New Swiss Metro Line Rolls in Comfort on Michelin Rubber
On September 18, dignitaries gathered in Lausanne, Switzerland for the opening of the latest section of the city’s Metro rail system. The 5.9 km long stretch of railway presented engineers with numerous obstacles to overcome – within the modest distance trains cover on the line, the track rises from 373 to 711 metres above sea level, with gradients of up to 12 per cent encountered along the way. What makes this particular railway line of particular interest to us, however, is that instead of the toothed metal wheels traditionally used by railways in mountainous areas, the new Lausanne m2 line runs on Michelin tyres.
“Inflated tyres, in place of steel wheels, are the most suitable for managing extreme gradients,” commented Jean-Pierre Chrétien, the person at Michelin responsible for the sales and marketing of metro products. “More importantly, they provide optimal comfort and facilitate superb acceleration and braking properties. This is important, because the stopping times in Lausanne are very short and the speeds between the stations – up to 60 km/h – are extremely high.”
The Lausanne metro uses the same tyre technology used on 33 cities worldwide, including the Paris Metro. The Michelin tyres are 305/75R20 XPMA TL, with sixteen fitted to each carriage.