Lille holds one of the three surviving old French tramway systems, nicknamed “the Mongy”. Mongy himself was a municipal engineer and responsible for planning and building the tramway at the beginning of the 20th century. From the start, it was a real electric Interurban, which connected Lille, Roubaix und Tourcoing, the three main centres of the polycentric conurbation of Lille. It was built together with wide Boulevards and got its reserved right of way just from the opening in 1909. In this way, the Mongy survived the fifties and sixties, when all other tramway lines of the once dense urban and suburban network were closed down. These other lines were once managed by two different companies, independant from the Mongy.

At the beginning of the seventies Lille started to build the first automatic VAL-metro in the world. Line 1 was opened in 1983/84; line 2 was added between 1989 and 2000. During the construction process of the metro the future of the tramway was temporarily unclear. Nonetheless, a new underground terminal for the tramway below Lille Flandres main railway station was put into service in 1983 together with VAL-line 1. 1990 the agglomeration decided to maintain the tramway in the long run. Between 1991 and 1994 the whole infrastructure was reconstructed, whereas the traditional metre gauge was retained. As the underground terminal from 1983 was adapted for the second metro line, the tramway received once again a new underground terminal and as well three new underground stops Gare Lille Europe, Saint-Maur and Clemenceau-Hippodrome. In this way, the Mongy is a fast interurban link up to now.


T Gare Lille Flandres - Croisé Laroche - Tourcoing Centre (11,6 km)
R Gare Lille Flandres - Croisé Laroche - Roubaix Eurotéléport (11,0 km)

1 CHR B-Calmette - 4 Cantons (12,5 km)
2 Saint-Philibert - CH Dron (31,1 km)


Original network (only events related to the Mongy)
04/12/1909   T/R Lille - Croisé Laroche - Tourcoing/Roubaix
XX/XX/1983   T/R Underground station Gare Lille Flandres

Reconstructed network
05/05/1994   T/R Gare Lille Flandres - Croisé Laroche (4,0 km)
05/05/1994   T Croisé Laroche - Tourcoing-Victoire (7,2 km)
05/05/1994   R Croisé Laroche - Roubaix-Eurotéléport (7,0 km)
30/05/1994   T/R Outer sections Croisé Laroche - Roubaix/Tourcoing temporarily suspended due to rolling stock problems
11/07/1994   T/R Reopening of the outer sections
20/09/1994   T/R Station Gare Lille Europe
06/04/1995   T Tourcoing-Victoire - Tourcoing-Centre (0,4 km)

25/04/1983   1 4 Cantons - République (9,0 km)
02/05/1984   1 République - CHR B-Calmette (4,3 km)
03/04/1989   2 Saint-Philibert - Gare Lille Flandres (11,1 km)
05/05/1994   2 Gare Lille Flandres - Gare Lille Europe (0,7 km)
17/03/1995   2 Gare Lille Europe - Fort de Mons (3,1 km)
18/08/1999   2 Fort de Mons - Tourcoing Centre (13,0 km)
28/10/2000   2 Tourcoing Centre - CH Dron (3,8 km)



Rolling Stock

24 AnsaldoBreda, delivered as from 1993


Transpole -
Métro Lille at UrbanRail.Net


Please click here to visit the Lille Photo Gallery!

© by Christoph Groneck