Thursday, 2 June 2016

Hit for a Six - One

Six of Eight in Paris
There are eight tram routes in the Paris area, seven of them operated by the City's transport authority. The eighth (ligne 4) is run by S N C T - state railways.

Last autumn in a feast of Parisian public transport, fbb travelled on lines 1, 2, 3a, 3b, 4 and 7; but missed out on lines 5, 6 and 8.This is the history of line 6:-

En 2000, le projet est inscrit au contrat de plan État-Région.

Du 15 juin au 6 juillet 2001, la concertation préalable a été organisée.

De mai à octobre 2002, le schéma de principe du projet a été réalisé.

Le 10 octobre 2002, le schéma de principe a été approuvé par le Syndicat des transports d'Île-de-France (STIF).

Du 17 janvier au 19 février 2005, l'enquête d'utilité publique du projet a été réalisée.

Le 9 février 2006, l'arrêté d’utilité publique du projet est publié.

En 2007, les acquisitions foncières et des travaux préparatoires (déplacement des réseaux d’eau, d’assainissement, d’électricité, de gaz, de télécommunication) ont débuté.

En 2008, les travaux d'aménagement du tramway sont lancés.

Even if you do not understand French, it is clear that the line took a long time to get going. It opened in December 2014.

The line begins at Châtillon Montrouge which is the southern terminus of Métro 13
Here the métro line is on viaduct in the open air alongside the "big train" S N C F tracks.
Part of line 13 is operated automatically so the station has platform doors.
The trams terminate on the opposite side of the viaduct ...
... pulling forward to a stub end after unloading their passengers at a very swish station. The line opened in the pouring rain on Saturday 13th December 2014 ...
... complete with TV coverage!
The then continues in a south-westerly direction ...
... continuing with a few wiggles due west.
Trams are five segment fully articulates, very low floor entry, wheels etc. fully enclosed ...
... but by now our observant readers will have noticed something  unusual. Where are the rails?

Tram routes 5 and 6 in Paris run on bog-standard inflatable tyres (sur pneus). The unit is guided by once central rail - which makes it a sort of ground level monorail.
In this system, two angled flanged wheels "grip" the guide rail.
Pointwork is, of course, needed to allow various positioning movements and short workings. As is normal on monorail systems where the rail is gripped on both sides, the "points" actually move one length of rail "straight" out of the way and substitute a curved length.
The system is branded as "Translohr"

Translohr is the name of a rubber-tired tramway (or guided bus) system originally developed by Lohr Industrie of France and now by a consortium of Alstom and Fonds Stratégique d'Investissement (FSI) as newTL (taking over from Lohr in 2012). It is used in Clermont-Ferrand, Medellín, Tianjin, Shanghai, Padua, Paris and in the Venice-Mestre district.

Translohr is criticized to be more expensive than conventional tram or light rail systems; both building and running costs are said to be higher. In addition, due to the tyres running always over the same area in the road, there is a significant rutting of the roadway

Critics of the system also point out that, unlike a conventional tramway, Translohr is a proprietary system, meaning that once having installed it, a city would face difficulties in buying vehicles from any manufacturer other than Lohr Industrie.

Whatever the advantages and disadvantages of the system, this blog was prompted by the extension of Paris Tram 6 which opened last Saturday, 28th May.

We will explore the extension tomorrow; but in the meantime, enjoy a video of the original December 2014 opening.
Enjoy the rain!

P.S. Trams 9 and 10 are already planned, scheduled to open in 2020 and 2021 respectively.

 Next ligne 6 blog - Friday 3rd June 


  1. The following is a cut and paste item from the Dorset Echo. Am I the only one who can't see how these aims come together?;-

    Dorset County Council has confirmed it needs to further reduce its transport budget by £1.85m in the next financial year.

    This includes £1m on public bus routes and £850,000 on school transport. The council’s current budget for these areas is £10m.

    The announcement came just months after councillors agreed to save £500,000 on rural bus services and decided it would support communities to develop local transport links.

    The county council is now asking residents to have their say on a range of further proposals, which sees 42 routes under review.

    The proposals include; prioritising funding on routes that serve the most people and best support Dorset’s economy; opening up more school services to the public; working closely with community transport operators; working with bus companies to use empty school buses for rural ‘in-fill’ services.

    A consultation will take place between now and Friday, July 22. The council will consider the results and make a decision in September. Any changes would come into effect next summer.

    Cllr Peter Finney, the council’s Cabinet member for environment, infrastructure and highways, said: “We are looking at the bigger picture and aiming to develop a modern transport network that makes best use of our reducing resources by joining up commercial, public and community services to support our economy and keep people connected.

    “We can’t afford to keep our current public bus network, which is neither effective nor sustainable with the level of funding reductions we face.

    “We are keen for the widest possible range of people to have their say by letting us know where and when they travel and how the proposals could affect them.”

  2. Hang on . . . . haven't we just seen the rural shoppers services decimated, where they were operated in the main by using school bus resources?
    Quite right, Clive C . . . I don't see the joined-up thinking either. Talk about death by a thousand cuts!
    Better to simply "do an Oxfordshire" and pull the plug right out of the wall now.
    I redrew the Dorset Bus Map following this year's cuts, and I can quite see why they don't want to publish a new version or re-issue the timetable books . . . . there's not much left.
    I reckon the PVR in Dorset (excluding services from other counties and the Bournemouth/Poole and Weymouth conurbations) is now down to below 25 buses plus school coaches. That includes the commercial routes (X8; X51; X53) but not the 3/4/13 at Wimborne.
    Gerard Fiennes, in 1966, commented that Dorset were keen to prevent new housing as it would ruin the rural nature of the County, and as a result, they got a poor rail network (no chimneys; no need for trains). They obviously haven't learned the lessons, have they!

  3. Tram routes are very useful for the peoples of Paris for a good transport. Mobit Airport Parking