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Nice’s new tramline T2 goes underground

Alstom Citadis at the new underground terminus of T2 "Jean Médecin" I Photo: Lignes d'azur

Starting date was Friday 28 June at 15:30h: Nice’es second tramway now reaches the inner city center via a new tunnel section. T2 has been extended three stops and some 1.7 km from the previos terminus at Magnan to Jean Médecin where a new interchange facility to the older tram line T1 has been created. However, as T1 entirely runs on surface, there is no physical connection between both lines, and each system also has its own depot and workshops. While T1 uses high-capacity traction batteries for power supply on a short section without catenary in the inner city area while on the T2 overhead is installed only on some 20% of the enitre route. The tramcars charge their high capacities lithium Ion cells called „Ecopacks“ using Alstom’s SRS ground-based static charging at each stops. SRS automatically charges the tram when stopped during passenger exchange in less than 20 seconds. Alstom supplied 25 (+ an option of 12) Citadis 405A tram cars. The vehicles are 44m long, 2.65m wide and have a total capacity of 300 passengers, thereof 82 seated.

T2 had already started operation on the section between CADAM and Magnan (7 km) on 30 June last year; a 1.7 km link to the airport was added on 15 Dec 2018. Locally the new tramway is referred to as Ligne Ouest-Est.

Die Batterietechnik

Bei der im Jahr 2007 eingeweihten Straßenbahnlinie T1 werden NiMH (Nickel Metallhydrid) Batterien mit 52 kWh eingesetzt, die von den Firmen Alstom / Saft entwickelt wurden. Da nur ein ca. 500 m Gleisabschnitt oberleitungsfrei befahren wird, findet die Aufladung per Stromabnehmer unter der Oberleitung statt. Bei den Ecopack Containern auf den Dächern der Citadis Fahrzeuge der Linie T2 handelt es sich um Energiespeicher vom Typ JSR Micro ULTIMO Lithium Ion Capacitor Prismatic Cells mit einer sehr hohen Ladegeschwindigkeit und einer Kapazität von insgesamt 13,5 kWh. Die Aufladung findet bei 750 V mit 1200 A an den 15 mit SRS (Système automatique de recharge statique) ausgestatteten Haltestellen statt.

Weiterer Ausbau

The final strech of T2 under construction is the three-stops connection from Jean Médecin to Port Lympia which is scheduled to open in early autumn 2019.

Future terminus “Port Lympia” scheduled to open in autumn 2019 I Photo: Yvon Brument / courtesy: tramwaydemontpellier.net

Towards the end of 2019 a third tramway route will open in Nice. T3 starts at the airport, shares the tracks of T2 four stops until Digue des Francias and runs another 6 stops to Saint-Isidore. Another 2 stops might be added later.

A detailed map is available at: http://tramway.nice.fr/ligne-ouest-est/projet-ouest-est/tout-sur-le-projet/ and http://urbanrail.net/eu/fr/nice/nice-tram.htm