The Mediterranean TGV : Schneider Electric wins over the SNCF
> Tracking tremors
Schneider Electric developed a seismic alert system for the Mediterranean TGV high speed train that monitors the slightest movements in the earth’s crust and takes corrective action on the speed of trains. Goal: optimal safety.
It’s well-known that minor earthquakes (often of very low magnitude) occur frequently in south-eastern France. The Mediterranean TGV train that links Marseilles to Paris runs through an area that is subject to tremors. Schneider Electric was chosen to build the seismic detection stations designed by the CEA (the French Atomic Energy Commission). After a three-year study, the system is now operational. The Mediterranean TGV benefits from a seismic alert system between Valence and Marseilles and on the Avignon-Nîmes trunk.
Schneider Electric installed these units, started them up, and provides maintenance. Twenty-four sensors are buried every 10 kilometers, at approximately 100 meters from the tracks. Each sensor monitors an area of 30-40 kilometers. In case of an alert, the sensors automatically reduce the speed of the locomotives, slowing the TGV down from 300 to 170 km/hour. Rail traffic may be completely stopped in case of earthquakes beyond a certain threshold. In this case, SNCF maintenance engineers must follow strict procedures and contact the Geophysics Laboratory at the CEA. After verifying the exact type of quake, the speed limit can be removed manually from the TGV control room in Marseilles.
This system is able to slow or stop trains along the entire Paris-Marseilles line in order to ensure that they do not run at high speeds over damaged portions of track. The system features reaction times of only a few seconds, so safety is guaranteed.
> Watching the wind
Schneider Electric has set up an automatic crosswind detection system between Valence and Marseilles. This system limits the speed of trains in case of high winds.
On the brand-new TGV Mediterranean line, the SNCF chose Schneider Electric to implement a crosswind detection system along the track between Valence et Marseilles.
Total amount of the contract: €1.98 million. Gusts from the dominant crosswinds (especially the Mistral) can potentially destabilize the TGV. Schneider Electric designed and installed twelve detection stations in the most exposed areas (viaducts, exits from protected areas, etc.). The goal: use wind gauges to measure the wind speed and direction and trigger an alarm in case of an alert. In this case, the train is slowed down to 170 or 80 km/hour, or can even be stopped to ensure passenger safety. The system automatically notifies the Marseilles control room that manages 150 kilometers of tracks on the Mediterranean line. This system, based on 24 Premium PLCs, illustrates Schneider Electric’s expertise in operating safety, remote measurement, and automated supervision.
> Electrical renovation in three southern train stations
Schneider Electric also installed the electrical systems in the TGV stations at Valence, Marseilles, and Avignon.
As part of the program to renovate the electrical distribution system in the Saint-Charles train station in Marseilles, the Provence field office of Schneider Electric replaced the power supply for the Management building, the platforms, and the air conditioning system. Eleven SM6 cubicles and four transformers were ordered last January. This €300 thousand project was completed in March.
The Chamfleury substation in Avignon was overhauled at the same time. The Provence field office managed the renovation of the electrical power supply for the signaling and switching systems, safety equipment, etc.
Schneider Electric also helped set up the electrical installation for the brand new station in Valence.