Following a meeting held by the tenders committee over the selection of the tram manufacturer for the East-West line of the Nice Côte d’Azur tramway, Alstom Transport has been chosen to supply the trams of the future tramway line. The contract award represents a new step in this key developmental project. Launched on 7 November 2014, the call to tender involved the supply of 19 tramsets, each one 44 metres long, energy charging equipment and purchase options for 18 extra tramsets to cover the needs of the East-West tramway line, as well as the extension of the line into the Plaine du Var region.
The contract, worth 91 million euros, involves the supply of 19 Citadis X05 tramsets, the latest generation of Alstom trams, and its innovative ground-based static charging solution. The order includes options for 3 to 18 supplementary trams, their energy charging systems and their maintenance for a period of 12 years. Alstom’s Citadis X05 trams will circulate on the new lines 2 and 3 of the Metropolis Nice Côte D’Azur network, for which Alstom equipped line 1 in 2007.
Unlike Line 1, the distinct feature of the new tramway line ordered by the Metropolis Nice Côte d’Azur is the absence of a catenary over the entire surface section of the route, with regular charging inside the station. This feature satisfies the wish to integrate the new tramway line into the urban environment while preserving the city’s architectural heritage.
The delivery of the first trams is scheduled for summer 2017 with entry into service on the East-West Line scheduled for 2018. The line will be 11.3 kilometres  long, of which 3.2 kilometres in tunnels.
Special features of the trams
Alstom is responsible for the design and manufacture of the trams, which will be 44 metres long with a capacity to hold 300 people.
Alstom’s Citadis X05 tram, the latest model in the range, draws on the latest technology for a renewed passenger experience: increased comfort with 40% windows, LEDs for soft, homogenous lighting, spacious individual seating, and journey information displayed on extra-large screens. Double doors throughout the entire length of the tram ensure increased accessibility. Passenger security is ensured through a real-time video surveillance system, emergency hatches in the case of emergency evacuation and fireproof materials. The innovations of Citadis X05 have also been designed for ease of use: passenger capacity has been increased by 10%, the exchange ratio in the stations has been increased by 20%, preventive maintenance costs have been reduced by 20% and the length of life of the wheels has been increased. Finally, Citadis X05 helps to preserve the environment as it is 98% recyclable, consumes 30% less energy and recuperates energy produced during braking.
SRS, the ground-based static charging technology, combined with the Citadis Ecopack energy storage system
Alstom will also implement its new ground-based static charging solution SRS, which allows the tram to charge safely and automatically in under 20 seconds while stopped inside the station. The trams will be equipped with Citadis Ecopack, an onboard energy storage device, to guarantee autonomy between two charging points. SRS builds on the operational and security standards of the proven solution APS (the trams of Bordeaux, Reims, Dubai). With this technology, the future trams of the East-West tramway line will be able to recharge at every station as passengers get on and off, without extra stopping time.
Seven of Alstom’s 12 sites in France are involved in the development of the tramway system for the Metropolis Nice Côte d’Azur: La Rochelle for the conception and assembly of the trams, Le Creusot for the bogies, Ornans for the motors, Tarbes for the traction, Villeurbanne for the onboard electronics and passenger information systems, Vitrolles for the ground-based static charging solution and Saint-Ouen for the design.
Christian Estrosi, Deputy-Mayor of Nice, President of the Metropolis Nice Côte d’Azur:
"As a fervent advocate of French industry, I am particularly pleased that a French company has been selected for this contract, for which the call to tender was launched in November 2014. Renowned for the quality of its projects and its capacity for innovation, Alstom was able to propose competitive solutions adapted to our requirements, of which the first was the absence of an overhead catenary over the entire surface section of the line, allowing our tram to blend into its environment without disruption. In the coming months, I will be launching a public consultation to make the final decision regarding the design of the trams, which will circulate from west to east, then on Line 3."
Jacques Beltran, Vice-President Sales and Marketing, Alstom Transport France:
"This project will be a true technological showcase and we are proud that the Metropolis Nice Côte d’Azur has renewed its confidence in Alstom. We have presented our latest solutions, based on proven systems, to ensure that lines 2 and 3 reflect the ambitions of the region: innovative, unique, in harmony with their environment and a reference in terms of sustainable mobility. With over 2000 Citadis sold worldwide, and catenaryless tramway solutions that have covered over 20 million kilometres, we are offering solid guarantees of reliability and sustainability to the region."
About Alstom Transport
A promoter of sustainable mobility, Alstom Transport develops and markets the most complete range of systems, equipment and services in the railway sector. Alstom Transport manages entire transport systems, including trains, signalling, maintenance and modernisation, infrastructure and offers integrated solutions. Alstom Transport had sales of €6.2 billion and booked €10 billion of orders in the fiscal year 2014/15. Alstom Transport is present in over 60 countries and employs around 28,000 people. Present on 12 sites in France, Alstom Transport is the leading French railway company and contributes to the vitality of local economies. Its 9000 or so employees in France provide a pool of expertise to serve French and international clients. A job at Alstom creates about three amongst its suppliers.
About the Metropolis Nice Côte d’Azur
Following a long phase of reflection, studies and consultations, the Metropolis Nice Côte d’Azur, Organising Authority for Sustainable Mobility in the region, is proposing an ambitious blueprint for the Urban Transport Network up until 2030. Beyond the simple creation of an extra tramway line, this would involve a true long-term vision for 2030, building on the realisation of a tramway network and the pooling of all transport methods in the Metropolitan area (plane, tram, bus, train, car, bicycles, taxi, foot). The aim of this Blueprint for Transport is to set up our Metropolis as a role-model for transport infrastructure and interlinking transport modes via the development of a true tramway network, the modernisation and reinforcement of the bus network, the development of new modes of alternative travel (Autobleu, Vélobleu..), an advantageous tariff system, innovative services, the creation of a transport network, a sustainable global ecological approach, and the interlinking of all modes of transport through Multimodal Exchange Hubs.