FRANCE: Alstom has been awarded a €52m contract to supply 23 trams for the 16·8 km three-route tramway being built in Caen.

The Citadis X05 trams are to be delivered from mid-2018 for entry into service in September 2019. The contract announced on November 8 includes options for up to nine more trams which could be delivered by 2021.

The vehicles will be 33 m long, with six double doors per side and a capacity of more than 210 passengers. They will have LED lighting, as well as USB recharging sockets which Alstom says will be a first in France. The trams would have the capability of catenary-free operation.

Styling options intended to 'highlight the identity of the region of Normandie' will be developed and put to a local vote by the end of the year.

Alstom said the trams would offer 'a high level of reliability, thereby guaranteeing an improved alternative' to the TVR rubber-tyred guided bus system which the steel-wheel trams will replace.

Seven of Alstom's 12 French sites will be involved in production of the vehicles: La Rochelle for the design and assembly, Ornans for the motors, Le Creusot for the bogies, Tarbes for the traction equipment, Valenciennes for the interior, Villeurbanne for the onboard electronics and St-Ouen for the overall design.