Photo credit (banner): Patrick Messina

Cleaner air in stations around the Paris Region

We’ve launched a number of experiments to improve air quality in stations around the Paris Region. Take a tour of our innovations.

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Testing underway

Because clean air is critical to public health, we’ve launched a number of initiatives to improve air quality in the 380 stations around the Paris Region—and particularly in the 25 that are wholly or partially underground.

The multi-year project is a partnership with Airparif, the organization that monitors air quality in the region. Aim: measure air quality in underground stations, track down all sources of pollution, and roll out targeted solutions that make a tangible difference.

Anti-pollution devices have been tested in laboratories and are now being installed on select trainsets and in select stations. Our goal is to evaluate their effectiveness throughout the year and identify the best-performing solutions.

How we measure air quality

Our test results are regularly published on line and available to the public. Working with Airparif and the French Railway Testing Agency (AEF), we’ve carried out targeted testing for two to three weeks in every underground station in the Paris Region. And we measure air quality all year long in three of the region’s commuter stations:

  • Magenta (RER line E)
  • Avenue Foch (RER line C)
  • Sevran-Beaudottes (RER line B)

View the results of our testing campaign (in French)

Three lines of attack

In our fight to improve air quality, we’re working toward three major goals:

  • reduce fine-particulate emissions at the source
  • treat air on the platform
  • improve station ventilation

Fine-particulate “vacuum cleaner”

Working with Tallano Technologie, we’re developing a system that captures the particulates emitted by braking trains. In early 2019 we ran laboratory tests to confirm that the system worked and to quantify the reduction in emissions, estimated at 70%. In the second quarter of the year, we began operating an RER C commuter trainset fitted with the capture device to test its performance and endurance under actual operating conditions.

Video : L'aspirateur à particules, technologie Tallano testée par SNCF

Two innovations that “wash the air”

In 2018 the Paris Region issued a call for innovative solutions to the challenge of in-station air quality. The Avenue Foch station has been selected to pilot two of the winning proposals:

  • a positive ionization solution, developed by Air Liquide, that charges particles with electricity, causing them to form clusters that are easier to capture
  • a liquid filtration system from Terrao, designed by the start-up Starklab, that captures particles by drawing air in and then injecting it into water.

Improving ventilation

Better ventilation means better air quality in stations. We’re studying long-term solutions that would replace existing smoke removal devices with dual-purpose solutions that would perform equally well during a fire and on a normal day. The new stations on the Éole (RER E) line will be equipped with this combination smoke-removal/ventilation system.

TGVs too

The fight against pollution doesn’t stop at the station door. Tomorrow’s TGVs, now being designed by Alstom, will have a new interior air purification system capable of filtering three to four times more fine particulates.