This is a totally unprecedented situation in the transport sector. Never before had there been any question of load shedding, of long power cuts. Large groups are therefore preparing for an unprecedented risk. The government has asked the prefects to be very attentive and to “carry out local work without delay with the authorities organizing transport, to examine questions relating to daily guided transport, says the government circular. The effective ability to circulate on their entire route, during load shedding hours, suburban trains, metros or trams must be carefully checked”. In the event that operation in non-degraded conditions cannot be guaranteed, traffic must be stopped before the start of load shedding, specifies the circular.
In Paris, the RATP seems to have fairly clear ideas. If power cuts occur at the request of the electricity transport network (RTE) or Enedis (manager of the public electricity distribution network), the metro network and the RATP RER lines (intramural and small crown) should, a priori, be little affected. The reason: they have a closed circuit power supply, the control room having seven specific high voltage stations, supplied by RTE. The RATP specifies that it could be forced to shut down certain equipment such as Escalators or elevators. For the tram network, on the other hand, the company must work with Enedis to identify the sectors which could be affected by possible load shedding measures. Powering the electric buses shouldn’t be a problem. The management, which has signed the Ecowatt charter, also says it is continuing its efforts to reduce its energy consumption.
Secure every route
The company Keolis (subsidiary of the SNCF), which operates several urban networks outside Paris, in particular those of Lyon and Rennes, is proceeding with caution on the subject, but has sent requests to the public authorities and to the electricity distribution companies: no load shedding for the metros, which must be considered a priority, consistent with their status as an operator of vital importance – this could expose, in the event of unexpected power cuts, to evacuations through tunnels which are always problematic. The possible load shedding for trams seems to them operationally less critical, even if it would be very disturbing for users. The corollary is the need to have, no later than the day before, at 5 p.m., precise information as to the hours of load shedding the next day. “We cannot make announcements to travelers on the sole basis of a potential risk of load shedding”says Keolis.
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Source: Le Monde