Marseille tramway

The Marseille tramway ( French : Tramway Marseille ) is a tram system in the French city of Marseille in Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur . Marseille’s modern tram network consists of, [1] serving 32 stations, [1] and operating over 15.8 kilometers (9.8 mi) of road. [1] The current, modern Marseille tram network ouvert is 7 July 2007. [1]

The first horse tramway opened in Marseille on 21 January 1876; electric trams came to Marseille in 1899. Unlike most other French cities, trams continued to operate in Marseille, even through the 1950s and beyond, when trams disappeared from most cities around the world. The original tram system continued until 2004, when the last line, Line 68, was closed. Trams remained out of operation for three years between 2004 and 2007, in advance of the effort to renovate the network to modern standards.


Modern tram network

A new tram network is being built in Marseilles, France, which when completed in 2011 will consist of three tram lines. The first phase opened on 30 June 2007. It is part of an urban renewal project which aims to reduce and use pedestrians, bicyclists and public transit users.

Phase 1: Mid-2007 to Mid-2008

On 30 June 2007, the first phase of the new Marseille tram network opened. It consists of one line linking Euroméditerranée in the northwest with Les Caillols in the east. Between Blancarde Chave and Saint-Pierre stations, it runs on the part of the train route 68. Blancarde Chave station will not open until October 2007.

In October 2007, the portion of the old Line 68 between Blancarde Chave. and E.-Pierre (near the entrance to the tunnel) will be reopen, and two lines will be created. Line 1 will link E.-Pierre and Les Caillols, and line 2 will go from Euroméditerranée to La Blancarde, where a transfer between the two lines will be created.

The Blancarde train station will become a transit hub: a station on Line 1 of the Metro Marseille will be built, and in 2009 it will be served by TER regional trains.

In mid-2008, two further extensions will be opened. Line 1 will be extended to Noailles via an existing tunnel (used by line 68), and Line 2 will be extended from Euroméditerranée to Euroméditerranée-Arenc.

Phase 2: 2011

In 2011, a third line will be created. Line 2 will be modified: Euroméditerranée-Arenc to Canabière, where it will be extended to Castellane and north to Bougainville. A new Line 3 will be created, which will run along the existing Line 2 between La Blancarde and Canabière. Four September on the south side of the Old Port . Thus, Line 2 will become a north-south line, and Line 3 will become an east-west line. A new transfer station between Lines 2 and 3 will be built at Cours Saint-Louis.

Rolling stock

Customized Bombardier Flexity Outlook trams are used on the new tram line. Composed of five articulated sections, they are 32.5 m long and 2.4m wide. Twenty-six trams have been delivered; They will be extended by adding additional articulated sections. [2]

Their exterior and interior design has been designed by MBD Design. [2] The exterior resembles the hull of a ship, and the driver’s cabin resembles the bow. A lighted circle displays the color of the line tram is on. Inside the tram, the floor, walls and ceiling are colored blue, and seats and shutters are made of wood.


The tram network is run by Tram , a consortium of Public transport in Marseille and Veolia Transport . The proposal to privatize the operation of public transit was unpopular, and resulted in a 46-day transit strike. [3]


The first tram, horse drawn, ran in 1876 on Canebière . The electrification began in 1899 and preceded the delivery of new electric tramcars. In 1905, a batch of bogie-tramcars was purchased, these were equipped with trailers and were used on suburban lines.

The system is an association of urban lines and suburban lines, which is stretched to outlying villages. Many tram lines joined in the center of Marseille on the Canebiere and harbor , resulting in a minute in the city center.

This huge network was modernized by the constant introduction of new tramcars, to replace the older ones. In 1938, thirty-three trailers were retrieved from Paris . These meant that reversible convoys could be operated. In 1939, the tramway company owned and operated 430 tramcars and 350 trailers and 71 lines.

In 1943 a large project, never realised, was designed. This project is planned to build large tunnels in the center of Marseille. The busiest lines would join into two tunnels. In 1949 a further modernization occurred. The first articulated tramcars was designed and built ( Algiers tramway possessed articulated SATRAMO tramcars). These were created by joining two older tramcars. These tramcars remained unique until 1985 when Nantes tramwayopened.

Marseille city council did not favor keeping its network of trams. Indeed, a development of the modernization and expansion of the tram network was hindered. The Process of Replacing trams by trolleybuses and nozzles Began after- World War II in 1945 and accelerated from 1950. The first closures Meant That Canebière Was tram-free from 1955. The last closure occurred is 21 January 1960.

Line 68

Line 68 opened in December 1893 and is the only one to remain in service during the twentieth century. Line 68 stretched from Noailles to Alhambra, serving La Plaine, Chave Boulevard, La Blancarde Railway Station and St. Pierre Cemetery . The central terminus is situated in a tunnel. This tunnel, built in 1893, is unique in France and was built to give access to the city center, avoiding the narrow streets of some of Marseilles’ suburbs. Because of the problems involved in converting the line to the operational line.

Line 68 is 3 miles long and it was still out of use until 1965 when it was decided to modernize it. Line 68 was modernized in 1969 with the introduction of twenty-one PCC tramcars and the whole track was relaid. The first of the PCC cars arrived on 26 December 1968 and the first tram went into service on 20 February 1969. The last of the old tramcars was withdrawn that spring. Modernization resulted in an increase in passengers. Numbers increased from 4,917,000 passengers in 1968 to 5,239,000 in 1973.

Further modernization was applied to the PCC cars in 1984.

The line closed on Thursday, January 8, 2004 for reconstruction. The section along Boulevard Chave to Eugène Pierre was due to reopen in October 2007; The tunnel to Noailles was due to reopen in summer 2008.

Map of line 68

See also

  • Marseille Metro
  • Public transport in Marseille
  • Trams in France
  • List of town tramway systems in France


Inline references

  1. ^ Jump up to:g “Company ID – LE METRO” [ID card of the company – THE METRO]. (in French) . Retrieved 2013-09-28 .
  2. ^ Jump up to:b Francis Enver “A rail ship”, published in Town & Transport magazine No. 427, page 34.
  3. Jump up^ “The alliance with Veolia, a sharing of risks and benefits”, article published inVille & transports magazinen ° 427, pages 35.

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