The last trams ran through the streets of Paris way back in 1937 but rather more modern versions of this mode of transport are set to make a comeback in the French capital. Starting in December 2006, the T3 line, which is currently under construction, will run through the south of Paris. The first rails were laid last week for the line that will connect Garigliano to Porte dIvry.

This tramline is predicted to be able to transport 100,000 passengers on a daily basis, carrying them through 17 stations in 24 minutes.

Paris is not the first French city to see the advantages of this historic mode of transport; the tram has already made a comeback in Bordeaux, Marseilles and Grenoble. This comeback is partly due to the fact that trams create less pollution than buses and that they can carry the same number of passengers as a small metro train.

Many more French towns are planning to reintroduce the tram to their streets, much to the delight of the French engineering giant Alstom, which is looking forward to a series of contracts worth hundreds of millions of euros.