Can you help? Bordeaux trams

We have been contacted by Alan Warwick who is going to be visiting Bordeaux in France later this year and wants some more information ahead of his visit. “I wondered if you could provide a link to an enthusiasts site on their tram system. I’m particularly interested in the apparent ‘conduit’ part of the system due to not spoiling the view of the architecture. Do any of your members know if depot visits or system tours or guide books are available.”

Anyone who can help with this query please either leave a comment below or alternatively email us at

This entry was posted in General. Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Can you help? Bordeaux trams

  1. Alan Holmewood says:

    There was a (pre-opening)in Tramways & Urban Transit for December 2002, and I suspect there has been something subsequently in that magazines “Systems Factfile” series – that I cannot confirm as I am several years behind in indexing magazine articles.

    When I went there about 10 years ago, I picked up a small book on the system from the bookshop at the main station. I have it listed as “Le Tramway de Bordeaux”, but can’t immediately lay hands upon it. I suspect it may be the book by Christophe Dabitch which is currently available for around a tenner from Amazon; they also offer a rather more expensive book published by Editions Sutton.

    The APS current collection system is not a conduit system despite its appearances. It is much closer to the stud systems that were tried on a number of English systems in the early 20th century.

    I believe there is still a state of emergency in France at the moment, so I doubt that the public will be welcome in depots in Bordeaux or anywhere else.

    • Peter Watts says:

      As a French resident, I can confirm that due to the current state of emergency (which has just been once more extended), all public transport depots are heavily secured and depot visits are extremely rare and have to be organised in conjunction with the Authorities. In many major cities, an overly keen interest in the public transport system may cause intervention by the security forces on regular patrol to explain the behaviour. Understandable as this is one of the first “targets” that potential terrorists look at.

      • Nigel Pennick says:

        It happened in New York after 9/11 when the authorities attempted to ban transport photography in the city. After some photographers were arrested for taking pictures of buses, this unconstitutional policy was challenged in the courts and the stupid over-reaction was cancelled. I don’t think the London 7/7 suicide bomber who blew up a bus in Tavistock Square had a collection of bus photographs to show him what a double-decker bus looked like.

  2. Barry Purslow says:

    Please see this link from Urban

  3. David John Freeman says:

    Goggled “Bordeaux tram system” and came up with “” … lots of info and photos

  4. Paul Penders says:

    The book”Les tramways de Bordeaux” from Editions du Cabri is exellent. It is n’t a guide but a book about the history of the first generation tramways. As a guide I think the Schwandls France tramway atlas is good vallue for money.

Comments are closed.