Thursday, 18 July 2013
Montpellier Tram Network, France.
Montpellier became a talking point in recent decades as an innovative centre of modern architecture and urban development. The tramway, opened in 2000, satisfies this reputation: It is without doubt one of the most stylish public transport systems in the world. Especially the design of the rolling stock is very extravagant: The vehicles for line 1 are blue and decorated with white swallows; those for line 2 are painted with colorful flowers, those for line 3 feature a maritime design and those for line 4 two different liveries in gold or black. You can like it or not, it attracts attention in any case. Line 1 crosses right through the heart of the Old Town; with more than 120,000 passengers per day it is the busiest tramway line in France. Line 3 holds a record too, it is the longest tramway line in France and it was opened as a whole in the present layout together with line 4 in 2012. Simultaneously line 2 was allocated on a more direct route via Comédie (before, this line was the longest line in France). All four lines intersect at Gare Saint-Roch. The outer sections of lines 2 and 3 are only single-track, and in the southwest of line 2 there is a short shared section with a branch railway. A fifth line is under development, as well as the ring closure of semi-circular line 4.