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|Native name||Tramway de Reims|
|Locale||Reims, Champagne-Ardenne, France|
|Number of lines||2|
|Number of stations||23|
|Began operation||18 April 2011|
|System length||11 km (6.8 mi)|
|Track gauge||1,435 mm (4 ft 8 1⁄2 in) standard gauge|
Reims tramway (French: Tramway de Reims) is a tram system in the French city of Reims in Champagne-Ardenne opened in April 2011. It travels through the town from North to South, along 11 kilometres (6.8 mi) of route. The project is set to cost €342,780,000 - i.e. $504,120,000 or £255,360,000.
The route has 23 stops, with a further 2 planned for the future.
Two types of services will run on it :
- A : A shuttle running the full length track, between the Northern neighbourhood of Orgeval, then through the shopping district of Avenue de Laon. It stops at the main railway station, serving the business centre of Clairmairais, then passing through the city centre to go in the neighbourhood of Croix-Rouge. Meanwhile, it serves a theatre, a large public square and a private clinic. It terminates near the general hospital.
- B : A special service that begins at the central railway station and has the same route as the A. A short distance before the terminus of the Hôpitaux it turns 90 degrees and speeds up to reach the TGV station of Bezannes.
Unlike the A A regular service, with a frequency varying from 4 to 10 minutes, the incoming of B services from the TGV station will be synchronized with the stops of high speed trains.
The project for the tramway is very special because the organizing authority has delegated the management of the project to a private concessionary consortium, called MARS (Mobility in the Agglomeration of ReimS) which is unique in France. This consortium is composed of the vehicles' builder Alstom, the network operator Transdev, five roadwork enterprises and three pension funds.
It is planned that the tramway will transport around 45,000 people a day.
The 18 tram rakes are Alstom Citadis, type 302. They consist of 5 body sections and have capacity for 205 passengers, including 56 sitting. They are compatible with the APS third rail system pioneered by Bordeaux. They are powered by a third rail on the ground where the overhead power lines are undesirable for reasons relating to the city's traditional aesthetics.
The cabs have been specially designed for the project to remind one of a champagne glass. The livery is the work of famous designer Ruedi Baur and is based around the concept of colours. Each vehicle has its own pastel colour from a total selection of 8. The inside of the vehicles will be coloured the same way as the outside.
Previous tram project
There was a previous project in the mid-1980s. Everything was ready for the beginning of construction in 1991 but the project was suddenly interrupted. This contemporary project is very much like this former one as it takes back almost exactly the same route south of the central railway station.
- September 2003: first studies
- October 2004: project is presented to the population
- February 2005: city council votes on project
- July 2005: livery is chosen by the population
- October 2005: French Government allows a €5-million subsidy
- January 2006: candidate consortia present their proposals
- April 2006: beginning of archaeological studies
- July 2006: the agglomeration council defines the budget (€75 million) and chooses the concessionary consortium
- October 2006: the contract with MARS is signed
- December 2006: the administrative tribunal rejects several complaints of competing consortia and opposition groups
- January 2007: the cab design is chosen by the population
- June - July 2007: public inquest (the technical aspects of the project are presented to the population, which can present comments to a special commission.)
- July 2007: beginning of archaeological inquiries
- September 2007: a replica is presented to the population (see picture above)
- December 2007: the agglomeration council transfers the grounds to be occupied to MARS. This one gets a favourable result at the public inquest.
- January 2008: Transdev begins the operation of the current bus network.
- March 2008: déclaration d'intérêt public: official authorisation to begin the works. (The project is delayed by some weeks because of polemics during municipal elections.)
- May 2008: beginning of the roadworks (underground network deviations).
There are several orientation projects and studies that may, in the future, define new network extensions. It is likely to be first an extension of the line, then there may be a second East-West line. The junctions for this one will be built in the first line project: construction of the future lines will not cause interruptions of traffic on the existing one.
- Local papers: Ville de Reims Information (official magazine of Ville de Reims), Reims Métropole Magazine (official magazine of the agglomeration), L'Hebdo du Vendredi (free private weekly), L'Union (private daily)
- Documents of the public inquest
- Connaissance du Rail (bimonthly specialized magazine), special tramways number of October - November 2007
- Plus d'un siècle de transports en commun à Reims, Marcel Chenu & Michel Jailliard, 1990, ISBN 2-9505172-0-X
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