A tram standing at Wellington stop
|Type||Tram, light rail|
|Locale||Barcelona metropolitan area|
|Opening||8 May 2004|
|Operator(s)||Tramvia Metropolità del Besòs, S.A. (part of TRAM)|
|Depot(s)||Central Tèrmica del Besòs|
|Rolling stock||Alstom Citadis 302|
|Line length||14.097 km (8.759 mi)|
|Track gauge||1,435 mm (4 ft 8 1⁄2 in) standard gauge|
|Electrification||750 V DC overhead lines|
|Operating speed||19.37 km/h (12.04 mph)|
Trambesòs (Catalan pronunciation: [trambəˈzos]) is a tram–light rail system in the Spanish autonomous community of Catalonia that links the Barcelona district of Sant Martí with Badalona and Sant Adrià de Besòs. Its name comes from the union of the words "tram", an abbreviation of the Catalan word for "tram" (tramvia), and "Besòs", the name of an area in the north of the Barcelonès region dominated by the Besòs River.
The first section of Trambesòs was opened on 8 May 2004 as part of route T4 and since its opening it has undergone several extensions, the last of which took place on 15 June 2008 with the creation of route T6 between Sant Adrià de Besòs railway station and Gorg metro station in Badalona.
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The system comprises 27 stops and has a total length of 14 kilometres (8.7 mi) whereby three different routes are run. The network is configured as a double-track electrified tramline built to the standard track gauge that starts near Parc de la Ciutadella in the Barcelona district of Sant Martí and continues towards Badalona and Sant Adrià de Besòs through Gran Via de les Corts Catalanes and Avinguda Diagonal, the system's two main arterial corridors to enter Barcelona. There is also another branch that crosses the La Rambla de la Mina street in Sant Adrià and connects the Gran Via section with the Avinguda Diagonal one.
Trambesòs uses exclusive infrastructure such as a reserved platform for its circulation along all its route and dedicated signaling. The exclusive use of the reserved platform by the tram is meant to provide greater regularity, speed and safety, and it only has contact with other vehicles at several existing at-grade intersections with the local street system. These intersections are regulated by traffic lights, which do not not have the traffic signal preemption system fully operational, what would allow the tram to reach 20 km/h (12 mph). The reserved platform houses the tracks, the overhead contact system, the dedicated signaling and the railway platforms. In addition, it is level with the sidewalks in most of its path and is sometimes grass-covered or simply covered in concrete or asphalt concrete like the road surface. In order to supply electric power to the overhead line, six substations were built along the line, providing a voltage of 750 V DC. The contact wire has a cross-section of 150 mm2 (0.23 in2) supported by several metallic utility poles positioned along the railway tracks.
The rolling stock operated on the network is composed of 18 Citadis 302 low-floor trams built in its variation "Barcelona" (teal and white colors) by Alstom at its manufacturing plant in Santa Perpètua de Mogoda. Tram units are parked and maintained at the only depot of Trambesòs located next to Central Tèrmica del Besòs stop, on a triangular piece of land between the Ronda Litoral coastal beltway and the Barcelona–Mataró–Maçanet-Massanes railway.
Autoritat del Transport Metropolità (ATM) is the transport authority responsible for fares and ticketing, and for marketing the network. Trambesòs is part of the integrated fare system within Barcelona metropolitan area and is entirely within ATM fare zone 1. Fares are the same as the ones applied on Trambaix as well as the ticket system. Single tickets can be purchased at stops by using ticket machines and allow you to transfer between other Trambesòs routes for 30 minutes without having to buy another ticket. All tickets or other transportation cards must be validated in a machine by the door of the tram although underground stops have ticket barriers so there is no need to validate the ticket on the tram.
The system currently comprises 27 stops, each following the same design and technical characteristics as Trambaix stops. Almost all stops have 60-metre-long (200 ft) low platforms (35 centimetres or 14 inches above rail level) with a 6-metre-long (20 ft) ramp at each end of the platform. This allows wheelchairs, prams, pushchairs and the elderly to board the tram easily with no steps. The stops also have different platform layouts depending on the street section where they are located. Currently there are 8 stops with 1 island platform and 19 stops with 2 side platforms, three of which are located underground in the Gran Via section. There are also 8 stops that offer a transfer to Barcelona Metro network while only Estació de Sant Adrià stop offers a transfer to Rodalies de Catalunya commuter rail services, becoming the only stop of the whole network that offers a transfer to some kind of heavy rail services.
Design and facilities of the stops are meant to provide universal access as one of the goals of the network since its planning. The stops follow a common design that has a discrete look to them, dominated by metallic materials and panes of glass. Facilities for passengers include one or two shelters equipped with an intercom, a PA system, a passenger information display (PID), a CCTV system, a noticeboard and ticket vending machines. The shelters were designed by architects Antoni Roselló and Rafael Cáceres, who were awarded in the design section of the 2004 City of Barcelona Awards for this design.
Three east–west routes currently make up the Trambesòs system. The Gran Via section is used by both routes T5 and T6, while the Avinguda Diagonal section and the branch in the La Mina neighbourhood are only used by routes T4 and T6, respectively. All routes converge at Plaça de les Glòries Catalanes, becoming the only stop of the whole network that provides a transfer to all Trambesòs routes.
Routes are generally displayed by a teal square with a white "T" followed by the route number in it (e.g. ). Trambaix routes are also displayed with a "T" to stand out those are also tram services so the difference between the two networks is on the numbering: Trambaix uses numbers 1–3, while Trambesòs uses numbers 4–6.
- Route T4 starts near Parc de la Ciutadella in Barcelona and addresses towards Plaça de les Glòries Catalanes through Avinguda Meridiana. Then it continues towards Sant Adrià de Besòs railway station via Avinguda Diagonal and Avinguda d'Eduard Maristany, where it runs parallel to the sea.
- Route T5 starts at Plaça de les Glòries Catalanes and terminates at Gorg metro station in Badalona via the Gran Via section.
- Route T6 runs from Plaça de les Glòries to Sant Adrià de Besòs railway station sharing the Gran Via section together with route T5 and via the branch that passes across La Mina neighbourhood in Sant Adrià. Formerly, this route had run from Sant Adrià de Besòs railway station to Gorg metro station in Badalona via La Mina branch without entering Barcelona.
|Name||First service||Current service||Number of stops||Length||Journey time||Rush hour
|Ciutadella | Vila Olímpica ↔ Estació de Sant Adrià|
|8 May 2004||14 July 2004||14||6,458 m
|22 min||every 8 min|
|Vila Olímpica · Wellington · Marina · Auditori | Teatre Nacional · Glòries · Ca l'Aranyó · Pere IV · Fluvià · Selva de Mar · El Maresme · Fòrum · Can Llima · Central Tèrmica del Besòs · Estació de Sant Adrià|
|Glòries ↔ Gorg|
|14 October 2006||8 September 2007||13||6,993 m
|22 min||every 16 min|
|Glòries · La Farinera · Can Jaumandreu · Espronceda · Sant Martí de Provençals · Besòs · Alfons el Magnànim · Parc del Besòs · La Catalana · Sant Joan Baptista · Encants de Sant Adrià · Sant Roc · Gorg|
|Glòries ↔ Estació de Sant Adrià||—|
|16 June 2008||20 February 2012||11||4,485 m
|20 min||every 16 min|
|Glòries · La Farinera · Can Jaumandreu · Espronceda · Sant Martí de Provençals · Besòs · Alfons el Magnànim · Parc del Besòs · La Mina · Central Tèrmica del Besòs · Estació de Sant Adrià|
Linkage with Trambaix
The original project about the introduction of a modern tram system in Barcelona comprised the creation of a new tram route covering the whole Avinguda Diagonal, between Zona Universitària and Diagonal Mar shopping mall. With the opening of Trambaix and Trambesòs, the possibility of creating a new tram line through Avinguda Diagonal connecting both networks became more popular, and even saw a demonstration in favor of the union of the two tram networks in late September 2005. That same year, and after the announcement by the Generalitat of Catalonia to study the project, the Barcelona City Council announced its opposition, even after the publication of two studies that positively assessed the linkage through Diagonal.
In 2008, the Mayor of Barcelona Jordi Hereu announced the refurbishment of Avinguda Diagonal, which included the construction of the new tram line. The creation of a new office to carry out the "Diagonal Project" was also announced and because of opposition demand, a referendum would be held among other actions to enhance citizen participation, the first referendum proclaimed by the City Council ever to be held in Barcelona. During the participatory and technical process involved in the refurbishment of Avinguda Diagonal throughout 2009, various questions and suggestions were raised to the City Council, and many of the points of the reform such as the construction of the new tram line were called into question. The referendum was officially announced in December and was planned to be held on 10–16 May 2010 with two projects to be chosen and an option to dismiss them. The voting process would take place at several municipal offices used as polling places by voting using touchscreens, though it was also possible to vote through the Internet. Citizens were asked about how they would prefer to reform the avenue, and if they would prefer to convert it into a boulevard or an avenue of a pedestrian walkway nature. The development of the referendum was marked by fierce controversy from day one, and specially because of continuous technical faults involving the electronic voting system. The winning option was finally the "C" one, dismissing all of the projects with almost 80% of votes counted. After the failed referendum, there was a political crisis of the Barcelona City Council which resulted with the resignation of two politicians from the local government team, and the linking of the two tram networks appeared to have stagnated.
Since the entry of the new local government headed by Xavier Trias in 2011, the proposal of connecting Trambaix and Trambesòs through Avinguda Diagonal was dismissed, though it has been agreed to reactivate the linkage project with the Generalitat. The current mayor is committed to connecting the two tram systems through different streets in the district of Eixample and objects to the construction of a tram line through Diagonal. One of the new proposed routes would mostly pass through Provença Street, creating a sort of "shuttle tram" for tourists between Sagrada Família and La Pedrera, while the other one would mostly pass through Gran Via. However, there is no date for the start of construction and it is intended to prioritize the new orthogonal express bus network which will perform a similar function as all of the new projected new routes for the tram in the city centre.
The Infrastructure Master Plan (PDI) 2011–2020 by the Autoritat del Transport Metropolità (ATM) for Barcelona metropolitan area includes various proposals to extend the existing tram network. In general, it is about extension projects on existing routes following major arterial corridors and with a completion of projects beyond 2020.
- Estació de Sant Adrià ↔ Port de Badalona: The enlargement of route T4 from Sant Adrià de Besòs railway station towards Badalona will comprise the construction of 3 new stops, 1.7 km of tracks along Eduard Maristany Avenue and the purchase of a new tramcar. It is meant to serve Badalona's coastal strip and gain more than 3,000 new passengers, 270 of which from the private car. That new section has an estimated cost of €22 million and is expected to be further extended to reach Badalona railway station in a future.
- Ciutadella | Vila Olímpica ↔ World Trade Center: It is expected to give continuity to the current southern terminus of route T4 situated at Ciutadella – Vila Olímpica stop with that extension project. The new suggested route would surround Parc de la Ciutadella passing through the nearest side to the sea, and then it would follow Barcelona's coastal strip up to the waterfront where World Trade Center Barcelona is located, serving the Port Vell area included in the Barcelona Seaport complex.
- Auditori | Teatre Nacional ↔ Plaça Urquinaona: This enlargement is proposed as an extension of route T5 towards Barcelona city centre that starts near Auditori – Teatre Nacional stop up to Plaça Urquinaona, passing through the arterial corridors of Vilanova Avenue and Ronda de Sant Pere.
- Torribera ↔ Sant Adrià: Although this project does not appear in the updated PDI 2011–2020, it has been proposed by the Sant Coloma de Gramenet City Council and appeared on PDI 2010–2018 which was drawn up by the former government of the Generalitat of Catalonia and the ATM. The project involves the construction of a new tram line connected to Trambesòs network and which could be built as an extension of route T6. That new tram line would run parallel to the arterial corridor that is formed by the drainage basin of river Besòs, linking the municipality of Sant Adrià de Besòs to Santa Coloma de Gramenet up to Torribera Center, a Diputació de Barcelona-owned building used by the University of Barcelona (UB) located in the northern part of town.
Trambesòs is one of the public transportation networks in Barcelona metropolitan area with one of the highest rates of fraud, incivility and vandalism, which means €275,000 per year in added expenses for TRAM. It is estimated that one in three Trambesòs users travel without paying, being the final section of routes T5 and T6 where more cases involving fraud in the ticket payment are reported, and whereby even incidents with ticket inspectors are also reported, sometimes involving the intervention by the police force. Attacks on tram drivers have also been reported of which one of the most controversial was when a group of 15 people were waiting at Gorg stop in Badalona at 1:00 am for the arrival of the tram to lynch the driver, who tried to shut himself inside the driving cab, being unable to avoid punches. After this controversial aggression, TRAM decided to strengthen security on the network, mainly at Gorg, Estació de Sant Adrià and Ciutadella – Vila Olímpica stops. It was also decided to rely on popular mediators who are natives from the affected area and selected by the Federation of Gipsy Associations in Catalonia (Fagic) to minimize vandalism, making possible to solve several conflicts.
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- Jiménez, Anna (31 December 2005). "Tramvia de l'Avinguda Diagonal (Barcelona)" (in Catalan). Societat Catalana d'Ordenació del Territori. Retrieved 2 August 2012.
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- "La consulta de la Diagonal es farà entre el 10 i el 16 de maig del 2010" (in Catalan). Europa Press. 21 December 2009. Retrieved 8 August 2012.
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- Muñoz, Óscar (14 April 2012). "Trias vol que la connexió dels tramvies passi per la Sagrada Família" (in Catalan). Barcelona. elPeriódico.cat. Retrieved 13 August 2012.
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- "Santa Coloma aposta per una linia nova del Trambesos que arribi a Torribera" (in Catalan). santako.com. 25 November 2006. Retrieved 18 August 2012.
- Autoritat del Transport Metropolità (19 April 2010). "L’ATM enllesteix l’avanç del Pla Director d’Infraestructures 2009–2018 de la regió metropolitana de Barcelona" (PDF) (in Catalan). CCOO Catalonia. pp. 5–6. Retrieved 18 August 2012.
- "El Trambesòs recorre a dos mediadors antivandalisme" (in Catalan). elPeriódico.cat. 30 January 2012. Retrieved 19 August 2012.
- "El Trambesòs caza a 75 pasajeros diarios sin billete en su campaña antifraude" (in Spanish). Europa Press. 23 January 2011. Retrieved 18 August 2012.
- Castedo, Antía (22 March 2010). "Uno de cada tres usuarios del Trambesòs viaja sin pagar el billete" (in Spanish). Barcelona. El País. Retrieved 18 August 2012.
- "El Trambesòs refuerza la seguridad tras la última agresión a un conductor" (in Spanish). La Vanguardia. 5 July 2011. Retrieved 19 August 2012.
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- "Trambesòs reforzará la seguridad tras la agresión a un trabajador del tranvía" (in Spanish). elPeriódico.com. 5 July 2011. Retrieved 19 August 2012.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Trambesòs.|
- TRAM official website
- PDF (1.32 MB) at Autoritat del Transport Metropolità website
- Information and photo galleries of Trambesòs stops at trenscat.cat (Catalan)
- TRAMvia.org. Unofficial website about tram systems in Barcelona.
- PDF (1.43 MB) at TRAMvia.org