Brest: what are these works that justify the total shutdown of the tramway for six weeks?

Brest: what are these works that justify the total shutdown of the tramway for six weeks?
Brest: what are these works that justify the total shutdown of the tramway for six weeks?


Yann Guénégou

Published on

Jul 10, 2024 at 5:32 PM

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From Thursday July 18 (the day after the closing of the Brest 2024 Maritime Festival) to Friday August 30, 2024, for six weeks, the tramway will not run on the Bibus public transport network of Brest Métropole.

“The period was, of course, not chosen at random. The aim being to‘impact as little as possible’ network users, we have opted for these six summer weeks when attendance is lower,” explains Yohann Nédélec, vice-president of Brest Métropole in charge of mobility, major projects and the harbor.

A replacement bus line

Who wants to be reassuring: “The continuity of transport will be ensured since a replacement bus line will be put into service between the gates of Plouzané on one side and Gouesnou/Guipavas on the other, with stops in the streets as close as possible to the tram stations where all the information will be given. This line will operate according to the same frequencies and the same capabilities than tram line A.”

Project Manager at Bibus, David Donard confirms: “The schedule of the replacement bus line will be the same as for tram line A, the bus departures will correspond to those of the trams, we will have reserve vehicles which will support the scheduled buses.

He adds: “From the morning of July 18, the tram station shelters will be equipped with all the necessary information (stop where to take the nearest bus, timetables, route to follow, etc.) and indicated in such a way that the user will immediately realize that the network is not operating as usual.”

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Connecting lines A and B

But what are the reasons which force Brest Métropole and Bibus to stop running trams on line A and to set up a replacement bus line?

” The project My network is growingwhich consists of the construction of a second tram line, replies Yohann Nédélec. Since April, we have entered a phase of significant infrastructure works. These operations require the complete shutdown of the tram and others.

The vice-president of Brest Métropole specifies: “On July 18, the cconnection of tram lines A and B with the welds of the first rails on the cross laid in advance in 2011 during the construction of the first line, at the intersection of Avenue Clemenceau and Rue de Siam. This operation is very symbolic because it definitively anchors the future passage of trams at this location.”

Philippe Cou, operational director at BMa/Tram 2, explains: “Eight metres of rails will be installed on each side of the cross so that, later, line A can continue to operate when we develop the platform for line B.”

The foundations for the first poles of the overhead contact line must also be installed. “This will result in the closure of Avenue Clemenceau between Rue Duquesne and Rue Collet/Château for six weeks.”

On the side of the advance of the Porte Saint-Louis and Avenue Clemenceau, the work will focus on the preparation of the tramway track (which should allow trams on line B to use line A from and to the Porte de Plouzané depot) and the construction of the multi-tubular (ducts or buried pipes to pass the cables needed to power the tram). As on the side of rue de Siam and the advance of Porte de Landerneau.

Line A is off

Other sectors are also concerned. In Recouvrance, at the crossroads of Rue de la Porte and Rue Saint-Exupéry, in the Mac Orlan curve (“without doubt the steepest curve with rails in France”, informs Yohann Nédélec), the work will concern the renewal of the rail due to its wear. “It’s normal that it is worn, it was supposed to last ten years, it did 12, adds Fabien Peyrard, project manager at Brest Métropole. Moreover, in four or five years, we will probably have to carry out operations on the rails in other sectors of line A.”

Other planned projects: tram maintenance operations center opposite Thalès (where the trains of the two lines will sleep), with the creation of a platform road crossing and the adaptation of railway signage, but also the redevelopment of the centralized control station (PCC) to accommodate the management equipment for tram line B, with a new video wall and new operator stations.

A backup PCC will be created in the Kergonan bus depot.

“For all this work, it was necessary to disconnect the power from line A,” concludes Yohann Nédélec. “We decided to group them together so that the line would only be cut once.” For six weeks this summer.

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