Proper timetables (of a sort) are on offer on Soléa web site. For the trams (line 2 as an example) they include long periods of "frequency" ...
... but no doubt headways of 5 to 8 minutes Monday to Friday are close enough not to bother. We move on to RED service 1.
More of The Same
Trams run from the railway station to Porte Jeune where all four lines interchange. The service then continues northbound to Châtaignier.
... route 1 sets off roughly northbound with paved track but where cars may not go. The private motorist is restricted to narrow lanes, often one way only.
Whether the blue delivery van was legally parked on the pavement is uncertain - but at least it was not blocking the tramway!
But very soon we are in grassed reservations, augmented by avenues of close-clipped trees.
The foliage is so neat they could almost be plastic!
The terminus is soon reached, where connections are available with bus 4.
This service is "on the list" for replacement by trams ...
... but currently has very posh buses.
An alternative source of the tram times, slightly easier to find, is a full list of departures hour by hour for each stop.
Another six minute frequency Monday to Friday schooldays, every 7 and 8 on non schooldays and Saturdays.
Tram Train and Tram 3
Now this IS intriguing!
Tram 3 (DARK GREEN) and the tram train (LIGHT GREEN) run along the same tracks as route 2 from the Station via Porte Jeune as far as Daguerre.
Yesterday we saw the wiggle which takes the tram tracks up to the level of a "proper" railway line travelling north-ish from Mulhouse station.
The two tram services work together with their own stations alongside the "main line".
"Real" rail locos had to cross the tram tracks ...
... to get to a depot.
This trams continue to the terminus of tram 3 at Lutterbach.
Here, a proper train service joins the tram trains at a left fork to continue northwards.
Tram trains every 30 minutes terminate at Thann ...
... leaving the real trains to continue to Kruth. On Saturdays and Sundays the real trains merely shuttle between Thann and Kruth.
There is a proposal that the trams will eventually take over the Kruth trains; and do not forget that there is tram route 3 as far as Lutterbach also every 30 minutes.
The two routes provide a 15 minute frequency to Lutterbach. Tram 3 vehicles are Soléa yellow ...
... while the tram-trains are silver and blue. The latter are operated by SNCF (French Railways) but with 25% of the staff from Soléa.
Three modes on one route? How would the fragmented railways of the UK cope?
It wouldn't, but the French make it work.
To The Museums
Tram route 1 has a stop called Musée de l'Auto ...
... for Cité de l'Automobile, a short walk away.
Line 3/tram train has a stop simply called Musées (below bottom right) ...
... with a short walk to the railway museum in the multicoloured shed, upper left. Here is the (former?) depot mentioned earlier.
fbb has hopes of visiting No 3 son (at Basel) before his contract ends in June and at least one day MUST be spent enjoying the delights of Mulhouse and its transport.
And we haven't even touched on the bus network - there is plenty to explore there ...
... all interconnecting with the trams, of course!
Next big mess blog : Friday 1st February