Sustainable Mobility: Luxembourg Sets an Example

According to the UN, two thirds of the population will live in cities by the year 2050. So how can traffic congestion be prevented in built-up areas? Luxembourg City has a groundbreaking solution: the Luxtram. The new tram will soon enter the streets. It is completely free of overhead wires and 100% powered by electricity. But how will it work?

A city needs to be considered livable by its inhabitants. Easy travel in urban centers is a basic prerequisite for finding one’s way around in daily life. For this reason, city planners look for sustainable mobility solutions to replace overreliance on cars that have devastating effects on resources and the environment. They take on some of the biggest challenges such as high levels of air pollution, over-congested streets, and delayed public transport.

Luxtram: 100 percent self-sufficient

One special feature of the Luxtram is that it produces its own energy using contacts under the tram at each stop which charge super-capacitors. It takes just 20 seconds to charge the vehicle enough to last until the next tram stop. Luxtram improves the overall image of a city as it requires no overhead wires which would usually disrupt the landscape. Instead, the tram fits seamlessly into its surroundings. Francois Bausch, Minister of Sustainable Development and Infrastructure in Luxembourg explains, “Decisions made when designing a certain tram must follow an approach that brings technical requirements, style, and culture in line with our political strategy.”

This doesn’t just concern the design of the tram. Luxtram is based on the state-of-the-art COTS safety controllers installed directly in the tracks. This space saving, open safety system will help meet transport demands in urban areas where the number of passengers is set to increase, and space will become increasingly limited – particularly in built-up neighborhoods. Compact control cabinets save space and blend into the architecture of the stops.

Thanks to the latest technology, trams move around without overhead wires. This ensures they fit seamlessly into the cityscape.
Lydie Polfer,
Mayor of Luxembourg city

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Luxemburg is committed to modernizing public transport

New neighborhoods need new busses, trams, and subway lines, as well as paths for bikes and pedestrians. This is why the Luxtram in Luxembourg has been brought back after 50 years. Trams operated in Luxembourg between 1875 and 1964 before being shut down. Now, the city has realized that public transport makes mobility much easier and more sustainable – and should be promoted.

The Luxtram company designed and constructed a whole tram network. The new tram will service a multi-modal route, travelling between nine stations with connections to busses, bikes, or car sharing. In addition, there are plans to build park and ride areas.

Luxtram: Facts and Figures
  • A 16-kilometer line with 24 stops and 9 connecting stations should be completed by the year 2021.
  • 32 trams will service this route when completed.
  • Luxtram can carry up to 10,000 passengers per hour, in each direction of travel.
  • The project costs amount to approximately 565 million euros.

Livable cities with sustainable mobility concepts

Luxtram will cope with mobility challenges in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. “Many countries will be confronted by the challenge of meeting the demands of a growing urban population – such as transport, energy, and other infrastructures,” predict the UN. Multi-modal mobility concepts will be desired in particular. The decisive factor will not be what mode of transport you take, but how to reach your destination in the most efficient way possible.

New concepts for mobility need to be tailored to people’s needs to provide the best quality of life. Urban innovations therefore need to be developed, planned, and integrated in a much more sustainable and inclusive way.