France - Tram services over obscure routes
Some tram systems advertise their depot workings and enable one to ascertain the regular use by passenger-carrying services of junctions or sections of line that do not otherwise see public service. This occasional series lists such services that have come to notice. While the data for each system is current at the date stated, it is not the intention to endeavour to keep every entry up to date at every service change - the listing serves as a guide for travellers as to the sort of services they can look out for, enabling them to check current published timetable material at their time of travel.
To assist in tracing services, the route and/or timetable number for each journey is shown in parentheses, e.g. (1). Days of operation are in English notation (respectively: Su, M, T, W, Th, F, S) - plus "O" for only, "X" for excepted. Su (Sundays) usually includes public holidays in mainland Europe - but check locally.
Listings for other systems throughout the world - in the same format as shown below (please include date of timetable validity) - will always be welcomed.
Timetables dated 31 August 2009
Bassin à Flots - Rue Achard
Route B (Claveau) crosses a lock leading from the Garonne into the port basins. To do so there are road plus tram swing bridges at each end - that at the river end (Quai de Bacalan) carries the main double tram track. The bridge the basin end has single tram track, reached by single track along the Quai du Sènègal on one side of the lock and the Quai du Maroc on the other; this is the subsidiary route, normally used only when the double track direct route is blocked by a shipping movement. However, the double track bridge is currently (September 2009) blocked by semi-permanent barriers to road and tram traffic (swung open for shipping) so all tram movements are via the single track route and bridge. This also accounts for the more limited frequency of service north of Bassins à Flot. There are two single track connecting curves, linking routes A, B and C in the area of Porte de Bourgogne and Quinconces. Although depot workings may use the curves, none is advertised in the above timetable.
Route T2 terminates here with separate platforms about 50m short of the junction with T1 and 100m short of the same named tram stop on T1. Access to/from the systems only Depot at St Pierre is via this connection but all trams seen heading towards the Depot in September 2016 were cleared of passengers before proceeding.
Canabiere Capucins South to East
There is no timetabled or tram stop listed use of this curve but it would be the quicker way for access from/to Castellane on route T3 and the systems Depot at St Pierre. Logically these would run in service to La Blancarde as they would travel half of Line T2 and a visit in September 2016 twice saw the points suggesting use had just occurred. Any firm details of confirmed passenger use would be appreciated.
For those who will have ridden the previous tram route 68 and the lengthy tunnel in the city centre, the routing at Noailles is different from before. It used to turn sharp left on arrival, it now turns sharp right to a new terminus. The old tunnel is retained as a footpath exit from the new to the adjacent street market through the old and preserved frontage, and some rails remain.
Between stops Suzanne Valadon & Fac 2 Lions
After 90 degree turns Tram Route A crosses the River Cher on a new bridge on the old alignment of the previous SNCF line out of Tours to Chinon. Away from the tram tracks bridge abutments remain on both sides and the old formation is a footpath on the south side.