How do you build a new railway network? (without bringing the city to a standstill)

Benoit Binet Sep 9, 2019

How Do You Build a New Railway Network?

Building a brand new railway in a city is like performing open heart surgery while the patient is running a marathon. How can disruption be minimised?

The Grand Paris Express is Europe’s biggest urban transport project – a vast new network incorporating the world’s longest circular metro line. The ambition is to provide easier journeys for millions of people and a €100 billion boost for the French economy.

Smooth delivery is part of the vision. It’s vital that disruption around the city is kept to the minimum during construction. Advanced logistics will play a big part in achieving this goal.

Gain without pain

Locally-based suppliers, off-site construction and the Internet of Things (IoT) are among the ingredients needed for smooth project delivery. The prize: lower costs for the customer and less disruption for people and businesses. Here are four ways Nexans is helping:

Local sourcing. Storing and manufacturing components locally means shorter lorry journeys, less congestion and guaranteed deliveries. Nexans is the only major cable company with a base in the city. From its Nanterre Logistics & Solutions Centre 8km from the heart of Paris, Nexans already supports major transport customers including RATP. The centre offers skilled staff, state-of-the-art equipment and a dedicated lorry fleet. And a recent €1.5 million investment has boosted storage capacity at Nanterre by 30%.

Off-site construction (OSC). Shifting complex tasks away from the construction site and into the factory has huge benefits, including improved quality, lower congestion and faster installation. Nexans’ value-added OSC solutions include precision pre-cut cables with connectors attached. Everything is labelled, boxed and trackable – ready for easy installation on site.

Real-time tracking. Keeping track of materials can be a real headache for construction managers. Problems identifying consignments (and where they are) mean wasted journeys, loss and even theft of materials. Nexans’ innovative “Connected Drums” solution uses the Internet-of-Things to track cable reels 24/7, so nothing ever gets lost.

Greener, quieter deliveries. As well as delivering smarter, there’s a need to deliver greener. There’s also a need for quieter vehicles, because noise is the number-one concern for people living near construction sites. Nexans is cutting emissions and reducing noise by making the transition to greener, quieter gas-powered lorries. And because Nexans operates its own fleet, rather than relying on third-party transport providers, trips are minimised.

These are just some of the ways that Nexans is working to bring the ambition of easier journeys a step closer.

Coming up: could off-site construction speed up the delivery of new railways?


About the author

Benoit Binet

Benoît Binet began his career at Nexans in Paris in 2008 before leaving for Qatar where he was sent to start the new local Nexans plant. He then moved to Australia, where he was in charge of cable purchases in Asia. Since January 2018, he has been in charge of the Grand Paris for Nexans and the management of the Nanterre site.

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