The Tramway Factory in the past ...

Omnibus à cheval

The electric tramway network was born on November the 1st 1900. Two lines, run by the « Société béarnaise des tramways urbains » (SBTU), followed a system of local trains with horses that had only lived three years.
Pau : Local train with horses, about 1897-1900, Médiathèque André Labarrère, sign PHA11

A tramway line implies electricity production. A document from the 14th of January 1899 indicates that « the factory, or central station, will be built on a field located between the lines of the Compagnie des chemins de fer du Midi  and the Ousse river » and that it will be equiped with « two stream machines of 150 horsepower each ». The fumes were evacuated by a high chimney which is now part of the landscape of Pau : since 1900, its lightning conductor has been used as a locating point for the notches engraved on the railing of the Pyrenees Boulevard.

Usine des Tramways autrefoisBy the factory, the SBTV built a large wharehouse for repairing. A third building, gone today, housed the local direction of the SBTU, in charge with the supervision of the place and the maintenance of the network and machines.

Reclassified in 1928, the network was replaced in 1931 by a system of urban buses granted to the SBTU (become SBTA) that ran it until 1979. At this date, it got ran by the « Syndicat intercommunal des transports de l'agglomération paloise » (SITAP) that used the site until another one was built in 1985.


Tramway Factory about 1910, postcard, Médiathèque André Labarrère, sign 1-075-1

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From the boulevard ...

Horizons has been realized thanks to the participation of the Factory of the Digital Bank of Knowledges in Aquitaine.

The project is supported by Pau-Pyrenees Conurbation Community.