train, signage, sound announcements, new blue and red seats abandoning the mythical jade green.
The interior of a modernized MP89 train for line 6 in Paris, January 13, 2022. RATP - Gilbert Lasne