A metamorphosis for Bordeaux as its new tramway
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The regional newspaper Sud Ouest estimated that 350,000 people
turned out along the 10 kilometers of tramway that were in
operation, filling the ALSTOM-built CITADIS trams currently in
service to their 300-person capacity.
At the inauguration ceremony in the afternoon at the depot in
the Bastide area on the right bank of the Garonne River, Mr.
Juppé, president of the Communauté Urbaine de
Bordeaux, congratulated and thanked the people who have made
the new tramway a success.
“Bordeaux has long dreamed of having a tramway,”
said Mr. Juppé, adding that the “21st century”
tramway fulfilled the city’s hopes for a “modern,
silent, comfortable, non-polluting” means of transport and
was “worthy of Bordeaux’s magnificent stone
President Chirac said he had been impatient to see the tramway
of which he had often heard the mayor of Bordeaux speak
“with passion.” His trip on the tramway, he said,
allowed him to witness firsthand its “comfort, rapidity and
silence, which are combined with significant ecological
advantages.” He noted particularly the ease of access for
passengers with reduced mobility.
“I am impressed by this magnificent work,” he
said. Addressing Patrick Kron, the president and chief executive
of ALSTOM, Mr. Chirac said, “This premier well demonstrates
the exceptional know-how of the grand enterprise you
After the inauguration ceremony, the guests took the tram back
to the center of town, crossing the Pont de Pierre as the sun was
setting. Crowds watched the tram cross the bridge over the
Garonne to the lights of a fireworks display.
The beginning of Bordeaux’s tramway service is the debut
of the innovative system for ground-level power supply, INNORAIL,
chosen for the tramway because it eliminates the need for
overhead lines, thus respecting the historical and architecture
heritage of the city center. There were a few technical problems
with the system, normal for the beginning of operation, that
halted trams during the day, but they were promptly resolved so
that service could resume.
President Chirac and
photo credit CUB
photo credit CUB
CITADIS tram, Pont de Pierre; photo credit CUB
CITADIS tram, Pont de Pierre
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