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The Tramway de Rouen or métro de Rouen is a network of two tramway lines in the Norman city of Rouenmarker, Francemarker.

The old tramways

The first tramway was steam hauled, opened in 1874 and was owned by Gustav Palmer Harding. The Compagnie des Tramways de Rouen (CTR) was created on 11 September 1878. Steam hauling stopped in 1884 due to rising costs and the ineffectiveness of the system, the tramways then were horse drawn.

On 19 June 1892 a funicular railway linking Rouenmarker to Bonsecoursmarker opened. Two years later, in 1894, the decision to operate all tramways electrically was made.

A second company, the Compagnie Générale de Traction (CGT) was created in 1895 and opened lines to Bapeaume, Amfreville-la-Mi-Voiemarker and Bihorelmarker. The CTR electrifed its tramway network 22 March 1896 on time for Colonial Exposition of 1896, organised in Rouenmarker.

The CGT and CTR were supplemented by a third tramway company, the Compagnie du Tramway de Bonsecours, which in 1899 opened a line from Rouen's Pont Corneille to Bonsecoursmarker. To reach Bonsecoursmarker, the line had to climb a steep ramp, reaching 60 mm/m (6%) and 80 mm/m (8%). This made the total length of network 38 km long. In 1906, a short lived line linking le Trianon to the Forêt du Rouvray opened, this closed in 1908.

In 1910, The CGT, the Compagnie du Tramway de Bonsecours merged into the CTR. Two years later, the tramway was extended to Bois-Guillaumemarker. The last line was opened on 1 August 1915, this stretched between Rouen and Grand-Quevillymarker, its purpose was to link military camps to the city-centre. A fire broke out in the Trianon depot on 30 November 1921.

In 1930, the first bus line began operations between Place Beauvoisine and Cimetière Nord. The first tramway line closure occurred the same year and was replaced by buses.

The trolleybus made a discrete appearance in 1933 during tests, the first line opened in 1937 and linked Mont-Saint-Aignanmarker to the city.

For six years, between 9 June 1940 and 20 April 1946, crossing of the River Seinemarker was interrupted due to the World War II hostilities. The line to Amfrevillemarker was closed and replaced by buses in 1948.

On 28 February, the last tramway line closed, followed in 1970 by the last trolleybus.

The tramway system was operated by three companies, all using standard gauge tramcars.


The Compagnie des Tramways de Rouen (CTR) kept its rolling stock in three tramway depots;
  • Trianon, situated on the south bank of the river Seine
  • Bonsecoursmarker, situated at the top of the incline of the same name.
  • Marommemarker, situated in the north of the city.

Rouen's new tramway

The new tramway

In 1991, construction of a new tramway system began. This new tramway operates on one line with two southern branches to Saint-Étienne-du-Rouvraymarker and Grand-Quevillymarker. The network runs for 2.3 km underground in the city centre and the remainder on the road surface and reserved track. Rolling stock is of light rail type; the Tramway Français Standard (TFS), identical to those used on the Tramway de Grenoble (1987) and Paris Tramway Line 2 (1997).

Métrobus was opened on 17 December 1994. In light of the fact that the new mode of transport technically is a light railway/tramway, inhabitants of Rouen and its suburbs have taken the habit of calling it the 'métro'. In 1997, the tramway was extended to the Technopôle du Madrillet.


  • Length of the network : 18.2 km
  • Number of stops : 31
  • Number of tramcars : 28
  • Tramcar capacity : 178
  • Average commercial speed : 19,125 km/h (80 km/h max)
  • Daily traffic: 65 000 journeys
  • Opening hours: 5h00 to 23h30
  • Frequency of services: every 3 minutes peak hour and 20 minutes off peak

See also

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