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World Lead Story: Issue Issue 29 11 Jun 2012

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Light rail/tram, Other, Europe

How French cities re-kindled their passion for the tram

Prior to WW2 no less than 48 French cities had tramways. After falling to just 3 in 1984, the total has soared back to 19. International transport consultant and commentator Kenneth Lin considers this remarkable revival

Here in the United States, French cities have a romantic allure, as indeed they seem to have the world over. Ask someone if they would be interested in a vacation to Paris or to the urban centres of the French Riviera, and likely you’ll get a very favourable response.

Why is this?

My theory is that many French cities offer things that people crave when they want the best in urban life. Cities such as Paris, Nice, Lyon, Montpellier, Strasbourg—to name just a few—are...

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