Keen to involve all the inhabitants of the Metropole in the choice of tram design for the new tramway line, the President of the Nice Côte d’Azur Metropole launched a major public consultation. Between 30 November 2015 and 31 January 2016, the inhabitants voted to choose a design out of three propositions created and presented by the French designer ORA ÏTO, with whom Alstom collaborated to personalise the Citadis X05 range for the city of Nice. The ochre design was chosen with a 44% majority of votes. This simple design and its red ochre colour are inspired by the pigment of the façades of the buildings of Nice, such as those of the Place Massena or the Matisse museum, an elegant 17th century villa and one of the city’s most emblematic buildings.
The Nice Côte d’Azur Metropole will benefit from the latest generation of Citadis trams, the Citadis X05. These hi-tech trams will offer a renewed passenger experience: greater comfort with 40% more windows compared to the previous generation in circulation on Line 1 of the Metropole, LED lights for soft and homogenous lighting, large individual seats and journey-related information displayed on extra-wide screens. Accessibility will be increased via double doors throughout the entire length of the tram, which will also increase the passenger exchange ratio in stations by 20%. A real-time video protection system and highly fireproof materials will ensure passenger security.
Contrary to Line 1, the distinctive feature of the new tramway line requested by the Nice Côte d’Azur Metropole is the absence of overhead contact lines over the entire surface section of the route, combined with intermittent charging in stations. This Metropole requirement meets the desire to integrate the new tramway line into the urban landscape while preserving the city’s architecture.
The future lines of the tramway will thus be entirely catenary-free (apart from the sections in the tunnel). For this, Alstom will supply its latest ground-based static charging technology, SRS – a global premiere. This allows the tram to charge safely and automatically in under 20 seconds while stopped inside the station. The trams will be equipped with an on-board energy storage device, Citadis Ecopack, guaranteeing their autonomy between two recharging points. SRS draws on the functional principals and safety standards of the tried and tested solution, APS (the trams of Bordeaux, Reims and Dubai). Equipped with this technology, the future trams of the East-West tramway line will be able to charge up at each station as passengers get on and off, without extra stopping time and without driver intervention.
Seven out of Alstom’s twelve sites in France are involved in the development of this tramway system for the Nice Côte d’Azur Metropole: La Rochelle for the design 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 system, Saint-Ouen for the coordination of the design and in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region, and Vitrolles for the ground-based static charging solution.