|Tramway de Valenciennes|
|Number of lines||1|
|Number of stations||28|
|Daily ridership||29,000 (2009)|
|System length||18.3 km (11.4 mi)|
|Track gauge||1,435 mm (4 ft 8 1⁄2 in)|
The Valenciennes tramway is a tram system in the Valenciennes urban area in the Nord-Pas-de-Calais région of northern France. One line has been completed, and eventually the network will include three lines, be 48 km long and serve sixteen cities and villages.
The former Valenciennes network was opened in 1881, and at the peak of its development reached the Belgian border. It closed in July 1966.
The first section of line A (Université - Dutemple, 19 stations) opened on July 3, 2006 under the name of line 1. It is 9.5 km long, services five cities or villages of the Valenciennes area, at a cost of €242.75 million. Citadis 302 from Alstom has been selected to transport the first passengers.
The line starts in a nearly rural area in the grounds of the University of Valenciennes and Hainaut-Cambresis, then goes north through a commercial mall and the poorer housing areas of La Briquette. It runs through the center of Valenciennes, from Porte de Paris stop to the railway station. Originally the line was to go through the Place d'Armes in front of the city hall, but instead it uses the nearby Rue de la Vieille-Poissonnerie. Beyond the railway station, the line reaches the suburban city of Anzin, where it runs through former industrial areas, now abandoned, and then reuses the former Abscon - Saint-Waast railway line from St-Waast stop to Dutemple terminus.
A study on a single-track extension from St-Waast stop to Valenciennes hospital was carried out and dropped in favour of an electric shuttle bus.
Line A was extended during Phase II from Valenciennes to Denain (Dutemple - Espace Villars, eight stations) and this extension was formally opened on August 31, 2007. Commercial services began three days later. It is 8.8 km long.
The second largest city of the Valenciennes area, Denain wants to improve its transportation capabilities. The line reuses a 6.5 km long section of the former railway alignment from Denain to Valenciennes, which was one of the oldest railways in France (line Abscon - Saint-Waast: opened in 1838). The cost of the Phase II extension is 69 M€.
One additional intermediate station, Les Grémonts, could be added in a second phase. The station Solange Tonini was added in September 2008 and the Allende station was renamed Jean Dulieu. In July 2009, the station La Plaine was added north of Dutemple. In August 2010, the line 1 has become line A.
Future lines C and D
Lines C and D will be opened in two phases :
- Phase III, line C Anzin - Vieux-Condé, 13 km long single track tramway (23 stations) with crossings at the stations, scheduled for 2012. Construction should start in 2010.
Beyond lines C and D, the following extensions are envisaged:
- from Denain to Douchy-les-Mines: the terminus of line A at Espace Villars in Denain provides the right orientation towards the city of Douchy-les-Mines.
- towards Raismes: along avenue Anatole-France to place de Raismes. The three-way junction in Anzin may be difficult, so it will be necessary to use either the Raismes branch or the Vieux-Condé branch (Line C) as a shuttle.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Valenciennes tramway.|
- "Valenciennes tramway extends". Railway Gazette International. October 2007.
- "More Citadis LRVs for Valenciennes - International Railway Journal". 2010-10-06. Retrieved 2010-10-06.