Strasbourg, France

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Strasbourg Eurotram no. 1007 outbound at Etoile Bourse (Lines A/D). Photo by Peter Ehrlich, April 2007.


Strasbourg, the capital of Alsace prefecture and France's 7th largest city, with about 272,000 residents, has had a very interesting history, owing to its location across the Rhine River from Germany and its strategic position in terms of commerce. It was the subject of German occupation and rule several times during its 18 centuries of existence, most recently during World War II. It was permanently ceded to France following hostilities. Most recently, it has become one of the satellite seats of the European Union Parliament. It is also a vibrant cultural and educational center, and many churches dating to the Gothic era, both Lutheran and Roman Catholic, stand tall in the old central district.

Strasbourg's original tramway system ceased operations on May 1, 1960. Starting in the late 1980s, the city and the region began to develop a new tramway network, becoming one of the first in Europe to adopt 100% low-floor trams exclusively. To that end, it introduced ABB Traction's Eurotram, and service began with today's Line A from Hautepierre Maillon to Baggersee, 9.8 kilometers in length, with 26 double-end, 8-axle cars in October 1994. Fourteen more 8-axle trams and 17 10-axle Eurotrams, now built by AdTranz, were added between 1998 and 2000, when the system reached its current size, first with the extension of Line A to Illkirch Lixenbuhl, and following with startup of east-west lines B and C on Sept. 4, 2000. Currently Line D is a supplemental short-turn service for Line A, but there are plans to extend it eastward from its south terminal. Lines A and D, oriented basically north-south, cross routes B and C at Place L'Homme de Fer in Strasbourg's center, and there is a pair of connecting curves in the northwest quadrant of the piazza. Some streets in downtown are the exclusive province of trams and pedestrians. Private right-of-way is the rule in outlying areas. The old tram system's 1930s-era Cronenbourg carbarn, near Rotonde Station, was rebuilt to serve Line A. There is also a new carbarn located at Elsau at the end of lines B & C.

In anticipation of further extensions and system expansion during the latter part of this decade, 35 new Alstom-built Citadis trams, with an option for 10 more, have begun to arrive in Strasbourg, and are currently assigned only to Line A. Three new extensions of Lines B, C and D are expected to open in late 2006. A new line E, which will begin at Baggersee and use the extension of Line D, then join with Line C as far as République, where it will link up with Line B, culminating at a new terminal at Boecklin, is also planned for startup in late 2006 or 2007. This new route will not pass through the Central District.

The extensions opened as follows:

  • Ligne C : Esplanade to Rudolphe Reuss, August 25, 2007
  • Ligne D : Etolie Polygone to Aristide Briand, August 25, 2007
  • Ligne E : Baggersee to Wacken (shared tracks with A, D, C, B): August 25 2007
  • Ligne E : Wacken to Robertsau Boehlin, November 23, 2007
  • Ligne B : Elsau to Ostwald-Hôtel de Ville, January 30, 2008
  • Ligne B : Ostwald-Hôtel de Ville to Lingolsheim Tiergaertl, May 23, 2008
  • Ligne F: From Gare Centrale to Homme de Fer and Vauban propsed to open in 2009

Further in the pipeline are new tram-train routes similar to Karlsruhe and Saarbrucken in Germany. These will operate on parts of both the tramway network and on SNCF and into Germany, to the town of Kehl, just across the Rhine. These should begin operating by the end of the decade.

Service and Fares

Strasbourg's trams operate on frequent headways, 20 hours a day. Most waits for a tram are seven minutes or less. Fares are EUR1.50 for a standard 2-hour ticket and EUR3.20 for a 24-hour pass. These are purchased and validated at station kiosks, not on board the trams. As in most other European cities, proof-of-payment, with roving inspectors, is the mode of travel. Ridership is heavy, with some 190,000 tram riders carried each weekday. The company, a part of the city/regional government, is CTS--the Compagnie des Transports Strasbourgeois.

As in other cities which have re-embraced the tram, Strasbourg's friendly, low-floor, caterpillar-like streetcars make Strasbourg a very clean and vibrant city.

Photo Gallery

Five Random Images

Image 61912

(182k, 1044x788)
Photo by: Bernard Chatreau
Location: Ducs d'Alsace (A)

Image 62103

(190k, 1044x788)
Photo by: Bernard Chatreau
Location: Faubourg National (B/C)

Image 62118

(202k, 1044x603)
Photo by: Bernard Chatreau
Location: Schluthfeld (A)

Image 62119

(202k, 715x1044)
Photo by: Bernard Chatreau
Location: Schluthfeld (A)

Image 62138

(174k, 1044x788)
Photo by: Bernard Chatreau
Location: Laiterie (B/C)

More Images: 1-50 51-100 101-150 151-200 201-250 251-300 301-350 351-385

Photos By Location

Photo locations: Hautepierre Maillon (A), Dante (A), Hôpital de Hautepierre (A), Ducs d'Alsace (A), Saint-Florent (A), Rotonde (A/D), Rotonde Depot, Gare Centrale (A/D), Ancienne Synagogue/Les Halles (A/D), Rue Sebastopol/Les Halles (A/D), Homme de Fer (A/B/C/D), Langstross Grand Rue (A/D), Porte de l'Hôpital (A/D), Rue de la 1ère Armée, Etoile Bourse (A/D), Place de l'Etoile, Etoile Polygone (D), Schluthfeld (A), Krimmeri Stade de la Meinau (A), Lycée Couffignal (A), Émile Mathis (A), Hohwart (A), Baggersee (A), Colonne (A), Leclerc (A), Campus d'Illkirch (A), Illkirch Lixenbuhl (A), Lingolsheim Tiergaertel (B), Alouettes (B), Borie (B), Ostwald - Hôtel de Ville (B), Wihrel (B), Elmerforst (B), Martin Schongauer (B), Elsau (B/C), Montagne Verte (B/C), Laiterie (B/C), Musée d'Art Moderne (B/C), Faubourg National (B/C), Rue St. Michel (B/C), Pont National (B/C), Alt Winmärik (B/C), Rue du Vieux Marche aux Vins (B/C), Rue de la Comedie (B/C), Rue de la Mesange (B/C), Broglie (B/C), République (B/C), Parc du Contades (B), Avenue de la Paix, Lycée Kléber (B), Wacken (B), Rives de l'Aar (B), Futura Glacière (B), La Marais (B), Pont Phario (B), Lycée Marc Bloch (B), Le Ried (B), Général De Gaulle (B), Hoenheim Gare (B), Parlement Européen (E), Droits de l'Homme (E), Robertsau Boecklin (E), Gallia (C), Blvd. de la Victoire/Kiener (C), Universités (C), Blvd. de la Victoire, Observatoire (C), Esplanade (C), Construction south of Esplanade, Future Cinecité Station., Winston Churchill (C), Landsberg (C), Jean Jaurès (C), Lycée Jean Monnet (C), Gravière (C), Kibitzenau (C), Saint Christophe (C), Rodolphe Reuss (C), Aristede Briand (D), (Misc/Unknown)


Official Site - Compagnie des Transports Strasbourgeois

Page Credits

By Peter Ehrlich.

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