Bordeaux, France

From nycsubway.org


Bordeaux Citadis 402 tram no. 2205 on Line B at Place des Quinconces. Photo by Jean-Pierre Vergez, April 2007.


For a long time, the French city of Bordeaux had an extensive tramway network. The first horse tramway line opened May 4, 1880 between Place des Quinconces and Boulevard Jean Jaques Bosc. Electric tram service on the network began in February 1900, and a new company was incorporated: Compagnie Française des Tramways Électriques et des Omnibus de Bordeaux (TEOB), which eventually operated 25 different urban routes. In the suburbs, several different companies operated tram lines: Compagnie du tramway de Bordeaux-Bouscat au Vigean (BBV), incorporated May 14, 1892; Compagnie des tramways électriques Bordeaux-Pessac (TPB), incorporated January 16, 1897; and Compagnie du tramway de Bordeaux à Léognan, incorporated April 6, 1897. These companies formed Tramways Suburbains de Bordeaux (TSB) December 31, 1921. Their mainly metre-gauge lines were then rebuilt to standard gauge.

On April 25, 1952, there was a new contract with Compagnie Générale Française de Transports et d'Entreprises (CGFTE) to operate the network. The municipality and the new company wanted to substitute buses for the trams, and the last of the tramway lines was closed in 1958 (lines 9 and 10 on March 1, 1958, and lines 7 and 8 on December 7, 1958).

But, like in many other cities, traffic jams became prevalent in the 1970s and 1980s and the bus transit was not very efficient. Between 1984 and 1994, Bordeaux planned a VAL metro project (similar to those in the French cities of Lille and Toulouse, and at the Orly Airport in Paris), but, when Alain Juppé become the mayor of Bordeaux, he chose to rebuild tramway lines instead. Today the network is operated by TBC (Trams et Bus de la Communauté urbaine de Bordeaux) who assumed operation from CGFTE on July 3, 2004. TBC is a society owned by Connex Bordeaux, a subsidiary of Veolia Transports, who have an 8 year contract to operate the system.

To date, three lines have been built:

  • Line A: Initial operating segment between Mériadeck shopping center on the west end, through the city center and across the river Garonne to two eastern branches: Lormont and Cenon. Opened December 21, 2003. The west end was extended to Hôpital Pellegrin and Saint-Augustin, September 26, 2005. Line A was extended to Merigac-Centre on June 21, 2007, and to Floirac-Dravemont on February 27, 2007.
  • Line B: Initial operating segment between Place des Quinconces on the north end and Pessac in the south, partially opened May 15, 2004 and the rest on July 3, 2004. Line B was extended from Quinconces to Bassin à Flots (5 stations) on July 23, 2007, and to Pessac-Centre May 29, 2007.
  • Line C: Operates between Place des Quinconces in the north and Gare Saint-Jean in the south. Opened April 24, 2004. Line C was extended to Grand-Parc (4 stations) on November 19, 2007, and from Gare Saint Jean to J.J. Bosc (Bègles) on February 27, 2008.

Present total length of the network is 24.6km, but the second phase of the construction will nearly double the length to 43.3km. The second phase extensions will begin opening in 2007. The only extension yet to open from the Phase 2 construction program is Line B, Bassin à Flot to Claveau.

A third phase of extensions is planned to open in 2012/2013: Ligne A, Mérignac-Centre to Mérignac les Pins; Ligne B, Claveau to Bordeaux nord, and Bougnard to Pessac l'Alouette; Ligne C, Les Aubiers to Bordeaux lac, and Bègles Terre neuve to Bègles Terre sud; and a new line D from Quinconces to Barrière du Médoc.


The tram vehicles are Alstom's "Citadis" standard vehicle used in many other cities in Europe. Bordeaux has two types: Type 302, 100% low floor vehicles with five articulated body sections; and Type 402, 100% low floor vehicles with seven articulated body sections. There are 14 Type 302 units and 56 Type 402 units. Part of the system uses a ground level power supply but the outer ends use standard catenary power lines.

The Bordeaux trams are each dedicated to a particular town in the region, or a sister city somewhere in the world.

2201 Ville de Saxon Citadis Type 402
2202 Ville de Seeheim-Jugenheim Citadis Type 402
2203 Ville de Suances Citadis Type 402
2204 Ville d'Umkirch Citadis Type 402
2205 Ville d'Alcala de Henares Citadis Type 402
2206 Ville d'Armstadt Citadis Type 402
2207 Ville de Kleinostheim Citadis Type 402
2208 Ville de Diebougou Citadis Type 402
2209 Ville de Goppingen Citadis Type 402
2210 Ville de Torres Vedras Citadis Type 402
2211 Ville de Burgos Citadis Type 402
2212 Ville de Norton Radstock Citadis Type 402
2213 Ville de Colindres Citadis Type 402
2214 Ville de Laredo Citadis Type 402
2215 Ville de Pfungstadt Citadis Type 402
2216 Ville de Galati Citadis Type 402
2217 Ville de Munich Citadis Type 402
2218 Ville de Grossostheim Citadis Type 402
2219 Ville de San Martin de Valdeiglesias Citadis Type 402
2220 Ville de Kalambaka Citadis Type 402
2221 Ville de Porto Citadis Type 402
2222 Ville de Vilanova i la Geltru Citadis Type 402
2223 Ville d'Enderby Citadis Type 402
2224 Ville de Casablanca Citadis Type 402
2225 Ville d'Onesti Citadis Type 402
2226 Ville de Collado-Villalba Citadis Type 402
2227 Ville de Burlada Citadis Type 402
2228 Ville de Kaolack Citadis Type 402
2229 Ville de Kelheim Citadis Type 402
2230 Ville de Bristol Citadis Type 402
2231 Ville d'Ashdod Citadis Type 402
2232 Ville de Santa Cruz Citadis Type 402
2241 Ville de Castrillon Citadis Type 302
2242 Ville de Quebec Citadis Type 302
2243 Ville de Sühl Citadis Type 302
2244 Ville de Saint-Petersbourg Citadis Type 302
2245 Ville de Castelldefels Citadis Type 302
2246 Ville de Castelnuovo Berardenga Citadis Type 302
2301 Ville de Bray Citadis Type 302
2302 Ville d'Oran Citadis Type 302
2303 Ville de Fukuoka Citadis Type 302
2304 Ville d'Almansa Citadis Type 302
2305   Citadis Type 302
2306 Ville de Polanco Citadis Type 302
2501   Citadis Type 402
2502 Ville de Wuhan Citadis Type 402
2503   Citadis Type 402
2504   Citadis Type 402
2505   Citadis Type 402
2506   Citadis Type 402
2507   Citadis Type 402
2508   Citadis Type 402
2509   Citadis Type 402
2510   Citadis Type 402
2511 Ville de Bridgend Citadis Type 402
2512 Ville de Sonnino Citadis Type 402
2513   Citadis Type 402
2514   Citadis Type 402
2515 Ville de Clonmel Citadis Type 402
2516   Citadis Type 402
2517   Citadis Type 402
2518   Citadis Type 402
2519   Citadis Type 402
2520   Citadis Type 402
2541   Citadis Type 302
2542   Citadis Type 302
2543   Citadis Type 302
2544   Citadis Type 302
2545   Citadis Type 302
2546   Citadis Type 302
2801   Citadis Type 402
2802   Citadis Type 402
2803   Citadis Type 402

Photo Gallery

Five Random Images

Image 64375

(115k, 1044x706)
Photo by: Jean-Pierre Vergez
Location: Porte de Bourgogne

Image 86236

(176k, 1044x706)
Photo by: Jean-Pierre Vergez
Location: Between Bassens Carbon Blanc & Carriet

Image 86278

(229k, 1044x706)
Photo by: Jean-Pierre Vergez
Location: Hôpital Pellegrin

Image 86293

(209k, 1044x706)
Photo by: Jean-Pierre Vergez
Location: Floirac Dravemont

Image 87336

(178k, 1044x706)
Photo by: Jean-Pierre Vergez
Location: Bassin a flots

More Images: 1-50 51-100 101-150 151-200 201-209

Photos By Location

Line A

Bassens Carbon Blanc-Grand Came, Between Bassens Carbon Blanc & Carriet, Carriet, Mairie de Lormont, Lormont Lauriers, Bois Fleuri, Gravières, Iris, Floirac Dravemont, La Marègue, Between La Marègue & Jean Zay, Jean Zay, La Morlette, Pelletan, Palmer, Buttinière, Carnot--Mairie de Cenon, Cenon Gare, Jean Jaurès, Galin, Thiers-Benauge, Jardin Botanique, Stalingrad, Pont de Pierre (bet. Quai Richelieu & Stalingrad, Porte de Bourgogne, Quai Richelieu, Place du Palais, Saint-Catherine, Hôtel de Ville, Palais de Justice, Mériadeck, St-Bruno--Hôtel de Région, Hôtel de Police, Gaviniès, Between Gaviniès & Stade Chaban-Delmas, Stade Chaban-Delmas, Hôpital Pellegrin, St-Augustin, Between St-Augustin & François Mitterand, François Mitterand, Peychotte, Fontaine d'Arlac, Between Fontaine d'Arlac & Alfred de Vigny, Alfred de Vigny, Pierre Mendès-France, Quatre Chemins, Lycées de Mérignac, Between Lycées de Mérignac & Mérignac Centre, Mérignac Centre

Line B

Cité Claveau, Brandenburg, New York, Dépôt Achard, Rue Achard, Between Rue Achard & Bassin a Flots, Bassin a flots, Between Bassin & Les Hangars, Les Hangars, Cours du Médoc, Chartrons, CAPC-Musée d'Art Contemporain, Place des Quinconces, Cours du XXX Juillet, Grand Théâtre, Gambetta, Between Gambetta and Hôtel de Ville, Hôtel de Ville, Musée d'Aquitaine, Victoire, St-Nicolas, Bergonié, Barrière St-Genès, Roustaing, Between Roustaing & Forum, Forum, Peixotto, Bèthanie, Between Bèthanie & Arts et Métiers, Arts et Métiers, François Bordes, Doyen Brus, Between Doyen Brus & Montaigne Montesquieu, Montaigne Montesquieu, UNITEC, Saige, Bougnard, Pessac Camponac-Médiathêque, Pessac Center

Line C

Les Aubiers, Between Les Aubiers & Ravesies, Ravesies, Grand Parc, Emile Counord, Camille Godard, Place Paul Dourmer, Jardin Public, New Station 6, Place des Quinconces, Place de la Bourse, Porte de Bourgogne, St-Michel, Ste-Croix, Tauzia, Gare Saint-Jean, New Station 7, New Station 8, Belcier Bègles, Carle Vernet, Terres Neuves


Official Site - Communauté urbaine de Bordeaux

Official Site - TBC (Trams et Bus de la CUB)

Official Site - TBC - Map of Bordeaux Transportation Routes

Official Site - TBC - Map of Bordeaux Tramway Extensions

Page Credits

By Jean-Pierre Vergez.

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