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Alstom's Citadis tramway begins service in Algiers

05/27/2011 AT 07:55

Also on hand for the event were Samir Karoum, President of Alstom Algeria, and Jean-Pierre Gollot, Alstom Transport Deputy General Manager in Algeria, along with Ali Hadad, Président Directeur Général representing ETRHB on behalf of the Mediterrail consortium1 charged with constructing and equipping the first tramway line.

Exploited by the Urban and Suburban Bus Transportation for Algiers (ETUSA), Alstom's Citadis tramway runs on the line's initial segment, which Mediterrail delivered to the EMA in December 2010. This stretch of the line, 7.2 km in length, links Bab Ezzouar to Bordj El Kiffan districts in the eastern suburbs of Algiers and serves 13 stations, from “Bananiers – H Moukhtar Zerhouni - Lycée” to “Bordj El kiffan - Colline Mohous”. With the completion of two additional sections currently under construction (Hussein Dey– Bab Ezzouar and Bordj El Kiffan–Dergana), the line will extend 23 kilometres and includes 38 stations along with eight transfer hubs.

Alstom, the project leader for the Mediterrail consortium, is providing a comprehensive service that includes a portion of the civil engineering, all the infrastructure (platform, rails, electrification, signalling, ticketing), the workshop-depot at Bordj El Kiffan and the central command post. Alstom is also supplying the fleet of 41 Citadis trainsets, already delivered in full. In addition, Alstom will be responsible for maintaining the tramway system equipment and the Citadis tramsets for 10 years.

The Algiers tramway trainsets, were specially designed to meet the EMA's operating needs and feature both the proven equipment standard on all Citadis trams, representing years of accumulated Citadis expertise, and a number of customized elements, including the design of the driver's cabin, the livery, and the interior fittings.

Algeria's first tramway is notable for its accessibility, large capacity, and comfort. The integral low floor and eight lateral doors ensure easy, level access from the platforms, especially for those with reduced mobility. Each tramset is 40 metres in length and can accommodate from 300 to 400 passengers during peak travel times. The air conditioning and large tinted glass windows, plus the seating and wide aisles, passenger information displays in French and Arabic, and quiet engine operation are all designed to ensure pleasant travel conditions.

This transport infrastructure project is part of the development programme initiated by the Algerian government in response to a growing demand for public transport. As a structural feature of the capital's policy of expanding eastwards, this project is symbolic for the country, and the reintroduction of trams 50 years after they were phased out will contribute significantly to the development and modernization of Algeria's main conurbations. Thanks to its expertise and know-how, Alstom has also been selected by EMA to construct tramways in Oran and Constantine.

To date, more than 1,500 Citadis trams have been ordered by 36 cities worldwide, and some 60 additional cities plan to launch tramway projects in the next few years, including more than a dozen cities in Algeria2. Tramways are undeniably successful: they help to develop sustainable mobility, provide a means of restructuring and modernizing the urban area and enhance the architectural heritage of cities, whilst boosting urban and suburban services.

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