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Fourvière funicular: SEMER unveils the strings of its missions

Used by more than 2.5 million passengers each year, the Fourvière funicular is an integral part of the Lyon landscape. Inaugurated in 1900, it allows access from the historic district of Vieux Lyon to the Fourvière hill, overlooking the capital of the Gauls. As part of the major inspection work, SEMER, agent for the works, was entrusted, with POMA, with the electrical renovation of stations, track and vehicles: a project synonymous with stakes and challenges.


Even if the Fourvière funicular had undergone major modifications in 1985, the SYndicat Mixte des Transports pour le Rhône et l'Agglomération Lyonnaise, or SYTRAL, decided, in accordance with the legislation in force, to carry out a complete upgrade of the electrical architecture of the equipment, the line and the vehicles. Through the intervention of SEMER, which will be able to express all its experience and know-how, the ‘’Ficelle’’ will offer itself a real youth therapy and benefit from the latest technologies. Indeed, all electrical components and wiring works will be replaced to be refurbished: from vehicles to machinery, via the tunnel that connects the two stations. To do this, with the assistance of COMAG, it was first necessary to dismantle the machinery and vehicles.


A total renovation for a total commitment

To give the Fourvière funicular a second lease of life, SEMER has demonstrated a total commitment. Indeed, the timing of the project is tight because the works carried out by the company from the Upper Savoy region is coordinated with other companies in the POMA group. Nevertheless, within this constraining time frame, SEMER's missions are not lacking, since it is necessary to renovate and replace everything. In the top station, the control command automated systems will be refurbished, as will the control and power cabinets, in order to increase the availability and reliability of the installation. A new high-efficiency traction motor of type asynchronous for improved energy efficiency for the main winch will also be installed, and a control desk integrating a driving screen with departure management, according to the time slots defined by the operator Kéolis Lyon. A screen of the same type will also be installed in the lower station.


With regard to vehicles, in cooperation with Sigma Composite, SEMER will install on-board automated systems with control desk in each train set, as well as a remote transmission automated system for the exchange of information between each vehicle and the control command system installed in the drive station. Safety is also taken into account by rewiring the electrical circuits of each train set according to the specific rules related to the "fire" risk. New motorizations for the automatic doors will be rearranged, controlled directly by the driver via a touch screen. Because SEMER has thought about operating comfort: drivers will benefit from new control desks equipped with touch screens, with particular attention being paid to the design and ergonomics of the driver's stations in the cabin. New LED lights will also be installed on the two cars of the Fourvière funicular, thus contributing to the renewal of their design.


Safety comes first

For SEMER, safety is not only a requirement but also a prerequisite. As part of the major inspection of the Fourvière funicular and its serious facelift, SEMER will equip the ‘’Ficelle’’ with a high-performance braking system, designed and developed by POMA engineers, which already equips the people mover at Miami airport, among others. The system availability rate is also part of the requirements implemented, in order to provide the operator with maximum comfort for the operation and maintainability of the funicular. Thanks to the "hot" doubling of certain functions and the inventive design of SEMER engineers, the automated system makes it possible to ensure continuity of operation in nominal conditions, even in the event of components failure.


The winch is also equipped with redundant functional and safety subassemblies: a second inverter/motor torque and a second braking unit are installed to ensure better availability of the installation.


More than an intervening company, SEMER is a real partner for SYTRAL and the operator KÉOLIS, with whom it has been collaborating for many years. And the story should not stop there, since after pampering the Fourvière funicular, SEMER should intervene on the Saint-Just funicular at the beginning of 2019.

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