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Rhônexpress is an express line which links downtown Lyon, France with its airport, Lyon-Saint Exupéry Airport, and the TGV train station located there. The passage from the airport to the city's business center at Part-Dieu Villette (Lyon-Part-Dieu railway station) by way Vaulx-en-Velin – La Soie (transfer to Metro Line A) and Meyzieu ZI lasts half an hour. It opened August 9, 2010. The Conseil général of the Rhône franchised the operation of this line for 30 years to Rhônexpress, a consortium including VINCI (28.2%), Veolia Transport (28.2%), Vossloh Infrastructure Service (4.2%), Cegelec Centre Est (2.8%) and the Caisse des dépôts et consignations.
The route is served by 6 [trams], which were built by the Swiss builder Stadler Rail. The route has a length of 23 kilometers (14 mi) and it takes 29 minutes to go from Part-Dieu to the airport; service is every 15 minutes at peak times. Tickets cost 15€ one way and 26€ roundtrip, and are cheaper when purchased on-line. The project included building 8.5 kilometers (5.3 mi) of new track, while remainder of the route runs along the tracks of the existing T3 tram line, which is built with passing tracks to allow express service. The service is independently run and is not a part of the TCL system, although it appears on TCL maps.
Rhônexpress uses the infrastructures of the line T3 built by Sytral (in French, Syndicat mixte des Transports pour le Rhône et l'Agglomération Lyonnaise) up through Meyzieu (a hub for commuters with a large surface parking lot available). From there, all track used was built specifically for the Rhônexpress all the way to Lyon-Saint Exupéry Airport. There are only four stops:
The rolling stock was chosen after a tender, taking into account the technical criteria (speed up to 100 km/h), robustness, security and compatibility with the common use of infrastructure by the T3 line, economic (capacity adapted to the traffic and prospects for their development) as well as comfort and aesthetics.
- Lyon Magazine, June 11, 2010 (retrieved June 16, 2010) (French)
- Ville et transports - magazine, January 17, 2007
- (French) LESLYS, premier tramway express français vers l'Lyon-Saint Exupéry Airport. Transport Urbain, n°110, 07/2007.