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Inauguration of the Nice Côte d’Azur urban area’s west-east light-rail extension

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Justine Rohée

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Pauline Odetto

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14 December 2018 – On 14 December, the Nice Côte d’Azur urban area’s west-east light-rail extension linking the city to its airport was inaugurated with Alstom’s new-generation trams and innovative SRS power-charging system. The inauguration—presided over by Christian Estrosi, Mayor of Nice, President of the Nice Côte d’Azur urban area and Vice-President of the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region—took place in the presence of Georges-François Leclerc, Prefect of the Alpes-Maritimes department, Renaud Muselier, President of the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region and Member of the European Parliament, Charles-Ange Ginésy, President of the Alpes-Maritimes department, and the Alstom teams.

The Citadis X05 new-generation tram provides novel travel comfort: glazing covering forty percent of the tram’s surface, LED lighting for soft, harmonious illumination, broad individual passenger seats, information on the tram journey displayed on extra-wide screens, and better access with double doors along the entire tram. The innovations of Citadis X05 also make operations easier, with passenger capacity up 10%, the station turnaround rate increased by 20%, and preventive maintenance costs down by over 20%.

To blend seamlessly into the city, the Citadis trams on Nice’s T2 line run entirely autonomously without any overhead contact cables thanks to the SRS ground-based static charging solution, combined with the Citadis Ecopack system of energy storage. It is this system that keeps trams running without overhead contact cables throughout their journey. SRS technology power-charges the tram—automatically and safely—when it is stationery at stops, as passengers enter and exit it (in under 20 seconds). Electricity gets stored in this way, in the on-board Citadis Ecopack systems, ensuring the tram’s autonomy from one charging point to the next. The SRS solution is based on the operational and safety-oriented principles of the tried-and-tested APS system of ground-level power supply (used in the light-rail networks of Bordeaux, Reims and Dubai).

‘After the Cadam-Magnan portion became operational, the inauguration of the airport section is a major new step. The T2 tram in Nice is a great source of pride for Alstom and a showcase for the world to see the French rail industry’s expertise. Many innovations designed by our experts have been used in this project: new-generation trams, the new SRS recharging system developed in Vitrolles, in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region, and the first internet-connected tram as of spring 2019, with a tram-ground WiFi connection,’ declared Jean-Baptiste Eyméoud, Chairman of Alstom France.

‘I chose an innovative, high-performance tram system to provide the highest level of comfort for people living in Nice and the surrounding urban area, and for all passengers who use this new line. Today, the west-east line runs to the airport so passengers can enjoy quick access to both terminal 1 and 2 as we have designed a tram station in direct contact with the airport and flush with the ground. Throughout the airport, we find public spaces that are as outstanding as they are along the rest of the line. I have also ensured that the price of an airport ticket is the same as for the entire Lignes d’Azur public-transport network. The west-east tram line will therefore take passengers straight to the airport from the city centre in just a few minutes for 1 euro. That is unique in the world!’ said Christian Estrosi, Mayor of Nice, President of the Nice Côte d’Azur urban area and Vice-President of the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region.

Nine of the twelve Alstom sites in France helped design and produce the Line 2 tram system in the Nice Côte d’Azur urban area: La Rochelle (research and tram assembly), Le Creusot (bogies), Ornans (engines), Valenciennes (interior fittings), Villeurbanne (on-board electronics, information for passengers and tram-ground WiFi connection), Aix-en-Provence (tachometer unit), Tarbes (drive-train equipment), Vitrolles (SRS power-charging system) and Saint-Ouen (design coordination, electrical substations).

In total, over 2,600 Citadis trams have been sold to over fifty towns in twenty countries.

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