Archive for October 7th, 2009

French Delights part 5 – Paris’s TramTrain Line T-4. Could this be a template for TramTrain in the Tri-Cities at $11 million per kilometre?

October 7, 2009

2 Paris tram train 

In November 2006, Paris transit authorities opened a new tram-train line (T4) running from Aulnay-sous-Bois to Bondy (right side of Seine river), using the tracks of an old life expired suburban railway (Coquetiers Line), with old and noisy rolling stock.  Even though the old suburban line had 14 level crossings, it was still important for the connection with Paris center.

The renewal of the line started in 2003 when the rail line was doubled from Livry-Gargan to Aulnay-sous-Bois. The level crossings were protected by a visive signaling system and the aged commuter train rolling stock was replaced with modern dual low floor Siemens Avanto TramTrains, which can run in tramway mode (750 V DC) and in electric train mode (25 KV AC). The new tram-train was a cost effective conversion of an existing railway into a modern tramway, re-using the old commuter railway infrastructure. The commuter train heritage is retained with the TramTrain Line being operated by the SNF (Société Nationale des Chemins de fer français) or National Railways.

Two new extensions are actively being planned for: an intermediate branch from Clichy-sous-Bois to Montfermeil, a northern extension from Aulnay-sous-Bois to ParinorCountryCountry France France.

The cost of TramTrain Line T4 was a mere $11 million/km. to build and illustrates the growing popularity of TramTrain in Europe and now in North America as a cost effective alternative to more expensive construction.

3 tramtrain


Country France
Line T4 (Coquetiers Line)
Inhabitants District 11.175.000
Date opening 2006
Future development: northern (Garonor) and eastern (Montfermeil) extensions
Length (km) 8.0
Track sections on an existing railway (Coquetiers Line)
Stops 10, average distance 890 m
Platform doors
General characteristics height cm 35
n. of vehicles 15
n. of cars per vehicle
Type steel wheels bi-directional
Vehicle dimensions (m) length 37, width 2.65
Vehicle capacity (pax) tram: 242 (80 seated)
Frequency 7’/15′
Current/Voltage 750 V DC overhead/25 KV AC overhead
Type of guide/gauge standard gauge rails (1435 mm)
Speed Km/h Comm 25, Max 110
Accel./Decel. (m/sec2)
System capacity
Total cost 7 M Euro/km
System builder SIEMENS
Model Avanto