Ora ïto and Alstom unveil trams for Nice's expanded public transport system

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French designer Ora ïto has revealed his tram designs for the Mediterranean city of Nice, which will be charged through the ground rather than via overhead cables (+ movie).

Created with French rail company Alstom, Ora ïto's trams will run on the new 11.3-kilometre (7 miles) east-west line through Nice – which the city's inhabitants approved in a January 2016 vote.

To lessen the impact of the tramway on the historic city, the trams will charge through the ground to avoid prominent overhead contact lines.

Nice tramway by Ora ïto and Alstom

The streamlined carriage exteriors are coloured a reddish ochre, to match the pigments used on the facades of 17th-century buildings including Place Massena and Villa Matisse.

"The lucid elegant shape is designed to slip through the historical town paving a contemporary ochre trail," said a statement from the designer, who previously opened the rooftop of Le Corbusier's Cité Radieuse housing block in Marseille as a contemporary art space.

Nice tramway by Ora ïto and Alstom

Each 44-metre Alstom Citadis X05 train can accommodate 300 travellers, and 19 vehicles are so far planned for the route.



The trams will feature LED lighting and large individual seats, and display journey-related information on extra-wide screens.

Double doors along the length of the train will be added to offer better accessibility.

Nice tramway by Ora ïto and Alstom

Electric trams, also known as trolleys, are considered an energy-efficient form of public transport. Therefore many cities around the world are reinstating and expanding their networks, including Adelaide, Christchurch, Edinburgh and Nottingham.

"The tramway is a means of transport that consumes the least energy and is in demand in today's cities," said ïto.

"This new generation will contribute even further to protecting the environment with 30 per cent less energy consumption, recovery of brake energy and a revaluation rate of 98 per cent."

Nice tramway by Ora ïto and Alstom

The first trams are due to be delivered in the summer of 2017, and implemented the following year.

Visitors from London are now able to travel to Nice on the Pininfarina-designed Eurostar trains, which were slammed by fashion's elite earlier this month.

Ora ïto's previous transport-related projects include a spaceship designed for Citröen in 2011. He also controversially developed a conceptual Nikeames trainer with curved veneer sections referencing the work of Modernist furniture designers Charles and Ray Eames in 2014.

  • Eurocratique

    “The lucid elegant shape is designed to slip through the historical town paving a contemporary ochre trail,” said a statement from the designer, who previously opened the rooftop of Le Corbusier’s Cité Radieuse housing block in Marseille as a contemporary art space.

    So, as far as the design is concerned, it’s the usual Alstom tram you see in many cities across France (Strasbourg, for example) of recent years.. with a red colour theme?

    (ps i do love the ground-emitting power)

    • Yes, Ora-Ito did not design a single piece of the tram, except for the three colour schemes. Somehow, companies still feel the need to buy a designer’s name instead of pushing their own talented designers on the front stage. I’m completely at loss why they do so.

    • Denis Threedotfourteen

      No, only the body of the tram is always the same, but the front and the interior are completely different in every city. Just check those from Paris (the design is even different for every line), Bordeaux, Strasbourg and compare them to the one from Tours designed by Roger Tallon and the artist Daniel Buren or that one by Ora-Ito.

      • Eurocratique

        Relatively minor changes though. I just thought (and the French language version is more lengthy) the blurb was preposterous.

        • Denis Threedotfourteen

          I understand what you mean, a well-known name and pretentious presentation don’t mean a good design (the new Eurostar is quite an example), and a tram remains a tram.

          But I clearly see the Ora Ito style in the seat design, even if the exterior is quite ordinary (especially compared to the one from Tours). I just wanted to point out that there are no “usual Alstom” design…

  • Mark

    It’s taken so long for us to realise that overhead tram rails, as artistic as they seem to be now, are so ugly. Ground-level powered rails are the way forward, how monorails changed the game for that. The aesthetically pleased of us thank you for this.