Le Mirador by artist Stéphane Pencréac'h near rond-point Henri Verdier. (Photo: Saada/Schneider)

FRANCE: Industrial action by trade unions representing drivers at local transport operator Tisséo led to the cancellation of the opening celebrations for tram line T1 in Toulouse on November 27-28.

Revenue services on the 10·9 km, 18-stop line finally got underway on December 11. The line links the Arènes stop on the western edge of the city centre, which provides interchange with suburban rail services and VAL mini-metro Line A, with Aeroconstellation in Beauzelle. Tisséo has ordered a fleet of 18 Alstom Citadis TORA cars to provide an 8 min interval weekday service (RG 8.09 p13). Five works of art have been located along the route.

Two further extensions totalling 6 km are due to open by 2013 at a cost of €175m; a 2 km branch would serve Toulouse-Blagnac airport and surrounding aerospace complex, and a 4 km extension would take the line further into the city centre to Grand Rond. A further extension is planned to serve an exhibition centre in Beauzelle which is due to be completed by 2015.

A second tram line is envisaged for around 2020 to coincide with the planned opening of the Bordeaux – Toulouse LGV. The line would link Matabiau station to the airport along the Canal du Midi.