Trams in France
After World War II, nearly all of the urban tramway systems in France disappeared completely, leaving only three network torsos in Lille, Marseille and Saint-Étienne. But then, the tramway came back, beginning with Nantes in 1985, followed by Grenoble in 1987, Paris in 1992, Strasbourg and Rouen in 1994, Montpellier, Orléans and Lyon in 2000, Bordeaux in 2003, Mulhouse and Valenciennes in 2006 and finally Le Mans and Nice in 2007. More systems will open in the next few years. In this way, France boasts about a quarter of all new tramway systems built worldwide since the eighties. Nearly every French agglomeration will have a guided mass-transit system in a few years.
Together with the implementation of the new tramway systems, general strategies for the urban transport planning in France have changed completely during the last twenty years. New structures for organisation and financing of urban public transport were created. The construction of new French tramway routes went in nearly all cases hand in hand with revitalisation processes of urban structures – new pedestrian areas were created, public spaces and buildings were renovated, and the tramway alignments were inserted very sensitively to make a great visual impact on the surroundings. In this way, the tramway, once regarded as an anachronism, could become a matchless success in France – not only regarding the significant increase in the use of public transportation, but also as a motor for urban environment and revitalisation.
This website would like to give you a survey of the fast-growing tramway landscape in France. And as well it will show you some “best practise” in tramway architecture. Enjoy Trams in France!
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