- Scheduled for June, the entry into service of metro line B in Rennes will not take place until early 2022.
- The health crisis continues to disrupt the site of course, but the manufacturer Siemens is also encountering difficulties during tests on the trains.
- The 2,000 tests required on the trainsets before getting the green light will not be completed until the end of July.
To take metro line B in Rennes, you will still have to wait several months. The health crisis has of course strongly impacted the gigantic project which started in 2013. Before the coronavirus pandemic hit the planet, its entry into service was scheduled for December 21, 2020. The schedule has since been revised, the metropolis counting on an opening to the public before the summer and on a commissioning at full speed at the beginning of September. It will not be.
While the third confinement has entered into force for a week across the country, the health crisis still continues to disrupt the smooth running of the work. Once the stations are finished, it is now the Siemens teams who have been in charge since the start of the year to carry out a whole series of tests on the rolling stock. “The health measures have caused travel difficulties for international experts who are not replaceable and when they cannot come to Rennes, this lengthens the schedules”, underlined the mayor of Rennes Nathalie Appéré.
Siemens admits to having “underestimated the deadlines”
But the health crisis does not explain everything. Because Siemens is also encountering difficulties on rolling stock. The German manufacturer defends itself by indicating that the CityVal trainsets selected by the metropolis are “a world first” and that they will run first in Rennes before Bangkok or Frankfurt.
But Siemens also admits having “underestimated the deadlines given the complexity of the system”, according to Stéphane Bayon de Noyer, project director at Siemens. Consequently, the 2,000 tests necessary on the trainsets before obtaining the green light will not be completed before the end of July. “It is only from there that we will be able to determine the date of commercial commissioning,” he says.
The redeployment of the bus network will wait
The shift will therefore be “consequent”, estimates Nathalie Appéré, who now mentions the horizon “early 2022” for the commissioning of line B. “This is not good news because the expectation of Rennes and metropolitan was very strong, ”she said. As a result of this delay, Siemens should be subject to heavy penalties as provided for in the terms of the contract.
But it also disrupts the entire transport offer imagined by the metropolis. Scheduled for the start of the September school year, the complete redeployment of the Star’s bus offer will indeed have to wait for the first trains of line B to run before being activated.