Paris tram T9 (Photo: Île-de-France Mobilités)

FRANCE: Île-de-France tram line T9 opened on April 10, connecting Porte de Choisy metro station with Place Gaston Viens in Orly in the southeast suburbs of Paris. T9 runs via Ivry-sur-Seine, Vitry-sur-Seine, Choisy-le-Roi and Thiais.

Paris tram T9 (Map: Île-de-France Mobilités)

The line is 10·3 km long with 19 stations, and uses reserved track with priority at junctions. Porte de Choisy provides an interchange with metro Line 7 and tram T3a, and Choisy-le-Roi with RER Line C. Local bus routes have also been reconfigured.

T9 is the first project to be entirely managed by Île-de-France Mobilités from studies to construction. The total cost was €404m for the infrastructure and €75m for the vehicles, funded by the Île-de-France region (52·5%), the national government (22·5%), the Département of Val-de-Marne (21%) the city of Paris (3%) and Grand Paris-Orly Seine Bièvre (1%).

Construction began in mid-2016, and tracklaying got underway in February 2019. More than 1 700 trees have been planted along the route.

Alstom has supplied a fleet of 22 Citadis X05 trams ordered in November 2016. These are 45 m long and have a capacity of 314 passengers. They were designed and manufactured at Alstom’s La Rochelle site, with Ornans supplying the motors, Le Creusot the bogies, Tarbes electrical modules and equipment, Valenciennes the interiors, Villeurbanne onboard electronics, Aix-en-Provence the tachometer generators, and Saint-Ouen undertaking design work.

The vehicles have eight double-doors per side, and wide and well-lit gangways to smooth passenger flows. Glass covers 45% of the surface, with 100% LED lighting, eight wide multimedia screens for visual display maps, USB sockets and bench seating.

The trams feature a custom ‘light signature’ developed by Alstom’s Design & Styling team in partnership with design agency Saguez & Partners. LED lights fitted inside and out are designed to ensure a clear views of the doors opening and closing, with a line of red lights when the doors close, green when they open and a continuous white line when the tram is in motion.

Paris tram T9 (Photo: Île-de-France Mobilités)

The trams were delivered between November 2019 and December 2020 in accordance with the initial timeframe which had envisaged opening last year.

Île-de-France Mobilités has also ordered 13 similar trams for Line T10 which will connect Clamart to Anthony.

The T9 tramway, as well as local bus services, are operated by Keolis under a 5½ year contract awarded in 2019. The end-to-end journey time on T9 is 29 min, around half the journey time on bus Route 183 which the tramway has replaced. Trams run every 3½ min in the peaks, every 6 min off peak and up to every 20 min in the late evenings. Between 70 000 and 80 000 passengers a day are expected to use the line.

A southern extension to Orly airport is being considered, which would require a further 11 trams, as well as a northern extension to Place d’Italie.