Friday, August 27, 2010

German tram from France

The newest addition to my European tram fleet is this model from Arnold. It represents the Düwag 6-axle tram as they were used in the 80's and early 90's in the French city of Lille. The trams were purchased second-hand from Germany as a temporary solution for operating Lille's dated tramway system before major modernization in 1991-1994, after which new lightrail vehicles from Breda took over. On their arrival in France the Düwags got this flashy TCC (Lille community public transport) livery.
Click here for a nice video of these trams in action.

The two now still existing tramway lines in Lille were opened 1909. The line starts in the city center, and then branches off to Tourcoing, while the main line continues to Roubaix. The system was named after its engineer, Alfred Mongy. Mongy was quite ahead of his time, as the double-track lines were placed in the center of the boulevards, not having to share their right-of-way with other traffic. Probably the reason why these lines are still there nowadays, fuctioning side-to-side with Lille's VAL, and have not been closed down like in so many other French cities. Read more about the Mongy's history.

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