the metropolis of Lille seizes the administrative court after delays by Alstom

The European Metropolis of Lille (MEL) has taken the matter to the administrative court to obtain guarantees from Alstom, selected in 2012 for the extension of the metro in the metropolis, but which is behind schedule “forecast of at least 10 years”, the public establishment announced Tuesday, November 28. The motion for interim relief, filed Monday, aims to “ask Alstom to take all necessary measures to prevent any interruption of service in 2025”, communicated the administrative court to Agence France-Presse (AFP). The decision must be made “within fifteen days”.

In 2012, in order to anticipate the increase in traffic, the MEL concluded a contract worth 266 million euros with the railway manufacturer Alstom. “concerning the installation of a new automatic pilot and the acquisition of twenty-seven new 52-meter trainsets for entry into service in January 2016”, recalls the MEL in a press release.

The Lille metropolis, made up of two lines, is the second longest in France after the Paris network, according to the MEL. He was the first in the world to use autopilot technology. The objective of this contract was “to increase the capacity of line 1 by 50% and that of line 2 by 30%”. Following the delays accumulated by Alstom, the MEL “initiated an expertise in 2018 then mediation in 2019 which resulted in an amendment in January 2020”. Alstom “committed to completing the work in April 2023”.

Alstom “disputes the comments made” by the MEL

Considering “incapacity” from Alstom to “fulfill its obligations and respect contractual milestones, noted by the failure of the autopilot tests in October 2022”the MEL initiated a second mediation in December 2022.

The railway manufacturer “failed again to qualify the new autopilot in September 2023”, again denounced the MEL. Gold “the slippage of the project threatens (…) the continuity of the level of public transport service »due to the obsolescence of trains from August 2025. This situation led the president of the MEL, Damien Castelain, to “end the mediation initiated” with Alstom and “go to court to get the company and its managers to take responsibility” their “responsibilities”.

Alstom, which says ” surprised “ by this withdrawal of mediation from the MEL, “disputes the comments made” by the metropolis “about the progress of the project”. The group “considers having demonstrated the operation of its automatic metro system during the latest tests in Lille”he explained to AFP. “The group will assert its rights within the framework of the new legal procedure announced. »

The World with AFP

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