The Metro Paris has a network of approx. 220 km with 14 lines running on it. The first route was opened in 1900 on the occasion of the world exhibition. It is an unusual feature that trains with rubber tires are running on five routes, the rest is operated conventionally. The lines 1 and 14 are full-automatic, therefore running driverless. Trams are existing in the Parisian metropolitan area since 1992 again after the tramway of the first generation had been abandoned in 1957. The new tram routes are carried out as tangential bypasses or serve as metro feeders. The fleet is very varied. Two lines (T5 and T6) are operated with "Translohr" vehicles, which have only a guide rail and are running on rubber tires. All tram and metro lines are operated by → RATP (Régie autonome des transports Parisiens) apart from the tram lines T4 and T11, which are served by the french national railway operator SNCF with dual system vehicles.
18 photos in 2 sub-albums
The city of Lyon has almost 500,000 inhabitants. Since the year 2000, Lyon has again a tram network, after the first tram was abandoned in 1957. Meanwhile, the system length is again over 60 kilometres. In 2010 an express tram to the airport Lyon-Saint Exupéry was inaugurated, which is about 20 kilometres outside the city. This line named "Rhônexpress" only stops at a few interchange stations. A special fare applies, the normal TCL tickets are not accepted. Since 1978, the city has also a Metro, a cog railway was integrated as line C into the network. The Metro has a system length of some 30 kilometres. Trams and metros as well as urban bus lines are operated by → TCL (Transports en Commun Lyonnais).
The city of Strasbourg has almost 300,000 inhabitants and is located on the Rhine river, which also forms the border with Germany. The tram was abandoned in in 1960, but it was reintroduced in 1994. Since then, the tram network is being constantly extended. Today it has a route length of more than 40 kilometres served by six lines. In 2017, even a cross-border line to the neighbouring German city of Kehl was inaugurated. It is operated by → CTS (Compagnie des transports strasbourgeois).
The tramway in Brest (Brittany, approx. 150,000 inhabitants) was reopened in June 2012 after 68 years of abstinence. The system currently consists of one line (line A) with two eastern branches and has a length of 14.3 kilometres. The vehicles were procured together with Dijon, this is why they are identical except for the colour below the windows. In addition, in Brest France's first urban ropeway was opened in November 2016, which is designated as line C and can be used with tram tickets (a tram line B is planned, therefore the letter was skipped). All three modes of transport are operated under the brand name → Bibus.
In July 2019, the city of Caen (approx. 100,000 inhabitants) in Normandy opened the third tram network in its history: A metre-gauge tram, which was opened in 1901, was abandoned in 1937 following the general trend to more car traffic. At the end of the 1990s, the decision was made to reintroduce the tram to cope with the city's traffic problems - but primarily for financial reasons, it was decided to build a newly developed "tram sur pneus", which means on rubber tyres. This system called TVR with a route length of 15 kilometres was opened in 2002. However, the system quickly not only caused frequent malfunctions, but also became very expensive in operation. Therefore, after only 15 years in service, the entire network was shut down again at the end of 2017 and during a complete closure of 19 months, a conventional tram was built on the same routes with two short extensions. The tram as well as the city buses are operated by Keolis under the brand name → Twisto.
Le Havre (english: "the port", the city has the second largest port in France after Marseille) is situated at the mouth of the Seine into the English Channel in the north-west of France and has a population of 170,000. The tram was reintroduced in 2012 after the first tram of the city was abandoned in 1951. There is now a Y-shaped network, which is served by two lines (A and B) and has a length of about 13 kilometres. The operator is CTPO (Compagnie des Transports de la Porte Océane), which appears under the brand name → Lia (Les Lignes de l'Agglo).
The city of Le Mans is located in the western part of France in the Pays de la Loire Region and has about 150,000 inhabitants. The city is mainly known by car racing, but it also has a really beautiful old town. The tram was reopened in 2007, 60 years after the former tram network was abandoned. Since the opening of the second line T2 in August 2014, the system has a total length of approx. 19 kilometres, both routes are operated at a 6-minute interval during the day. The operator is called → SETRAM.
The Metro in Rennes (Brittany, approx. 200,000 inhabitants) is a fully automated, rubber-tyred subway based on the Siemens VAL system. This is characterized by very narrow, 2.08 meters wide and only 26 metres long vehicles, which have a capacity of only 158 passengers (50 on seats). The Metro was opened in 2002 and has a route length of 9.4 kilometres.. The operator of the public transport in Rennes is called → STAR (Service de Transport en Commun de Rennes Métropole).
The city of Nantes in western France is the capital of the Pays de la Loire region and has nearly 300,000 inhabitants. In 1985, it was the first city in France to rebuild its tram, which was abandoned in 1958. Numerous cities followed this example and the so-called renaissance of the tram began throughout France. Meanwhile, the network has a route length of some 50 kilometres. The operator is called Semitan (Société d'économie mixte des transports de commune de agglomération nantaise), it appears under the brand name → TAN.
The city of Saint Etienne (approx. 170,000 inhabitants) is located in the Massif Central, some 50 kilometres west of Lyon. Opened in 1881, the tram network is the oldest in France and, together with Marseille and Lille, is one of the only three that weren't shut down during the postwar period. It is therefore still laid out with the metre-gauge tracks, which have become exotic in France. The trams and buses are operated by → STAS (Société de Transports de l’Agglomération Stéphanoise)
In order to solve its traffic problems, the city of Clermont-Ferrand in the Auvergne (about 450,000 inhabitants in the agglomeration) intended in the 1990s to revitalise its tramway, which had been abandoned in 1956. The decision was taken in 1996, but was revised following massive pressure from the city's largest employer, the tyre manufacturer Michelin. Now a mass transport system based on rubber tyres was demanded. The choice fell on the Translohr system. Due to the quarrels, completion was delayed until 2006. After two extensions, there is now one line with a length of about 15 kilometres. Meanwhile, there is so much dissatisfaction with the rubber-tyred trams that the decision is now regarded as a mistake even by politicians. The planned construction of a second line has therefore been shelved. A conversion of the existing line to a conventional tram is no longer being excluded but only when the vehicles have reached the end of their economic lifetime. The operator of the urban transport system is → T2C (Transport en commun de l'agglomération clermontoise).
The city of Angers is located in western France and has about 150,000 inhabitants. In the past, Angers had a metre-gauge tram network, which was abandoned in 1949. Since 2011, Angers has a new tram line with a length of about 12 kilometers, a second line is in preparation. The reconstruction of the tramway was carried out in standard gauge (1,435 mm).
The city of Dijon is the capital of the Burgundy region and has about 150,000 inhabitants. Its first tram network was shut down in 1961. Since the buses were overcrowded despite extremely high headway frequencies, the tram was reopened in 2012. The system length is currently about 20 kilometres. Operator of the tram is Keolis, the coordinating authority is called → DIVIA.
Besançon in the east of France has approx. 120,000 inhabitants. The town had a metre-gauge tram network, which was abandoned in 1952. As the bus network reached its capacity limit around the year 2000, the municipality followed up a bus acceleration program. But for a tram considerably more passengers were forecasted, so the reintroduction of the tram was decided. The new tramway was put into operation in August 2014. A route passing the town in east west direction was built with a short branch to the railway station and a total route length of 15 kilometres. The operator is called → GINKO, a leaf of the tree of the same name decorates the logo.
The city of Mulhouse is located in Alsace, only a few kilometers from the border with Germany. It has about 110,000 inhabitants and opened a modern tram network in 2006, 49 years after the shutdown of the first tram. It has an extension of about 16 kilometres and is also used by tram-train, which runs in a 30 minutes headway. This dual-system trams run on the network of the French railway operator SNCF to the village of Thann, some 20 kilometres away from Mulhouse. Referring to the yellow corporate colour, the operator of the tram and city buses is named → Soléa.
Orléans is the capital of the French region Center-Val de Loire and has about 120,000 inhabitants. With the opening of the line "A" in the year 2000, the tram was reintroduced in the city after the first one was abandoned in 1938. In 2012, the line B has been added, which runs in east-west direction. Since then, the tram has a system length of almost 30 kilometres. The transport system carries the brand name → TAO (Transports de l'agglomération orléanaise).
The city of Tours is located in the centre of France in the Center-Val de Loire region and has approx. 140,000 inhabitants. The First-generation tram network existed from 1877 to 1949 (it was never completely repaired after the second world war) and used metre-gauge tracks. In 2013, the tram was re-opened. A standard-gauge line crosses the city in north-south direction with a length of about 15 kilometres. The operator of the tram and city buses is named → "filbleu" (English: "blue thread"). In contrast to the silver metallic trams, the buses are all wearing a blue livery.
The city of Reims (Grand Est, almost 200,000 inhabitants) had a metre-gauge tramway network until 1939. More than 70 years later, in 2011, it was reopened as a modern, standard-gauge tram. The two lines, which only separate for two stops, have a system length of some 11 kilometres. The operator of the trams as well as the city buses is called → CITURA.
The city of Rouen is located in the north of France, about 100 kilometres northwest of Paris and has a population of 100,000. The Rouen tram was abandoned in 1953 and reopened in 1994, but nowadays it runs in a tunnel under the city centre with five underground stations. Therefore, it is also officially called "Metro" (subway), although about 80% of the route length are normal tram lines. The tram and the urban bus routes are operated by TCAR (Transports de commune de agglomération rouennaise) operates under the brand name → Réseau Astuce.
The city of Lille is located in the north of France close to the Belgian border and has a population of about 250,000 (1 million including suburbs). It is one of only three trams in France, which has existed continuously since 1874 and has never been shut down ever since. This is why the Lille tram runs on metre-gauge tracks, while all the newly constructed tram networks were built in standard-gauge. The "network" is, however, rather negligible: there are just two routes with a total length of 22 kilometres, which share one line within Lille and branch only in the outer area. There is also a subway (Metro) since 1983, which also has two lines and is operated full-automatically with quite small "VAL" vehicles. The Metro system has a total length of approx. 45 km. Both systems are operated by a company called → Transpole.
The city of Valenciennes is located in northern France, close to the Belgian border. It has only about 45,000 inhabitants, but together with the neighbouring municipalities it has a population of over 350,000. The tramway network was opened in 2006 as a successor to the first tram, which was abandoned in 1966. Two lines arranged in a Y-shape, which lead far into the surrounding area, operate on a route length of almost 34 kilometres.
The city of Grenoble is located in the south-east of France on the edge of the French Alps and has about 150,000 inhabitants. It was the second city of France after Nantes in 1987, which reintroduced its tram after it was abandoned in the 1950s. At the time of reopening, Grenoble had the first tram in the world, which used exclusively cars with low-floor entry. Meanwhile, the network has already grown to a length of approx. 40 kilometres. The tram is operated by → TAG (Transports de l'Agglomération Grenobloise).
The tramway in Toulouse is, like almost all French trams, a second generation network. The first tram from 1887 was abandoned in 1957. In the year 2010 the tram returned to Toulouse - first only as a feeder to the Metro from Northwest to Arènes, since 2013 also to the city again. The airport was linked by a second line in 2015, since then the network has a length of approx. 17 kilometres. Toulouse also has a relatively new Metro network consisting of two lines opened in 1993 and 2007. It is an automated, rubber-tyred VAL-system Metro (Véhicule automatique léger), developed by the French company Matra and offered by Siemens since its dissolution. Operator of the metro and tram as well as the city bus lines is → Tisséo - Réseau Urbain
The city of Bordeaux has a new tram network since 2003, after the first one was shut down in 1958. It has now a system length of almost 50 kilometres. Only five- and seven-car Alstom Citadis vehicles are in operation, which have an extravagant design with only one front light. Some sections with a total length of approx. 10 km are operated without overhead wires in the so-called APS system ("Alimentation Par Sol"). On these sections, the electricity is taken from a third rail located centrally between the guide rails, which is divided into very small sections. Always only the section, which is completely covered by the moving tram, is activated. Trams and city buses are operated by → TBM (Transport Bordeaux Métropole).
The tram in Avignon (90.000 inhabitants) in the Provence, famous for its bridge, was opened in October 2019. This was preceded by a difficult political process: after the decision to build a tram network of almost 15 kilometers in length was approved in 2010, the new city council elected in 2014 wanted to stop the project. However, after a number of contracts had already been signed and the vehicles had already been ordered, an exit would have meant immense costs for the city. As a compromise solution, it was decided to build a line with only 6 kilometers in length. Since the 14 trams intended for the original network were delivered, there was a considerable overstock of vehicles. Now the second line is to be built after all and line 1 will be given a new terminus "intra-muros", i.e. centrally within the city wall. The tram as well as the city buses in Avignon are managed by the municipal transport company → Orizo.
In contrast to almost all other trams in France, the tram in Marseille was never completely withdrawn in the 20th century. However, it had shrunk to one line of 3 kilometres length since the 1960s. Starting in 2007, the network was extended again, currently there are almost 12 kilometres of route. The Bombardier-built 'Flexity Outlook' vehicles got a very special design for Marseilles, which is reminiscent of the bow of a ship and thus illustrates the importance of the port for the city. The Metro consists of two routes and is served by rubber-tyred trains. Both networks as well as the city buses are operated by → RTM (Régie des Transports de Marseille).
The city of Nice had a metre-gauge tram network since 1879, which was abandoned in 1953. In the year 2007, the tram was re-opened. In contrast to the first tram network, the new one was carried out with standard-gauge tracks. At present, one line is in operation (about 9 km long), a second one is under construction. The tram is operated by "Société des Transports de Nice" (ST2N) under the brand Name → Lignes d'Azur.
The city of Montpellier is located about 10 kilometres from the Mediterranean Sea between Marseille and the Spanish border. It has a new tram network since the year 2000, after the first one was abandoned in 1949. In the meantime, four trams lines in Montpellier serve a route length of approx. 60 kilometers. One specialty is the line-related design of the cars, this means that each line has its own vehicle design. Each car can only be used on "its" line. The tram network is operated by → TAM ( Transports de l'agglomération de Montpellier).
Die Stadt Aubagne liegt in Südfrankreich, ca. 15 Kilometer östlich von Marseille und hat knapp 50.000 Einwohner. Sie verfügt seit September 2014 über eine etwa drei Kilometer kurze Straßenbahnlinie, die den Bahnhof mit den Wohnvierteln im Westen der Stadt verbindet. Die Bahn verkehrt montags bis samstags alle 10 Minuten, an Sonntagen ruht der Betrieb. Die Nutzung der Tram ist ebenso wie die der Stadtbusse kostenlos. Sie wird im Auftrag des regionalen Aufgabenträgers → Lignes de l’Agglo von der RTM betrieben, die auch die öffentlichen Verkehrsmittel in Marseille verantwortet.