France - Trams

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Lignes d'Azur, Nice (Nizza)


Lignes d'Azur operates local buses and trams in the Nice (Nizza) - Côte d'Azur area. There is just one tram line T1 operating between the stops called Henri Sappia at the other end and Hôpital Pasteur at the other. The trams are Alstom Citadis 302/402 models. This one is in the city center of Nice running towards Hôpital Pasteur.
Picture from Nice 8.3.2018 by Ilpo Ruissalo.

Trams of Grenoble / Tramway de Grenoble


Two Alstom Citadis 402 trams near the Grenoble main railway station.
Picture 26.6.2007 by Ilkka Siissalo.


Another Alstom Citadis 402 tram arrives at the tramstop by the Grenoble main railway station.
Picture 26.6.2007 by Ilkka Siissalo.


Two Alstom Citadis 402 trams meeting by the tramstop of the Grenoble university
Picture 27.6.2007 by Ilkka Siissalo.


An Alsthom TFS tram is approaching a tram stop near Grenoble main railway station. This tram is from 1992. On the right a newer Alstom Citadis 402 tram. (Note that in the meantime the company changed its name from Alsthom to Alstom.)
Picture 26.6.2007 by Ilkka Siissalo.


Two Alsthom TFS trams stopping in front of the Grenoble main station.
Picture 26.6.2007 by Ilkka Siissalo.

Tramway de Nancy / Stan


The tramway of Nancy's TVR vehicles are strictly speaking not trams, but rather rail-guided rubbertyred dual-mode buses composed of three sections. They are operated by the Service de Transport de l'Agglomération Nancéienne (STAN) and therefore often also referred to as Stans. This is Bombardier's technology which they call TVR (Transport sur Voie Réservée, transport on a reserved lane). Outside the city center they operate as normal buses, but when the vehicle comes to the city's old town where streets are especially narrow, the bus attaches itself to the guiding rail and also uses trolley pole masts to collect electricity in the same style that normal trolley buses do. The Stan system began its operation in 2000. But the city is not happy with these vehicles. They are heavy and as the rail guides these vehicles to run on exactly the same track, they quickly break the street pavement. Asphalt is not nearly as strong as metal rails. They also derail easily. In the city of Caen they had a similar TVR system, but Caen already gave up using it and sold their TVR buses to Nancy as a source of spare parts. Also the city of Nancy is planning to get rid of these vehicles replacing them with traditional trams.
Picture from downtown Nancy 12.5.2002 by Ilkka Siissalo.


Stan TVRs have a large capacity thanks to their three sections. But they derail easily, especially during winter conditions when snow packs onto the track.
Picture from downtown Nancy 12.5.2002 by Ilkka Siissalo.


In the TVR system the guiding rails do not raise up from the street level. During wintertime, snow and ice easily gets collected and packed tightly into the rails thereby lifting the TVR bus out of its guiding rail. A three-section vehicle can move quite uncontrollably when it derails.
Picture from downtown Nancy 12.5.2002 by Ilkka Siissalo.


The long TVR vehicles look like a crossing between a bus and a tram. But this picture shows already clearly the other problem of the TVR vehicles tendency to break the asphalt when they run over and over again exactly on the same track. This picture was taken in 2002 so by then the system had been in use only for some two years, but still you can easily see how the rubber tyres have left their marks on the pavement already.
Picture from downtown Nancy 12.5.2002 by Ilkka Siissalo.

Trams of Mulhouse


The tram system in the city of Mulhouse in Alsace (former Müllhausen of what was German Elsass) is fairly new. The two first tram lines were opened in 2006. Currently in 2018 there are three tram lines plus one tram-train service. This tram is an Alstom Citadis 302, seen here in front of the Mulhouse football stadium.
Picture 17.7.2007 by Ilkka Siissalo.


Same tram as above, but seen from the other side.
Picture 17.7.2007 by Ilkka Siissalo.


Five Citadis 302 trams at the tram depot in Mulhouse.
Picture 17.7.2007 by Ilkka Siissalo.

Trams of Paris / Île-de-France


Tram lines around Paris are being developed all the time. Trams do not come to the very city center of Paris, but in the suburbs there are more and more tram lines. This tram no.358 is one of the very new Alstom's 1435 mm gauge trams driving on the lines T3A and T3B, which are really long lines.
Picture from Porte de la Villette 5.6.2018 by Ilkka Siissalo.


Same tram seen from behind. These new trams have driver's cabs at both ends and doors on both sides. There are in 2018 ten tram lines in the Île-de-France area. Total network length is 104,7 km. Two lines use rubber tyre trams. These trams on the picture are used on lines T3a and T3b. They are of the type Alstom Citadis 402 and they were ordered in 2003. They are 43,7 metres long and 2,65 metres wide, with seven sections.
Picture from Porte de la Villette 5.6.2018 by Ilkka Siissalo.


Side view shows the remarkable length of the Citadis 402 trams.
Picture from Hôpital Robert Debré tramstop in Paris 5.6.2018 by Ilkka Siissalo.

Trams of Strasbourg


The ultramodern Eurotram low floor trams of the EU city Strasbourg are fast, they can bend at 6 joints at street corners and they have 6 large doors on both sides of the tram. There´s a similar cockpit at both ends of the tram.
Photo in January 1999 by Ilkka Siissalo. Uploaded May 24, 1999.
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