MULHOUSE transport authority Sitram has ordered 20 Citadis trams from Alstom at a cost of €48m, with an option for a further seven. On delivery in 2005, the all-low-floor cars will run on the initial 12 km urban section of the city’s Tram-Train network.

The urban network will consist of an 8·75 km east-west line with 17 stops linking Coteaux in the west to Jonquilles in the eastern suburb of Illzach and an 11 km north-south route with 21 stops running from Gare Centrale to Kingersheim and Wittenheim, terminating at Bosquets du Roy. The first sections to open will be from Coteaux to Nouveaux Bassin and Gare Centrale to Place du Rattachement, with the remaining sections completed by 2010.

Linked to the urban network will be a suburban route nearly 40 km long serving the Thur valley. To be built in 2005-07, this will be worked by tram-train vehicles calling at 10 stops on the urban network and at 15 stations between Lutterbach and the northwestern terminus at Kruth. Some 36 km of the route will be on RFF tracks adapted for use by tram-train cars, and 4 km will be new alignment. A 20min service will run on the outer section beyond Lutterbach, with 10min intervals applying between there and the city centre.

Passengers from Kruth, Thann and other towns along the route will gain a direct service to Mulhouse city centre, with a 30min journey time from Thann to Porte Jeune. This compares with a 22min suburban rail journey plus a 15min walk at the moment.