French tramways: a 21st century phenomenon, Birmingham

30 November, 2016 | 18:00 - 19:30

Tramway in the heart of Grenoble
Tramway in the heart of Grenoble

About this event

This talk outlines the history of this fascinating volte face. It examines the causes and effects of the development, especially the role of city and regional authorities, focussed through a case study of Grenoble. It then takes a pictorial tour of various French systems to illustrate the various factors in play.

The talk can also briefly consider the potential of the French approach for Great Britain's smaller growth cities and metropolitan fringes, with proposals for Hertfordshire and Oxford.


  • Reg Harman, French tramways: more than just transport, TRAMWAYS & URBAN TRANSIT, No.911, November 2013
  • Christoph Groneck & Robert Schwandl, TRAM ATLAS FRANCE, Robert Schwandl Verlag, Berlin, 2014
  • Nicholas Falk & Reg Harman, Developing historic cities: the case for an Oxford metro, TRAMWAYS & URBAN TRANSIT, No.929, May 2015
  • Reg Harman, Transit through the Metropolitan Belt, TRAMWAYS & URBAN TRANSIT, No.945, September 2016


Reg Harman

Reg Harman has spent nearly fifty years in transport development, the last twenty as an independent consultant. His wide ranging professional interests include railways and public transport development, getting about locally, the interfaces between transport and land use planning and transport development on the Continent.

Largely retired, he is currently engaged in promoting the development of tramways in smaller growth cities and the evolution of local railway lines into modern transit.