article

The arrival of the T3

Posted: 19 April 2007 | ET | No comments yet

In December 2006 the first new tram in almost 70 years began service in Paris. The new T3 line runs for a distance of 7.9km through three of the city’s arrondissements (the 13th, 14th and 15th) and seven neighbouring boroughs and has 17 stops in total.

According to RATP, the T3 tramway has a carrying capacity of 100,000 passengers per day, double the current capacity of the PC1 bus (50,000 per day) over the same stretch between the Pont du Garigliano and Porte d’Ivry. Each tram can carry 304 passengers, with seating for 78. The tramway connects with the suburban railway (RER) lines B and C, five metro lines, 18 central Paris bus routes and 19 suburban bus routes.

In December 2006 the first new tram in almost 70 years began service in Paris. The new T3 line runs for a distance of 7.9km through three of the city’s arrondissements (the 13th, 14th and 15th) and seven neighbouring boroughs and has 17 stops in total.According to RATP, the T3 tramway has a carrying capacity of 100,000 passengers per day, double the current capacity of the PC1 bus (50,000 per day) over the same stretch between the Pont du Garigliano and Porte d’Ivry. Each tram can carry 304 passengers, with seating for 78. The tramway connects with the suburban railway (RER) lines B and C, five metro lines, 18 central Paris bus routes and 19 suburban bus routes.

In December 2006 the first new tram in almost 70 years began service in Paris. The new T3 line runs for a distance of 7.9km through three of the city’s arrondissements (the 13th, 14th and 15th) and seven neighbouring boroughs and has 17 stops in total.

According to RATP, the T3 tramway has a carrying capacity of 100,000 passengers per day, double the current capacity of the PC1 bus (50,000 per day) over the same stretch between the Pont du Garigliano and Porte d’Ivry. Each tram can carry 304 passengers, with seating for 78. The tramway connects with the suburban railway (RER) lines B and C, five metro lines, 18 central Paris bus routes and 19 suburban bus routes.

The aim of the T3 tramway is to facilitate access to the seven boroughs located close to the tramway and improve transport services to southern Paris. As you would expect from a modern day showcase tram route, the T3 has many modern features outlined below.

Passenger information

Display boards on the platforms inform passengers of when the next two trams are due. There are also announcements and visual displays inside the cars telling passengers which stops the tram will call at and the journey time to the terminus. Outside, there are maps showing the T3 line, the metro and RER (suburban railway) lines, bus routes and the local area.

Platforms are equipped with an intercom and a video surveillance system linked to the line command post. Tickets can be bought at all stations from an automatic ticket machine; passengers then validate their ticket on the tram. One trip takes one ticket, just like a bus journey. Seasonal passes are valid on the whole of the transport network.

Service capacity

The tram service runs seven days a week. When the service runs at full capacity a tram every four minutes at peak times and every eight minutes off-peak, with an operational speed of 20 km/h is expected.

Station safety and accessibility

Safety was a priority in both the design of the station and in access to it. At tram stops the ground has been paved with various materials to allow users to distinguish the different areas of the station; for example, hazard warning strips made of tactile paving slabs mark the edge of the platform. The width of the platforms has been adapted to suit an urban environment and the number of passengers expected. The 45-metre- long platforms are paved with granite slabs, similar to those used on the pavements. The platforms are also straight to reduce the space between the tram and the platform.

Pedestrians can move around easily thanks to the minimal number of structures at ground level and none of the access ramps from the roadway to the platforms have gradients of over 5%. Access to the tramway stations involved redeveloping the surrounding pedestrian areas. Pedestrians now have more time to cross busy major roads and a system of traffic lights has been put in place to protect the islands that have been constructed in the middle of the roadway, further helping pedestrians cross.

Routeways

Traffic lanes have been designed to suit the particular characteristics of each type of transport. The tramway runs in its own dedicated area, most of which has been turfed. Cyclists, too, have their own paths. Wide, tree-lined pavements have been built for pedestrians, with plain, pared down street furniture. The tramway therefore encourages a variety of contrasting, high-quality spaces within the urban landscape.

Lighting

At night, the area alongside the tramway is lit by over 4,000 lights. Two-thirds of the overhead wire supports are used for lighting fixtures. The light sources required are grouped together to light the roadway, pavements and foliage on the trees.

Environmentally friendly features

The tramway has turned the Boulevards des Maréchaux into a real ‘garden highway’, with over a thousand trees planted. This ecological diversity, which has recently been extended with 120 exotic species of flowering trees, enhances the 36,000 sq.m. of grass landscaping for the T3 line. The planting will follow the rhythm of the seasons, brightening up the platforms and adorning the route of the tramway with ‘flower meadows’. The urban highway that some might have expected has been replaced by landscaping.

The tram itself runs on clean electricity and integrates perfectly into the city’s environmental policy. The turfed running area makes the boulevards a nicer place to be and helps to reduce noise pollution. Maximum use has been made of most of the overhead supports for public lighting and the power supply for the tramway, freeing up space on the pavement.

Benefits for public health

The arrival of the T3, a clean method of transport, and the developments that have accompanied it should make it possible to reduce vehicle traffic on the Boulevards des Maréchaux. The positive impact on public health includes an overall reduction in noise of 2-5 dB(A), lower levels of atmospheric pollution and access to a greener landscape.

According to the Bertrand Delanoë, the Mayor of Paris: “Thanks to the tramway, the Maréchaux area is gradually being transformed into a ‘green ribbon’, a space where people can move around freely and quietly and where the residents of Paris and the surrounding area can walk safely and breathe easily.”

Rolling stock

In December 2003, the Paris transport authority, RATP, placed its order for trams for the T3 line, opting for the Citadis model from Alstom.

Working from a base of standard modular units, the dimensions and fittings of the Citadis were adapted to meet both technical constraints and aesthetic requirements. This innovative approach has given it a style all of its own. This is the third contract the RATP has awarded to Alstom for the construction of a tramway, following on from the T1 (Gare de St-Denis – Noisy-le-Sec) and the T2 (La Défense – Issy-Val de Seine).

The trams have a tailor-made livery, featuring images that are symbolic of Paris. Its fluid, elegant, harmonious and expressive lines are enhanced by the familiar white and jade green of RATP. Inside the cars, a leafy design has been chosen for the seat fabric.

Powering the tramway

The fully automated energy-management system provides a reliable, completely safe supply to the traction current. The 20,000-volt alternating current supplied by EDF is transformed into a 750-volt direct current through six rectifiers located at points along the tramway and a seventh at the Lucotte site.

Electrical energy is supplied to the tramway through the overhead wire, which has involved putting in place a network of cables. Power is continuously supplied to the overhead wire, which therefore stays live at night and it is monitored by an energy control station.

Operating characteristics

The line command post is located on the maintenance and storage depot close to the Pont du Garigliano terminus. The controller manages the line in real time and is in constant contact with the drivers. Operational staff members are on duty in the line command post office for some 21 hours per day. Outside of operating hours, the line safety and, in particular, electrical systems are monitored by a central RATP command post. The line command post has a fully equipped staff room for operational staff.

Management tools

The controllers have access to an operational management tool to assist them in the day-to-day management of the line. This allows them to see the exact position of the trams in service in real time, to manage the operation of the line in real time, particularly during periods of disruption, and to notify passengers at the stations.

In addition, the controller has an automated electricity management system and an infrastructure facilities management tool. With these tools, controllers can send an announcement over the public address system to a station, a group of stations or the whole line, view stations and particular points on the line such as major crossroads and dead-end stations, and keep an eye on the operations and maintenance site. The system also allows them to increase the lighting at a station or turn it off, control the status of ticket machines in stations and manage tram operation and maintenance by flagging each of them with a given status.

Related modes

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Send this to a friend