Sunday, January 30, 2011

Streetcar Sunday - Nice, France

The City of Nice in the south of France seems like the ideal place for a tram system. There are lots of tourists and a great opportunity to connect Nice with neighboring cities such as Monte Carlo and Cagnes-sur-Mer. Starting in 1879 there was a horse-drawn streetcar system in Nice that provided an urban network as well as connections to those neighboring cities and suburbs.

By 1900 the horse-drawn cars had all been replaced with electric ones, and by 1930 the system had expanded to include 90 miles of track and 183 cars. At the same time, competition from buses caused many of the coastal and suburban routes to close. By 1939 only 4 lines remained operational, with a few more brought back during World War II. After the war the streetcars were replaced by trolleybuses, with the last streetcar making its final run in 1953.

Here's another view that doesn't show the streetcar, but shows that you could connect to trains at the Nice train station.

In 2007, Nice introduced a new and very sleek streetcar system. They're very unusual and beautiful cars in my opinion. Originally the system was intended to operate with a ground-level third rail, but they instead opted for the conventional overhead wires, perhaps due to cost. Although there is currently only one line on this new system, there has been discussion about adding a line from the city to the airport.

This photo is courtesy of  Myrabella


  1. I've only made it to Nice airport on the way to Monte Carlo. Long range shots of the town and close range of the airport from a helicopter don't tell you much.
    The modern shot you've posted contrasts well with the older view,

  2. Hallo Chrisine, deine Karten aus Föhr haben mir gut gefallen und besonders dein Foto war sehr schön.
    Ich wünsch´dir eine schöne Woche

  3. I love the streetcars. What a great postcard.

  4. That is an almost Utopian street scene on the first card, life looks good for all parties!

  5. Love that first postcard. Such great detail and color. The second postcard reminds me of the train station at Disney World.

  6. Christine, your research and knowledge of all these little nook and corners of all parts of the planet never cease to amaze me. Thank you for always being so informative and interesting!!!!

  7. I second that! Very informative posts. And thanks for the contemporary photo, that is one sleek streetcar.

  8. Great cards and a great bit of history. I got lost in Nice a few years ago : the place is a little too big for comfort.

  9. Alan, I'm glad you won the NYC walking guide, since that city proper has 10 times the population of the Nice metro area on the same land area- good luck and bon voyage!
    PS- NYC is way too big for me too..

  10. What a beautiful block! I wish we had more streetcards, trains, and light rail here.

  11. Thank you so much for all the information about the Tram.
    I am like reading an 'live' history.



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