Research: Best Practices in Operating UTO Lines

In 2016, fifteen CoMET and Nova metros have experience in planning or operating automated lines. This study identified good practices in operating fully automated metro lines, known as Unattended Train Operation (UTO) lines. The majority of UTO lines are GoA4 and this trend is projected to continue, with a sharp increase in UTO lines planned for the next 10 years. Given this rapid adoption of UTO, this study was selected by CoMET and Nova members to identify how best to prepare for and eventually operate driverless trains.

The study identified a number of metros good and emerging practices for operating UTO lines from preparation stages to operation. Testing periods for UTO lines, for example, are carried out at three different levels: testing of components, of systems and of whole lines. Following this period, metros may assign on-board staff for fast response to potential service instabilities and passenger assistance. Ultimately for GoA4 lines, incidents are dealt with remotely, managed in practice by the OCCs. This requires a shift in practice from frontline to remote problem-solving. Also, the study determined that whilst UTO lines are generally more reliable, incident management can become a bigger challenge than with conventional lines.