APS: Service-proven catenary-free tramway operations


APS at a glance

  • Removes overhead line equipment from cities
  • High reliability, availability and safety
  • A simple service-proven concept

APS is a highly reliable power system that reduces the footprint of light rail lines and preserves the aesthetics of urban environments.

Doing away with catenary

Cities planning a tramway can today preserve their historical heritage and urban environment by dispensing with obtrusive overhead contact lines. Alstom’s APS ground-level power supply system is a proven alternative with equivalent performance which is currently operating in seven cities on three continents and offers safe, reliable power to trams whether in short catenary-free sections or along the entire line.

Effective and safe

Inspired by ‘third rail’ feeding systems present in metros, APS uses 11-metre segments set into the track bed between the guiding rails to supply current to vehicles. These segments automatically switch on and off according to whether a tram is passing over them, thereby eradicating any risk to other road users. This safety principle was certified by several competent bodies all over the world.

Bordeaux, France © Alstom / TOMA- Richard Nourry

Flexible and adaptable

Trams running on APS can also incorporate overhead line equipment and/or traction batteries, with simple and easy transition between power sources. If a line is extended, it is easy to extend the APS system with it. In addition, APS comes in two versions according to the climate encountered: a standard version for temperate atmospheres and a tropicalised version for extreme climate conditions, withstanding ambient temperatures of up to 55 °C.

  • > 38
    million kilometres travelled by trams on APS
  • 92
    km of single track fitted to date
  • 245
    Citadis trams equipped with APS technology