Sir2 in Padua at the starting line
New monorail rubber tramway line awarded
Sir2 will soon be a reality. The city of Padua's new constrained-guided tramway line, awarded in recent days in two functional lots, is about to open construction sites with a promise to be delivered by June 2026. .
This is the largest work in the North-east funded by the National Recovery and Resilience Plan (PNRR), intended to complete the reprogramming of local public transport with the aim of systemizing intermodality and supporting an estimated transport demand of 20 million people/year by 2030. The "SMART" project, or Metropolitan Tramway Network System, rests on three lines that, when combined, generate 8 possible routes, with modal interchange infrastructure at the terminals. Three tram axes that will create a fully interconnected system, hinged on the hub around the square in front of the railway station, the central point of the city of Padua.
The Sir 2 (Intermediate Network System) line, on the East-West axis, includes two functional sections, the West lot (Rubano - Padua, about 9 km) awarded for 114 million to the grouping led by Icm S.p.A, and the East lot (Padua station - Busa di Vigonza, 7 km approx.), awarded for a total of 95 million euros to Vittadello Spa, agent of the grouping with Sielte Trasporti S.r.l. and Generale Costruzioni Ferroviarie Spa (designers Artelia Italia Spa, agent, and Artelia Sas and Erregi S.r.l principals). Lot, the latter, which includes three options concerning respectively: the extension of the workshop and the construction of the Guizza depot, the extension of the line towards the area where the new hospital pole of Padua East will be built, and the connection to the station of Busa di Vigonza.
The advantages of the Translohr system
In continuity with the choices made in the past for Line 1, Sir 2 will also adopt a Translohr-type technological system, a rubber-tyred streetcar characterized by a smaller cross-sectional footprint, smaller radius of curvature (10.5 m as opposed to 25 m for the streetcar), and requiring a lighter infrastructure than that required by traditional streetcars. Characteristics, these, that allow a smaller width of protected/reserved lanes, and thus greater flexibility of insertion in urban contexts where the available road section is limited.
Placing the monorail and tramway seat in the centre of the roadway - an option adopted as a priority - will maximize the percentage of reserved lanes (about 85 percent for the EAST section), and achieve those important goals of facilitating the insertion of the tramway seat within traffic circles and reducing interference with other traffic components. All to the benefit of commercial speed, punctuality and regularity of service.
In relation to the contextual characteristics of the urban fabric and the general needs of circulation, the most suitable solutions will be adopted from time to time for the delimitation of reserved lanes (with impassable curbs, crossable curbs, continuous or dashed horizontal signage), for the signalling of the mixed lanes, to allow the left turn of vehicles by opting between traffic circle intersections with traffic lights or indirect left turns, to place pedestrian and bicycle crossings along the entire route, to ensure the safety of the weaker traffic components.
For both routes it is planned the construction of 2 terminuses and related interchange parking lots; as for the stops - 16 for each route, preferably of central type - they will have a length of 33-metre platform plus the access ramp (for a total of 38 meters), a width of 2.50 metres and a height of 23 cm from the rail plane.
Special mention should be made of the solution developed by the Technical-Economic Feasibility Project regarding the FS Station node, a future interchange centre for the various tramway lines: the creation of a ring-shaped interchange node that involves the entire square and allows for easy reversal of tram vehicles as well as the possible recovery of a broken-down vehicle, thanks to the presence of 4 tracks serving the square.
Finally, in coherence with the Urban Sustainable Mobility Plan adopted by the Metropolitan Conference of Padua (CO.ME.PA.) and the Municipality of Vigonovo, and with the indications to encourage the use of modes of transport with less environmental impact, along the entire east-west axis of Sir 2 is planned the construction of a bicycle lane of variable width from 2.50 to 3.00 metres.
One more option to separate the need for mobility from car use.