On Monday 11 June 2018, Luxembourg's Minister for Sustainable Development and Infrastructure, François Bausch, announced details of the "Séieren Tram - fast tram" multimodal project for the A4 corridor scheduled for 2035.
The project is part of the logic of the Modu 2.0 mobility concept, which moves from "catch-up logic" to "anticipation logic". The aim of the project was to develop a coherent multimodal transport system on the A4 axis taking into account the existing elements (tram, bus, train, P+R, ...), the "Luxmobil" mobility survey conducted in 2017 and projections of demand by 2035. The analysis was conducted by a Franco-German consulting firm (TTK) specialised in transport planning. "The first question that arises is the demand on the axis, then what system is best suited to meet this demand?", explained the minister.
The company quickly found that the Luxembourg-Esch-sur-Alzette corridor has a large bus service, a rail link that makes a detour and a "weak" service to a part of the territory marked by increased development. According to the calculation of inhabitants and jobs by 2035, the demand for mobility will increase by 55%, of which around 20,000 trips per day will have to be carried by bus, 4 time that compared to 2018. In addition, these travelers will have to be encouraged to stop using their own cars with a high-performance and comfortable public transport service.
The 2035 offer will have to fulfill several criteria: to directly serve the inhabitants and jobs located away from railway stations in the south, to allow direct access to the centre of Luxembourg-City and to the Kirchberg district, and finally to offer the necessary capacity, a good level of comfort and competitive travel times.
The analyses of the various possible transport systems on the axis in question have shown that the wheeled tram (high-level service bus) does not lend itself to this service since the standing places are only authorised for urban transport. The high-level service coach (double-decker) offers a limited capacity of only 90 places, which is largely insufficient, combined with difficulties at the terminus in Luxembourg-City as well as high operating costs. The monorail and metro respectively would imply an oversised capacity (demand exceeding 100,000 passengers per day) going along with a very expensive underground insertion / difficult air insertion in the urban fabric.
The fast tram, on the other hand, takes into account all the needs on the journey: a speed of 100 km/h, circulation on the classic tram network, even external appearance and the possibility of seats and standing places at an average cost. This tram would directly connect the main destinations of the city of Luxembourg with the rapidly growing districts of Schifflange, Foetz, Esch-sur-Alzette and Belval at lower operating costs, but with adapted capacities and travel times.
Minister Bausch concluded: "The project will be presented to the municipalities involved, then integrated into the list of infrastructure projects submitted every July to the parliament. The final decision will have to be made by the next government, which will be responsible for launching the technical studies. For me, this project is essential; it fits perfectly into an organized and harmonious approach to spatial planning."