Tramway Nice Côte d’Azur

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Tramway de Nice
History of the tram in Nice
Open House at the Tramway Maintenance Center
Startup of the Tram
Extension of the tram
Tramway Inauguration November 24, 2007
archeological sites
The Tramways in the Mountains
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Nice, Côte d’Azur
Communauté d'Agglomération Nice Côte d'Azur
and Gare SNCF Nice Ville
Nice Côte d’Azur Tramway
Date is June 19, 2012
Tram project approved - The Prefecture of the Alpes-Maritimes has given the green light for Nice’s second tram line. The approval by Prefect Jean-Paul Drevet means work on the 758-million line will begin before the end of the year. The most difficult stage involves the construction of 3.2-kilometre long tunnel to the Nice Port, which will begin in 2013. The line should be up and running by 2017.

As the French saying goes 'nine women cannot have a baby in a month'
Nice Tramway Line 1 to Hospital

Nice Tramway Extends Now to Pasteur Hospital

On 6th July, 2013 the first tram departed from the new station in Pasteur. From the stop at Hôpital Pasteur, the route crosses Pont René Coty and the Paillon river before meeting the existing line at Pont Michel.

“The extension of the Ligne 1 tramway is becoming more and more of a reality everyday,” says Mayor of Nice Christian Estrosi, who hopes that the extra section will improve transport to and from the Pasteur community while boosting public transport access to the hospital.

It is estimated that the extension will add around 5,000 new passengers to the busy tramway in Nice, which already serves over 100,000 commuters, tourists and residents each day.

While an official figure for the final cost is yet to be announced, the city of Nice estimates that the 450 metres of extension has cost almost 24 million euros. The Nice Côte d’Azur Metropolis has shouldered the majority of the investment, with the General Council for the Alpes Maritimes, the PACA region, and the French State adding minor contributions to the financing of the project.

The city of Nice was also, for the first time, able to secure almost one million euros in funding from the European Regional Development Fund.

Eventually, Line 1 will be extended again, right up to La Trinité on the outskirts of the city.

According to Estrosi, the extension plans are an integral part of the metropolis’ wish “to provide local residents with a high performing transport network.”

Click on pictures at right to enlarge. Find more about the new Nice,France Tramway

Tram inspection run Tram dignitaries Tram inspection run 2 Tram inspection run 2 Tram at Place Massena

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Tram de Nice at Place Massena

Tram de Nice at Place Massena

Tram de Nice Line 2 on Promenade The new (2007) Nice Tramway is getting ready to expand to "Line 2". The city was trying to decide if the route will be up the popular and scenic "Promenade des Anglais" or up two or more "less scenic" streets. Alstom sent a demo version of their newest (and more energy efficient) tram and some rapid reconstruction made a block-long visual of how it might look. See where Tramway Line 2 will be going. See what says about the Nice Tramway
Nice Tramway Line 2


In a surprise move, Nice Mayor Christian Estrosi changed his mind about running Line 2 up the Promenade des Anglais and instead went with a plan that provides an 8.6 kilometer "tram/metro" with 3.6 kilometers below ground. It will cost €'450,000,000 and carry 110,000 - 140,000 daily passengers. It will run between Gare de Riquier and new? Gare Multimodal Saint-Augustin.
Boulevard Rene Cassin / Avenue Californie at the Champion/Carrefour food market has a tramway in its future.
Fifty-three years after the closure of the Tramway de Nice et du Littoral, the Tramway de Nice began to serve its Northern and Eastern sections. 2007 saw the completion of Line 1 serving the North-South needs of the city. Line 2 now addresses the East-West needs. This WebSite will be updated continuously until completion of Line 2 in Year 2017.
Other attractions you will enjoy

New Trams for Nice
Chemins de Fer de Provence: Nice - Digne
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Tourist information about the towns to the West of Nice

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Nice Tramway Line 2 WebSite from the Ancien Hippie
Nice Tramway Line 2 WebSite from the Ancien Hippie

Well, they have put together a great WebSite on the Construction of Line 2 (
Constantly changing pictures, current videos, news flashes.

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Tram de Nice passes construction between Place Massena and Place Garibaldi (September 3, 2007)

Tram de Nice passes construction between Place Massena and Place Garibaldi

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Tram de Nice OLD Tram de Nice NEW

Old Tram and New Tram

These pictures were taken from an idential spot. The old tram is undated, but you an judge by the cars
The street is/has been called:
1. vallon Saint-Michel before Nice was a city,
2. avenue du Prince-Impérial during the Second Empire (in honor of Napoléon Eugène Louis Bonaparte),
3. avenue de la Gare
4. avenue de la Victoire after the First World War
5. avenue Jean-Médecin (in honor of Jean Médecin who was the mayor for 33 years from 1928 to 1943 and 1947 to 1965).

By Ken Kinlock at
Tram de Nice approaches Place Garibaldi and lowers catenary pole

Tram de Nice approaches Place Garibaldi and lowers catenary pole. There is no overhead thru Place Garabaldi and tram runs on its battery. (September 3, 2007)

New Trams for Nice

New Trams for Nice

On May 11, 2007, a new tram is on the way to Nice.
It was parked near the airport waiting for lighter traffic to travel into the city.
Note the " ALSTOM" builder's plate

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. This East-West Tramway will be completed in 2017.

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Tram de Nice at Place Massena showing unique statues Tram de Nice at Place Massena showing unique statues

Tram de Nice at Place Massena showing unique statues (November 12, 2007)

Tram de Nice at Place Massena lighting of the statues Tram de Nice at Place Massena lighting of the statues

Tram de Nice at Place Massena. The mayor of Nice lights the statues for the first time. (November 16, 2007)

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New Trams for Nice

New Trams for Nice

On May 11, 2007, a new tram is on the way to Nice.
It was parked near the airport waiting for lighter traffic to travel into the city.
Another side view. Note fire extinguisher just in case.
Tram de Nice at Place Garibaldi when the statue is moved Tram de Nice at Place Garibaldi when the statue is moved

Tram de Nice at Place Garibaldi when the statue is moved. (November 16, 2007).

The 250 ton statue of Garabaldi was moved 18 meters at a cost of 450,000 Euros. The overall refurbishing of Place Garibaldi is being done for the construction of Tramway Line 1; however the statue needs to be moved for future Tramway Line 2 ( Port of Nice to Cagnes sur Mer). Giuseppe Garabaldi was born in Nice. His statue was erected in 1891.
Nice Port

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New Trams for Nice

New Trams for Nice

On May 11, 2007, a new tram is on the way to Nice.
It was parked near the airport waiting for lighter traffic to travel into the city.
Rear end of car
New Trams for Nice

New Trams for Nice

On May 11, 2007, a new tram is on the way to Nice.
It was parked near the airport waiting for lighter traffic to travel into the city.
Side of car. Note security agent with dog

Even more trams for Nice

In June 2010, eight additional tram sets were ordered so as to provide additional servive during peak periods.

During the excavation works for the new tramway along Boulevard Jean Jaurès, two important archeological sites were earmarked for further explorations respectively south and north of Nice’s Bus terminal:

1) Pont Vieux or Pont Saint-Antoine - Vestiges of this old bridge were found during excavations works over an area of 230m². The aim was to verify the presence and date the original (possibly timber) bridge mentioned as back as 1250 as well as to to assess if the brick built arches discovered, relate to those rebuilt in 1545 after the siege by the French and Turks. Escavations around the steps of Rue du Pont Vieux also aim find a link between the bridge and the original walls sourrounding Nice old town.

2) Porte Parolière near Place Garibaldi is the most important of the 3 gates to enter the fortified old town of Nice from Tourin (Savoy). Louis Brea’s 1516 painting shows this gate flanked by a round tower and its draw-bridge.

A surface of 1800m² was excavated to produce a large 6m deep chamber which is then covered by a large slab of reinforced cement to enable the tramwy to run above it during prolongued excavation works. Eventually all archeological finds will be restored and exhibited.
Tram at Place Massena Now you can see the entire NICE, FRANCE TRAMWAY in GOOGLE EARTH!!!! Yes! Open in Google Earth and follow the path of the Tramway station-by station.
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In Nice, before the opening of the tram, there has been much testing and operator training.

The police have had to come out in force along the new tram line and ticket people driving and/or walking on the tracks. The Marseille tramway doesn’t even really work due to the anarchic habits of Southern French drivers and pedestrians. The first few days they tried testing the tram in Nice, it never got above 5kmh (approximately 3mph), or walking speed… because pedestrians wouldn’t get out of the way. This has apparently remained the case in Marseille.
Tram at Place Massena

Tram crawls through Place Massena during a demonstration by motorcyclists.

Tramway de Nice et du Littoral

The Tramway de Nice was the first tramway system serving the city of Nice, France. The tramway began operations on 27 February 1879 using horse drawn tramcars.

The creation of the Compagnie des Tramways de Nice et du Littoral (TNL) was encouraged by the rapid rise in population of Nice and surrounding towns and villages.

The TNL's aim was to build a network linking Nice to several towns along the coast on a 1,000 mm (3 ft 3?in) narrow gauge network. Lines were:
* Cagnes-sur-Mer - Nice - Beaulieu - Monte Carlo - Menton
* Nice urban network.

All lines were electrified in 1900 and operated by single car tramcars. In 1930 the TNL was operating 144km of lines, 183 tramcars and 96 trailers. At Cagnes, passengers could board trams of the Tramway de Cannes and travel to Juan-les-Pins, Cannes and Mandelieu.

Unfortunately, the coastal line had heavy bus competition. Coastal lines were replaced by buses as early as 1929, the entire suburban network disappeared in 1934 with many comments from the press saluting the disappearance of the old way of transport.

Nice decided to slowly close the tramway network and by 1939, only 4 lines remained open. Due to World War II and the requisition of buses, two lines were reopened. The network was then operated by 48 tramcars and 22 trailers. A few tramcars were rebuilt in 1942.
After World War II, the badly maintained tramways were showing their age, which was surprising for such a popular mode of transport in a touristic city such as Nice. Tramways were replaced by trolleybuses from 1948 and the last tramway ran on 10 January 1953.

Links to interesting tram and bus sites in Nice

L'association des Tramophiles de la Côte d'Azur (T.C.A.)
Great unofficial WebSite
Nice Page from a France-wide site
France bus page
Nice tramway in 1925
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Visit the Mercantour Park and St Martin Vesubie. Enjoy the mountains only an hour from the sea.

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More History of the Tram and Trains in Nice

When I first came to Nice I became very interested in the new tramway. This was because of my background in writing on railroad history.

I quickly found out that Nice once had a tram. Quick research showed it went West to Cagnes and East to Menton. On the way it went through Monaco, which had its own tram that even went to La Turbie.

Next I found that Sospel had a tram from Menton.

Looking closer I found that Compagnie des Tramways de Nice et du Littoral (TNL) went as far North as far as Levens, Contes and L`Escarene. But other operators in the Alpes Maritimes had trams going to: Roquestéron, St Martin Vésubie, St Sauveur sur Tinée and Guillaumes. These had connections to the Chemins de Fer de Provence: Nice - Digne

But don`t forget the Nice to Cuneo railroad which went through Sospel, Breil and Tende.

Then I discovered the Chemins de Fer de Provence: Nice - Digne with its terminal in Nice. It is sort of between a tram and a train. Didn't know it went West to Grasse towards Draguignan.

Next I discovered that it also had a line from Toulon through St Tropez to Frejus and St Raephel. WOW, that is exactly what St Tropez needs today: a train.

By Ken Kinlock at

Overview Chemins de Fer de Provence

600 km of rail lines were built in three areas:

- La Littoral. A coastal section ran from Toulon, via Hyeres and Ste Maxime to Fréjus and St Raphaël.

- Nice-Meyrargues. A central section ran across the departments of the Var and the Alpes Maritimes, from Meyragues, via Draguignan and Grasse, to Colomars at the Var river, where it connected with the Nice-Digne section. This line ran from the end of the 19th century until it was closed in 1950.

- Nice-Digne This section ran from Nice, up the Var river valley to Dignes-les-Bains, and the line is still in service today, the last 1-meter gauge railway in the South of France.

- Tramways of the Alpes-Maritimes. A network of tramways provided rail service to many parts of otherwise-remote areas of the Alpes-Maritimes.

In addition there were several branch lines:

Grasse - Cagnes-sur-Mer branched off of the Grasse-Vence route at Pré-de-Lac (by Magagnosc/Chateauneuf), and followed the valleys down past Roquefort-les-Pins and Villeneuve-Loubet to Cagnes-sur-Mer.

Vence - Cagnes-sur-Mer between Vence and the coast went past Saint Paul-de-Vence and La Colle-sur-Loup. Some of the old viaducts and tunnel openings are still visible here, from along the road.

From the Var river, at the Pont Charles-Albert (between St Martin-du-Var and Plan-de-Var), a line followed the Esteron valley west to Roquestéron, serving Gilette and Pierrefeu.

A branch of the Nice-Digne train went up the Vésubie valley, from Plan-du-Var, via St Jean-la-Rivière, Lantosque and Roquebillière to St Martin-Vésubie.

A branch of the Nice-Digne train went up the Tinée valley to St Sauveur-sur-Tinée. This line provided access to the perched villages overlooking the valley: La Tour, Bariols, Clans, Illonse, Marie and Rimplas.

Another branch of the Nice-Digne Train-de-Pignes went up the Dalius valley and past the Gorges de Dalius. This line branched north from the main line at the Pont de Gueydan and went to the small town of Guillaumes.

GROUPE D'ETUDE POUR LES CHEMINS DE FER DE PROVENCE is a group maintaining the history of this line. They maintain old steam loomotives in PugetThenier. See a good portal (in French) to more information on these lines.
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