Suspended - SAFEGE

S.A.F.E.G.E. is an acronym and a genre. It stands for Société Anonyme Française d'Etude de Gestion et d'Entreprises, and translated to English it means "French Limited Company for the Study of Management and Business." It was a consortium of 25 very impressive companies, including Michelin and Renault. The system was considered as an extension of the subway line to connect Chalenton to Créteil near Paris. Construction of the test track started in April 1959 and lasted until April 1960. The exploratory phase lasted until 1967, and demolition took place in 1970-71.

The essence of the system was the conversion of the rubber-tired bogie developed for the Paris Metro into a bogie from which the coaches could be suspended to make an aerial railway. The bogie ran inside a hollow box girder on the lower face of which was a slot through which the suspension gear passed. The system enjoyed the same type of quiet, rapid acceleration and braking as did the Metro and the SAFEGE's ALWEG cousins. The cars were hung on a pendulum type suspension with pneumatic springs, giving stability and comfort even at high speeds.

The complete enclosure of the bogies inside the box protected them from the weather, so the system was unaffected by rain, frost or snow. Operation was electric from a third rail also enclosed in the box, preventing accidental electrocution. As on the Paris Metro, steel "emergency" wheels come into play if the tire is accidentally deflated.

  • Aerorail
  • Mitsubishi
  • Siemens H-Bahn
  • Sky Train

    SAFEGE test track.

    New designs based on the SAFEGE system are included in this section (Aerorail and Siemens). While some have major engineering differences from the original, they all share the commonality of a vehicle suspended from bogies that run inside a box beam track.

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