The structural work is completed, an "Information and Service" kiosk is even ready to welcome future travelers. Workers install escalators, sound traps and false ceilings... On the platform, Serge the rabbit, the mascot of the RATP, already says to pay attention to the doors. Destination displayed: "Saint-Denis".

Like the Société du Grand Paris, the ADP group (Aéroports de Paris) calls "station" the future metro station, which should also become the terminus of line 2027 at the end of 18, towards Massy-Palaiseau and Versailles. A bus station will also be opened for the Olympics, an opportunity to rethink the airport's entire mobility policy.

Workers work on the new terminus of the essential line 14 that will lead to Paris and the Olympic Village, on June 13, 2023 at Orly © airport LUDOVIC MARIN / AFP/Archives

Until the Games, the actors of the extension of line 14, north and south of the capital, will tell AFP how they are preparing.

Automatic test trains

The first studies were launched in 2015, the first foundations in 2019 and the first rails arrived in September 2021, explains Jacques Devaux, director of the Gare d'Orly project and member of the ADP group. "And since the beginning of 2023, we have RATP test trains running, automatic."

"We started testing the systems: rolling systems, trains, the entire station part of line 14, all the technical tests, SSI (fire safety systems, editor's note), access control, sound system, video, etc.," he said. A safety commission should be convened at the beginning of next year, in February, for a commissioning of the station in time for the Olympics.

"Regarding line 18, the tunnel boring machine arrived on June 13. The rails are not expected until 2025. We will have a temporary partition to separate the two areas, line 14 in operation and line 18 still under construction, "says Mr. Devaux.

The ongoing extension of line 14 that will lead to Paris and the Olympic Village, on June 13, 2023 at Orly © airport LUDOVIC MARIN / AFP/Archives

Edward Arkwright, executive director of Groupe ADP, explains that his teams had to rethink in 2015 the Orly renewal project, launched three years earlier but which had not integrated the metro. "It was necessary to modify the project to insert this station in the construction of the new building of Orly 3, which connects the old terminals of Orly West and Orly South," he said.

"Decarbonisation strategy"

"Line 14 will be a major axis for the Olympics, not only for passengers, but also for athletes and delegations," he said. "It will be the nerve center for all those who arrive at Orly and go to the Olympic village."

The project "was also an opportunity to rethink the entire mobility policy at Orly (...), which is an absolutely major challenge for a platform that is accessed far too much by individual vehicle, and by road in general," adds the manager. "This is very important for our decarbonisation strategy, because more than 40% of emissions come from accessibility."

Located south of Paris, Orly must finally be integrated into a mesh transport network, in connection with the various territories that surround it, says Renaud Morel, director of mobility at Groupe ADP.

"Our strategy is not only to improve access for employees and passengers, but also to make the two airports, Orly and Charles-de-Gaulle, places of connectivity serving the surrounding territories," he explains.

With the arrival of lines 14 and 18 at Orly, the first choice of development was to connect directly to the bus station, according to Morel. "Then we have to work on all the other springs: carpooling, cycling... to promote intermodality and behavioural change."

More than 90% of Orly's 28,000 employees currently come by car. "By 2035, we hope to reduce this share to about 55%, which would be a monumental change," he said.

© 2023 AFP