The Tramway de Saint-Étienne
is a Tram
system in the French
city of Saint-Étienne
, its particularity is that is has functionned non stop since its opening in 1881. The first tramway line was steam operated and was opened by the Chemins de Fer à Voie étroite de Saint-Étienne
on 4 December 1881, it stretched for 5.5 km between La Terrasse and Bellevue. The CFVE took over the Compagnie des Tramways Electriques de Saint-Étienne
lines and steam was last used in 1912. Lines with small patronage were replaced by trolleybuses
in 1932 with all but one line closed in 1956 due the impossibility to run trolleybuses on the busiest line of network. The decision to keep the tramway in the 1950s saw the introduction of the famous PCC
tramcars to replace 1932 rolling stock and the Vevey-Alsthom tramcars in 1991-1992. The system is operated by the STAS
The Tramway de Saint-Étienne runs from Hôpital Nord to Solaure after an extension of the original line from Gare de Bellevue
in 1983 and from Gare de La Terrasse
to Hôpital Nord in 1991 stretching 9.3 km. The old termini are now used as semi-termini where some services end at peak hours
and others continue to Solaure and Hôpital Nord.
A line from Cinq-Chemins de Terrenoire to Saint-Jean-Bonnefonds opened in 1907 and closed on 1 April 1932 being replaced by a bus service. Lines from the town centre to Le Pertuiset, Saint-Genest-Lerpt and Roche-la-Molière opened between 1907 and 1909.
A second line to supplement the current line is scheduled to open in 2006 and built to serve the city Chateaucreux Station.
Trolleybuses were put into service on 1 January 1942 between Raspail and Place Dorian
The current and only depot is on the Transpôle
site near Saint-Étienne's Northern Hospital but was until 1998 situated at Bellevue. The depot as well as the PCC tramcars
The new depot was built South of Hôpital Nord and North of La Terrasse. It is the STAS depot for Saint-Étienne and houses buses, trolleybuses and trams.
Saint-Étienne tramway is currently run with a fleet of 35 tramcars. There have been four large fleets of tramcars to operate on the network, the most of all being the fleet of PCC cars introduced in 1958.
Type A tramcars
Type A tramcars were built by Graumont
in 1897. The class of 28 cars circulated from 1897 to 1952. the cars were 7.50 m long, 2 m wide and were capable of transporting forty passengers.
Type H tramcars
The Type H tramcars were introduced in 1907 at the start of the electric traction services. The cars were 10.21 m in length, 2 m wide, weighed 12.3t
(empty) and developed 100hp
(2 x 5t0 hp , they were operated by a wattman
and a receiver
(ticket collector) and could carry 48 passengers. The cars lay on a Brill
79 Ex2 truck.
Type R tramcars
Type R tramcars were built by the Compagnie Générale de Construction
in 1912. All eight of the cars circulated from 1912 to 1959 and were capable of carying 47 passengers. The tramcars weighted 13 tons empty and were 9.35 m long and 2&nbs;m wide.
fleet was composed of 30 single car trams, built in Strasbourg
were introduced in 1958 after the decision to keep the busiest tramway line was taken, with the last one withdrawn in 1998.
This class of tramcars, a variation of the Tramway Français Standard
, exists in two types; tramcars introduced in 1991 and 1998. The first class was introduced between 1991 and 1992 at the time of the line extension to Hôpital Nord, they are made of two cars and have a seating capacity of 43; they are numbered 901 to 915. In 1998, a second batch of tramcars was introduced with only minor differences with their sisters; they are numbered 916 to 935.
The first class of modern tramcars (15 tramcars) were equipped with trolley poles as the PCC were still in use, there were subsequently replaced by pantographs as the PCC were withdrawn and the second batch of modern cars was introduced.
The second class of Alsthom-Vevey tramcars (20 tramcars) are capable of reaching a maximum speed of 70 km/h. The were built on 23.24 m long H chassis and an empty weight of 27.4tons. Current is collected by pantograph, as opposed to trolley pole like on the PCC cars. The current delivered is 600V DC.
Saint-Étienne trams in preservation
Six PCC tramcars remain the property of STAS, the tramway network operator.
- 5 two-car PCC, numbered 551 to 555 are awaiting buyer.
- 1 single car PCC, numbered 586, is used for maintenance, its possesses a particularity in which she has a pantograph instead of a trolleypole.