Jean-Pierre Mourre, president of the Montpellier urban area, simultaneously inaugurated lines 3 and 4 of the town’s tramway network in the presence of designer Christian Lacroix and Alstom Transport France CEO Jérôme Wallut.
Line 3, at 19.8 km long, runs from the north of the Montpellier urban area to the south, passing through Juvignac, Montpellier itself, Lattes and, now that major development work on the Route de la Mer is complete, Pérols and the main towns on the way to the beaches. At more than 8 km, line 4 circumnavigates the town centre via the network of the town’s three existing tramway lines.
In total, 26 Citadis tramsets are being added to Montpellier’s urban transport network, 19 of which will run on line 3. Following on from previous orders for lines 1 and 2, this contract is evidence of the Montpellier urban area’s long-term confidence in Alstom Transport’s ability to support its urban transport development policy.
The Citadis tramsets used in Montpellier are built using standard technological components, which make up 80% of the final product. The remaining 20% can be customized, so Citadis offers each local authority the option of adapting its tramsets’ exterior style and interior fittings. Working closely with Christian Lacroix’s teams, Alstom Transport’s design department is responsible for managing and planning the implementation of Lacroix’s design on these tramsets. The tram’s nose has been customized, drawing inspiration from a diving mask.
Similarly, the colour gradients and all of the interior fittings have been specially adapted. With designers, engineers and suppliers working very closely together right from the start of the project, Alstom has been able to ensure that the aesthetics of Montpellier’s Citadis tramsets are in keeping with their technological excellence, and that they integrate harmoniously into the landscape through which they run.
The tramsets in the Montpellier urban area are fitted with the latest Citadis-range equipment, all designed to ensure passenger comfort, including closed-circuit video surveillance, sound and visual information systems and integral low floors. Each tramset is 42-m long and can carry more than 300 passengers. The Citadis also enhances the quality of city life: four times quieter than road traffic, it generates about five decibels less noise. The Montpellier Citadis, like the rest of the range, has also been designed to be environmentally friendly: 98% of the materials used in making it can be recycled.
The Citadis tramsets for the Montpellier urban area were designed and are currently being built at Alstom’s La Rochelle plant. Five other sites will also be involved in their manufacture: Ornans for the engines, Le Creusot for the bogies, Tarbes for the electrical and electronic equipment used in the traction systems, and Villeurbanne and Saint Ouen for the on-board electronics.
To date, more than 1,600 tramsets have been sold to nearly 40 towns and cities throughout the world, including more than 800 tramsets for 20 towns in France in three different versions (22-, 32- and 42-m long). They have carried more than 4 billion passengers and have demonstrated their reliability over more than 250 million km. Alstom is therefore in a position to confirm the success of this model, which is much appreciated for its modular design and style.