Tramway Nice Côte d’Azur

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Nice Côte d’Azur Tramway
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Find more about the new Nice,France Tramway

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Open House at the Tramway Maintenance Center

On Saturday, October 27, 2007, we attended the Las Planas Maintenance Center of the Nice, France tramway. "Here beats the heart of the tramway".

The TRAMWAY MAINTENANCE CENTER fulfills three functions essential to the tramway's operation:

(1) tram maintenance (storage, cleaning, regular maintenance and repairs);
(2) direct management of tram circulation (through the Central Control Room);
and (3) connections between the different means of transport (pedestrian, by car and the bus network).
Its contemporary architecture and tailor-made functionalities are in keeping with the resolutely modern image of the tramway and its integration into the urban landscape.
Nice Côte d’Azur Tramway

The Las Planas station is the terminus of Line1 and is incorporated into the maintenance center.

Shops are situated close at hand on the departure level and the pedestrian mall, to facilitate the daily life of tramway users. This station is equipped with a video surveillance system, as are all stations on Line 1, and makes available
a complete range of services to make all travel safe and easy:
ticket distributors, passenger information via digital display bands and loudspeaker announcements, network plans and schedules and telephone stands for passenger enquires.

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See a presentation on the Nice, France tramway extensions including a movie based on Deputy-Mayor Estrosi's Tramway Line 2 presentation September 26, 2011.

Nice Côte d’Azur Tramway

WOW! The Nice Tramway has some really state-of-the-art MOW (Maintence Of Way) equipment!

These powerful Mercedes trucks are the best "Hi-Rail" I have ever seen. "Hi-Rail" means they can run on either a city street or the tramway rails. The truck on the right has special brushes and a cleaner tank to clean the rails. The truck on the left has a high capacity crane PLUS a winch to pull a disabled trolley!

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Nice Tramway Inauguration
Nice Côte d’Azur Tramway

Tram Storage

Every night, the trams are stored together in a vast 6,500 square meter garage with the capacity to take 28 33-meter tramsc or 21 44-meter trains. The trams are distributed across 7 storage tracks. The garage also has a test track for operating and braking tests. Entry from the garage to the operating tramway is electronically controlled by "dwarf" signals.
Nice Côte d’Azur Tramway

At the end of every service, each tram benefits daily from a complete program of maintenance.

Then the tram is entirely cleaned. Internal cleaning utilizes giant vacuum cleaners. Large rollers wash the external surfaces.
Out of respect for the environment, 60% of water used is recycled.
Nice Côte d’Azur Tramway

Electricity for the Trams

Here's a picture of a tram leaving the station. The building at the left belongs to EDF, the French electricity distribution company, 6 electrical sub-stations are located along Line 1. These installations transform 20,000-volt direct current (the voltage necessary to supply the overhead line feeding the trams).
Nice Côte d’Azur Tramway

Tram Workshop

The maintenance and repair operations (technical and bodywork) of the rolling stock are all carried out in the maintenance center. A 9000 sq meter workshop houses the equipment necessary for these actions. This area has 6 parallel tracks, designed and equipped to allow specialized technicians direct access to all parts of the trains; from the roofs to the undercarriages. There are shop areas, for example: electronics, electromechanical, wheels/axels (referred to as "trucks" or "boggies").
Nice Côte d’Azur Tramway Nice Côte d’Azur Tramway

The Central Control Room

"Poste de Commandement Centralisé" or "P.C.C." is located in an office tower above the maintenance center. It is the true nerve center of the network, in operation 24 hours a day.

It manages the tram and bus lines on a real time basis and is directly connected to the trams and the stations by an electronic communications system. Tram locations are obtained by GPS (Global Positioning Satellite).

The Poste de Commandement Centralisé exercises real time flow of the trams (switches, signals, electric sub-stations, etc). The PCC manages communications with travellers (loudspeaker announcements, digital display boards for passenger information, answering calls from the telephones located in stations, etc).

The Poste de Commandement Centralisé is connected to a network of video cameras, and is responsible for travellers' safety in both the trams and the stations.
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Nice Côte d’Azur Tramway

View of Nice from the Poste de Commandement Centralisé.

The office tower provides a great view of the city of Nice. The tramway heads down Boulevard Comte de Falicon on it's 8.7 km path to Pont Michel. Initially, 20 trams will cover the 21 stations and are expected to carry 60,000 riders per day. The trams operate on overhead contact lines carrying 750 volt direct current. Exceptions at busy Place Masséna and Place Garibaldi require use of onboard batteries. The Las Planas Parcazur, connected to the Las Planas tram station, provides adequate park and ride facilities, plus connection to the bus system.
Nice Côte d’Azur Tramway

Here's another view of the Poste de Commandement Centralisé.

Surrounding the electronic map of the tram system are several small monitors. To the right, operators can choose to project a view from any of the numerous cameras on the system. Direct phones on the operator's desk reach police, fire and ambulance control centers.
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Nice Côte d’Azur Tramway

Operator's "control room" on a tram.

Unlike a bus, the operator is separated from the passengers and communicates with them over loudspeakers and intercoms. Access to trams for people with limited mobility is facilitated by the two double doors on each side.

The "Citadis T.G.A. 302" is 33 meters long, weighs 42 tons, is 2.65 meters wide and 3.50 meters high. It can carry 216 passengers (54 seated and 162 standing). WOW! thats a lot of cars off the roads!
Nice Côte d’Azur Tramway

Here's another view of the maintenance shop.

The Communauté d'Agglomération Nice Côte d'Azur has commited to an artistic program, the only one of its kind in France, to highlight the contemporary nature of the tramway. Contemporary works commissioned from great artists are distributed along Line 1. In keeping with the identity of the districts, this plays homage to the culture and tradition. Four of these works are in the maintenance center.
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