The tram-train is a system of Public transport near to the Train-tram, which makes it possible the same vehicle to circulate on ways of Tramway in downtown area and to connect stations located in theurban one, even beyond, while circulating on the regional railway network.
DescriptionThis system requires a physical interconnection of the networks urban and railway as well as a material ready to circulate on the two networks, i.e. compatible with the traditional Railroad (indication, power, resistance, height and distance to the quays) and the security standards related to urban circulation (capacities of braking, indication). In particular, as the electrifications of the two networks are in general different, the vehicles must be able to be supplied with the respective tensions of each network (750V CC/15kV CA; 750V CC/diesel; …). One speaks then about dual-mode vehicle. To make possible the passage of a feeding system to another, and to make it possible the vehicle to commutate between the railway and urban food, the infrastructure is provided with a zone of null tension, called zone of change of tension. Such a zone is not necessary in the case of hybrid vehicles, i.e. not provided with a diesel traction.
The offer permitted by this means of joint transport can then be vast and contribute to a more effective grid of the whole of the network, in particular in the event of combination with the traditional tram. If the offer of urban transport or regional is not substituted by the tram-train, it is necessary to check that the used lines have the sufficient capacity taking into account the whole of circulations which must cohabit on the same infrastructure. Because of its at the same time urban and regional character, the tram-train is often the occasion to reorganize the grid systems jointly existing around strong lines, that it is for the road or railway public transport, urban and regional one.
Compared to the traditional regional rail-bound transport, the major advantage of the tram-train lies in the direct connection offered to the users between the periphery and the downtown area. It thus makes it possible to avoid the breaking bulks related to the correspondences in station, which one usually meets for railway displacements periphery/downtown area.
So the distance between the stations is very variable on the lines concerned, since it varies between a weak interstation in downtown area (often lower than 500 m), whereas it is typically of several kilometers in the périurbaine part of the line, where boroughs and villages more distant and are separated by agricultural and little inhabited spaces.
Enough developed in the Germanic countries, and in particular with Karlsruhe (Model of Karlsruhe), where he was born with beginning of the year 90. In France, the system was brought into service in November 2006, in Paris region (Ligne 4 of the tram of Ile-de-France between Bondy and Aulnay with an access to the domestic network only for the needs for the service i.e. without traveller). Other similar projects should be born in 2009-2010 between Mulhouse and Thann like with Strasbourg in 2011, Nantes and Lyon. It is in project with the Meeting, between the Aéroport of the Meeting Roland-Garros and Saint-Paul, in the neighborhoods of 2013 for the first phase.
In Germany, country of birth of the tram-train, one assists today, ten year after the implementation successful several networks according to the basic principles of Karlsruhe, with a revival of the idea of tram-train. New lines and the new networks (Zwickau, Nordhausen, Kassel,…) can be qualified rightly tram-train of second generation. They represent a development of the basic idea resulting from Karlsruhe and a technical amendment of the idea of tram-train to the local conditions. The town of Zwickau for example proceeded to a true reversal of the principle of tram-train while allowing the trains penetrating in the downtown area while circulating on the urban infrastructures. One speaks in this case about Train-tram.
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