Lyon Metro

The Lyon Metro (French: Métro de Lyon) is a rapid transit system serving Lyon Metropolis, France. First opened in 1974, it currently consists of four lines, serving 40 stations and comprising 32.0 kilometres (19.9 mi) of route.[1][2] Part of the Transports en Commun Lyonnais (TCL) system of public transport, it is supported by two funiculars and a tramway network.

Lyon Metro
Lyon tcl logo-metro-full.svg
Native nameMétro de Lyon
LocaleLyon Metropolis, France
Transit typeRapid transit
Number of lines4[1]
Number of stations40
Daily ridership740,000 (weekday avg., 2013)[2]
Annual ridership212,000,000 (2018)
Began operation9 December 1974; 46 years ago (9 December 1974)
Number of vehicles73
System length32.1 km (19.9 mi)[2]
Track gauge1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in) standard gauge with roll ways along the rails
Electrification750 V DC guide bars
System map

Lyon - Metro network map.png

Unlike other French metro systems, but like the SNCF and RER, Lyon Metro trains run on the left. This is the result of an unrealised project to run the metro into the suburbs on existing railway lines. The loading gauge for all lines is 2.90 m (9 ft 6.2 in),[3] more generous than the average for metros in Europe. The Lyon Metro owes its inspiration to the Montreal Metro which was built a few years prior, and has similar (narrower) rubber-wheel cars. Daily weekday ridership was 740,000 in 2011.[2]


The Lyon Metro consists of four lines, A, B, C and D, each identified on maps by different colours:

Line Opened[4] Length[2] Stations[4] Termini Rolling stock
  1978 9.2 km (5.7 mi) 14 MPL 75
  1978 7.7 km (4.8 mi) 10 MPL 75
  1974 2.5 km (1.6 mi) 5 MCL 80
  1991 12.6 km (7.8 mi) 15 MPL 85

Lines A and BEdit

Line A (Perrache - Laurent Bonnevay (Astroballe)) and Line B (Charpennes - Part-Dieu) were constructed by cut-and-cover and went into service on May 2, 1978, as the inaugural lines of the Lyon Metro. Trains on both lines run on rubber tyres rather than steel wheels.

Line B was extended to Jean Macé on September 9, 1981, to Gerland on September 4, 2000[4] and to Gare d'Oullins on 11 December 2013.[5]

An extension to Vaulx-en-Velin La Soie on Line A opened in October 2007.[4]

By 2020, Line B will be automated, with the same system as Line D. New MPL 16 rolling stock has been ordered to Alstom in 2016 for Line B. The MPL 75 trains currently used on Line B will join the other MPL 75s on Line A to increase the capacity.

Line CEdit

The Croix-Rousse-Croix-Paquet rack railway, which was refurbished in 1974,[4] was integrated into the Metro in 1978 as Line C, with an extension to Hôtel-de-Ville[4] (thus running from Hôtel-de-Ville to Croix-Rousse). It was extended to Cuire on December 8, 1984.[4]

The line was constructed using various methods; the incline rising through a deep tunnel, the portion on the flat at Croix-Rousse using cut-and-cover while the section beyond Hénon runs on the surface. The Croix Paquet station claims to be the steepest metro station in Europe, with an incline of 17%.

Line C uses an overhead wire while Lines A, B and D use a third rail.

Line DEdit

Line D, the first fully automatic metro line in France, started with operators on board trains on September 4, 1991, between Gorge de Loup and Grange Blanche. The line was extended to Gare de Vénissieux on December 11, 1992,[4] when it switched to driverless operation. On April 28, 1997, it was extended again to Gare de Vaise.[4]

Using rubber tyres like lines A and B, trains on line D are controlled by a system known as MAGGALY (Métro Automatique à Grand Gabarit de l’Agglomération Lyonnaise). Unusually for a driverless metro, no platform screen doors are installed on station platforms. The trains use infrared sensors to detect obstructions on the track. Other systems using this technology include the Nuremberg U-Bahn and Budapest Metro's Line 4.

The deepest line in Lyon, Line D was constructed partly using boring machines and passes under both rivers, the Rhône and the Saône. At 12.5 kilometres (7.8 mi) long with 15 stations,[4] it is also the longest line in Lyon.

In 2016, new MPL 16 rolling stock was ordered from Alstom for Lines B and D and is expected to come into service on the line starting in 2020. These trains will increase the capacity of Line D and they will be coupled to form four-car units at rush hours and should replace the MPL 75 of line B which would be only on line A.




Automatic trains (no driver) of the Lyon Metro Line D

The Metro, like the rest of the local public transport system, is operated by Keolis Lyon (ex-SLTC - the Société lyonnaise de transports en commun (Lyon public transport company)), under the TCL brand - Transports en commun lyonnais (Lyon public transport). It is operated on behalf of SYTRAL - the Syndicat mixte des transports pour le Rhône et l'agglomération lyonnaise (Rhône department and Lyon metropolitan transport syndicate), a Syndicat Mixte.

Future expansionEdit

Work is under way to extend Line B to a new terminus at Lyon's southern hospital complex in Saint-Genis-Laval. The extension is due to enter service in 2023.[6] New rolling stock, capable of operating as a single two-car trainset or two coupled trainsets for four-car operation, will be introduced and the line will be automated. Existing rolling stock used on Line B will be used to enhance capacity on Line A. Line D will also receive 10 new trainsets and its automatic control system will be upgraded.[7]

A new line, dubbed Line E, is under consideration to link Lyon's western suburbs to the city centre. Twelve variants were initially proposed; two options, running from either Bellecour or Hôtel de Ville to Alaï, have been selected for further study and could potentially be opened by around 2030.[8]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b "TCL - Le réseau - Un réseau dense et complémentaire" [TCL - The network - A dense and complementary network] (in French). TCL. Retrieved 2013-09-28.
  2. ^ a b c d e "Les lignes de Métro et de Funiculaire" [The lines of the metro and funiculars] (in French). SYTRAL. Retrieved 2015-01-23.
  3. ^ "Lyon". UrbanRail.Net. Retrieved 2015-01-23.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "Le Métro sur le réseau TCL" [The Metro/Subway of TCL's network] (in French). TCL - SYTRAL. Archived from the original on 2014-10-08. Retrieved 2013-09-28.
  5. ^ "Le prolongement du métro B à Oullins" [Extension of the metro Line B to Oullins] (in French). TCL - SYTRAL. Retrieved 2013-10-01.
  6. ^ "Le prolongement du métro B aux Hôpitaux Lyon sud" (in French). Retrieved 9 February 2018.
  7. ^ "Programme Avenir Métro" (in French). Retrieved 15 May 2018.
  8. ^ "Métro E entre Lyon et Tassin : plus que deux scénarios sur la table !". Lyon Mag (in French). Retrieved 9 February 2018.

External linksEdit

  Media related to Lyon Metro at Wikimedia Commons