Marseille: Tram System Paralyzed Until at Least April 15th

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The city of Marseille is facing significant disruption due to a fire in an underground parking garage beneath the tramway tracks. This has necessitated major repair work, causing a portion of the tramway to be out of service for an extended period.

The affected area, which is nearly three times the size of Paris, has already experienced a 15-day interruption in tram service following a deliberately set fire at an Indigo parking facility on Rue de la République. The fire caused extensive damage to the tramway’s supporting structure, prompting discussions about potential solutions.

Initially, there was consideration given to shoring up the damaged structure with support pillars to allow the tramway to resume operations. However, this option was ultimately deemed too technically complex and time-consuming.

Several companies approached to provide proposals for shoring up the structure declined to participate, citing inability to meet the requirements. As a result, the decision was made to abandon this approach and explore alternative technical solutions.

The current construction timeline is provisional, with further assessments planned to ensure the chosen technical solution is viable. Consultations with construction firms have been initiated, with proposals expected by February 15th.

If all goes well and the diagnostic assessments confirm the feasibility, construction is scheduled to commence on March 4th. In the meantime, temporary bus service will be provided between the Belsunce-Alcazar and Arenc-Le Silo tram stations, with buses running every 7 minutes and stopping near the original tram stations.

In addition, the president of the RTM (Régie des Transports de Marseille) has announced the reopening of the Joliette metro station this Saturday, providing alternative transportation for the affected area. The disruption in tram service in this part of Marseille’s city center is impacting an estimated 50,000 passengers daily, according to figures released by the RTM.

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