As people become increasingly mobile, the demand for more advanced and more suitable transport solutions increases, either in terms of frequency, geographical coverage or the quality of services offered to users. As regions, operators and manufacturers seek to respond to these demands, they are also faced with new environmental and urban issues, requiring streamlining of use and travel. It is to meet this dual requirement that the different modes of transport have been rethought individually, but also as a whole, and global solutions have been considered.
One of the distinctive features of this quest for global solutions has been the emergence of the concept of intermodality, which sets out to address the rail network as a whole. For the user, this concerns the potential use of multiple means of transport (metro, train, tram, regional metro or bus) on a single journey, enabling the use of a wider and more complete network. This solution is currently being implemented in most major French cities, and also around the world.
In this way, intermodality opens up new perspectives, but it also brings new challenges. The development of diversified and interconnected transport effectively calls for greater coherence and complementarity between forms of transport, both physically and in terms of organisation for space, scheduling and logistics (compatibility of payment platforms, information systems, etc).
On an international level, this also requires smooth interconnections between the various national networks, hence the launch of standardisation projects and the development of a set of evaluations to certify their compatibility.
A process of infrastructure redevelopment is key in this process and is ongoing with the aim of deploying a truly multimodal network providing travellers with simplified transition from one mode of transport to another.
Another major development in the sector: increased connectivity with the deployment of telecommunications in the railway network, thereby facilitating the work of operators but also improving the user experience across all means of transport. This is for example the challenge with GSM-R (Global System for Mobile communications – Railways), wireless technology developed for railway applications and communications and currently implemented on the RFF (French Rail Network), which allows operators to communicate with each other more easily by way of control posts.
Faced with these developments in the railway sector, ALTEN’s objective is to ensure the smooth deployment of new infrastructure or upgrades to existing infrastructure in order to adapt to innovations and new uses. In doing this, it works alongside operators, manufacturers and infrastructure managers on projects related to civil engineering, electrification, cable design and telecommunications. Through its various areas of expertise, ALTEN is positioned to deal with the entire development cycle of these projects, be it project implementation, project piloting or maintenance. This requires an effort to ensure the implementation of the most relevant intermodality solutions possible, as ALTEN currently does under the References project, which involves the creation of a multimodal hub at Créteil Pompadour on RER line D, which should allow for the efficient interaction of different modes of transport at this station. For this project, ALTEN works in particular on interface control, the coordination of contracting bodies (inventory, updating of construction restrictions and procedures, planning procedures, etc) as well as the coordination of project managers.