InTramCities with Gordon Stewart

           INFRASTRUCTURE, ARCHITECTURE and ENVIRONMENT along streets with trams


Street scenes can be fascinating. Tramways bring another element to the mix with the infrastructure they add and the impressive spectacle of the tramcars themselves. 
Gordon Stewart
travels regularly throughout Europe to photograph streets with trams
The trams are the focal point and common thread of the views but it is the wider picture which gives the photos variety and interest. As well as city centres with their grand architecture, Gordon takes you out along the tram routes to less familiar locations to give a real feel for these cities and their tramways.
Photo above : Place Darcy in Dijon, France, where a new tramway system was opened in 2012


ABOUT THE InTramCities PROJECT

When Gordon Stewart and his father Ian first started visiting tramways in West Germany in the 1970s it seemed that it was a matter of recording street scenes before the trams eventually disappeared, either into tunnels in city centres or outright closure. The renaissance of tramways, beginning in the 1980s, has meant that there is now an ever-increasing amount of subject matter for this tramway photography project

- Coverage is limited to light rail systems with a predominantly urban tramway character
- The photographs give a visual record of a tramway city with typical scenes on the day of the visit only
- The recent aim has been to cover as much of the tramway system as possible in the time available

- The website does not provide a comprehensive history or technical description of the tramways
- The website is an educational resource and is non-commercial. 


ABOUT THE InTramCities TRAMWAY PHOTOGRAPHS
The main collection now has over 38,000 tram photos from 142 tramway cities, dating from the 1980s onwards.

Series List : Scroll down for the list of tramways covered in city sequence (and year sequence within this for systems visited on multiple occasions) with link to photos.

Presentation : All series are presented on-line in a nine-per-screen format below a tabular list of photos with details of actual or nearest tram stop, direction of view, direction in which the tram is travelling and tram number where available. Photos are listed in the sequence in which they were taken and for more recent series, the name of the street along which the trams are running is shown in the comments column, but only where there is a change of street.

Larger photos (1000 pixel long-side) are presented for very recent series as well as the 9/screen format. The series will only be available for a limited period from date of the visit, typically one year.

What's new ? :   Click here for a presentation of the most recent series (2013 to date)
- In view of the lack of new material in 2020, a review has been undertaken of the photos of St Petersburg (then known as Leningrad), Moscow and Kiev in 1985, improving the details of the photograph locations and commenting on closure dates of stretches where trams no longer operate

Catalogue : You can view or download the full photograph catalogue as an MS Excel format spreadsheet. The approximate file size is 2 MB. 
Updated to : 19/11
/19.  Click here

Maps : For route maps and diagrams, please go to the website of the transport operator or if appropriate the local transport coordinating body. Most have a range of excellent downloadable maps, generally in pdf format but often also as jpg/gif format images

Digital photography was adopted in 2004, generally resulting in greater network coverage and improved image quality

Use of images : Images may be made available by arrangement for approved uses such as research, publications and materials promoting tramway schemes. Please contact the webmaster. You are welcome to link to these pages. Please do not copy photos for insertion into other websites or publications without permission from the webmaster.

All photos are Copyright  Copyright.jpg  Gordon Stewart / InTramCities  1980-2020 except for the Nordhausen 2005 set for which the copyright is owned by Phil Barnes

Contact the webmaster :  Send an e-mail to Gordon Stewart at InTramCities

THE PHOTOGRAPHS
Click on the Year in the table below alongside the selected city to go to the tramway photographs
Tram System English NameCountry Year  (click to view) No. of Photos
Alicante / AlacantSpain2013135
Almada Portugal2019136
Amsterdam Netherlands 1986 15
Amsterdam Netherlands 2007 444
AmsterdamNetherlands2017540
AngersFrance2019128
Antwerpen AntwerpBelgium 1985 65
AntwerpenAntwerpBelgium2018486
AubagneFrance201752
Augsburg Germany 1984 20
Augsburg Germany 2003 67
Bad Schandau - Kirnitzschtal Germany 2004 20
Barcelona Spain 2010 270
Basel Switzerland 1996 52
Basel Switzerland 2008 519
BaselSwitzerland2019152
BergenNorway2016204
Berlin Germany 1983 12
Berlin Germany 1998 148
Berlin Germany 2005 397
Berlin Germany 2006 225
BerlinGermany2016120
Bern Switzerland 1988 10
Bern Switzerland 1996 65
Bern Switzerland 2001 5
BesanconFrance2016166
Bielefeld Germany 1983 8
Bielefeld Germany 2002 65
Bilbao / BilboSpain2015181
Birmingham - West Midlands United Kingdom200031
Birmingham - West Midlands United Kingdom2016154
Blackpool United Kingdom 1982 8
Blackpool United Kingdom 1984 25
Blackpool United Kingdom 2005 129
BlackpoolUnited Kingdom201377
Bochum-Gelsenkirchen Germany 1983 6
Bochum-Gelsenkirchen Germany 1985 34
Bochum-Gelsenkirchen Germany 1986 61
Bochum-Gelsenkirchen Germany 1988 30
Bochum-Gelsenkirchen Germany 1991 69
Bochum-Gelsenkirchen Germany 1995 94
Bochum-Gelsenkirchen Germany 2002 45
Bonn Germany 1983 8
Bonn Germany 1984 10
Bonn Germany 2001 99
Bordeaux France 2008 524
Brandenburg Germany 1998 54
Brandenburg Germany 2005 59
Bratislava Slovakia 1986 22
Bratislava Slovakia 2007 271
BratislavaSlovakia2017109
Braunschweig Germany 1983 5
Braunschweig Germany 1998 73
Bremen Germany 2013 464
Brno Czech Republic 2006 548
Brno Czech Republic 2007 114
Brussel / Bruxelles BrusselsBelgium 1983 40
Brussel / Bruxelles BrusselsBelgium 1985 40
Brussel / Bruxelles BrusselsBelgium 2012 519
Budapest Hungary 1986 122
Budapest Hungary 2006 494
BudapestHungary2017265
Cairo - Heliopolis Egypt 1998 48
Charleroi Belgium 1983 7
Charleroi Belgium 1997 13
Chemnitz Germany 1997 32
Cottbus Germany 2005 65
Darmstadt Germany 1984 33
DarmstadtGermany2018163
Den Haag The HagueNetherlands 1986 40
Den Haag The HagueNetherlands 2013 392
Den HaagThe HagueNetherlands2016430
DijonFrance2016267
Dortmund Germany 1984 84
Dortmund Germany 1986 8
Dortmund Germany 1988 36
Dortmund Germany 1991 99
Dortmund Germany 1995 79
Dortmund Germany 2002 76
Dresden Germany 1997 117
Dresden Germany 2004 228
Dublin Ireland 2005 117
Dublin Ireland 2013 150
Duisburg Germany 1984 24
Duisburg Germany 1986 16
Duisburg Germany 1995 18
Duisburg Germany 2002 30
Dusseldorf Germany 1983 7
Dusseldorf Germany 1984 16
Dusseldorf Germany 1985 48
Dusseldorf Germany 1986 26
Dusseldorf Germany 1991 22
Dusseldorf Germany 1995 44
Dusseldorf Germany 2001 171
Dusseldorf Germany 2002 10
DusseldorfGermany2014217
EdinburghUnited Kingdom2014117
EdinburghUnited Kingdom201633
ElblagPoland2018160
Essen Germany 1983 11
Essen Germany 1985 66
Essen Germany 1986 36
Essen Germany 1988 86
Essen Germany 1991 48
Essen Germany 1995 59
Essen Germany 2002 120
FirenzeFlorenceItaly2016140
Frankfurt an der Oder Germany 2005 72
Frankfurt-am-Main Germany 1984 122
Frankfurt-am-Main Germany 1987 80
Frankfurt-am-Main Germany 1996 62
Frankfurt-am-MainGermany2018466
Freiburg Germany 2000 67
FreiburgGermany2019592
Gdansk Poland 2011 383
GdanskPoland2018264
Geneve GenevaSwitzerland 1988 18
Geneve GenevaSwitzerland 2000 25
Geneve GenevaSwitzerland 2005 179
Geneve GenevaSwitzerland 2007 161
GeneveGenevaSwitzerland2015218
Gent Belgium 1985 17
Gent Belgium 1997 59
Gent Belgium 1999 36
Gmunden Austria 2003 15
Goteborg GothenburgSweden 1990 57
Goteborg GothenburgSweden 2007 350
GranadaSpain2018153
GrazAustria2016337
Grenoble France 2007 243
Halle Germany 1997 66
Hannover Germany 1983 23
Hannover Germany 1991 65
Hannover Germany 1998 109
Heidelberg Germany 1981 6
Heidelberg Germany 1984 7
Heidelberg Germany 1987 15
Heidelberg Germany 1996 79
Helsinki / Helsingfors Finland 1989 5
Helsinki / Helsingfors Finland 1990 18
Hong Kong China 1982 21
Innsbruck Austria 2003 44
InnsbruckAustria2015106
Istanbul Turkey 1994 14
Istanbul Turkey 2009 222
Karlsruhe Germany 1987 29
Karlsruhe Germany 1996 105
Kassel Germany 2002 146
Katowice - Tramwaje Slaskie Poland 2009 336
Knokke-De Panne Belgium 1983 4
Knokke-De Panne Belgium 1997 68
Knokke-De Panne Belgium 1999 13
KolnCologneGermany198328
KolnCologneGermany198832
KolnCologneGermany20009
KolnCologneGermany2001156
KolnCologneGermany201453
KrakowPoland198749
Krakow Poland 2009 418
Krefeld Germany 1986 23
KyivKievUkraine198561
Lausanne Switzerland 2000 19
Le HavreFrance2015178
Le MansFrance2019170
Leipzig Germany 1997 170
Lille France 1997 25
Lille France 1999 5
Linz Austria 2003 77
Lisboa LisbonPortugal 2007 356
LisboaLisbonPortugal2019197
London United Kingdom 2008 137
Ludwigshafen Germany 1981 3
Ludwigshafen Germany 1984 17
Ludwigshafen Germany 1987 5
Ludwigshafen Germany 1996 17
Lyon LyonsFrance 2006 230
Lyon LyonsFrance 2007 38
LyonLyonsFrance2015207
MadridSpain2017168
Magdeburg Germany 1991 39
Magdeburg Germany 1998 85
Magdeburg Germany 2005 72
Mainz Germany 1984 20
Mainz Germany 1987 6
Mainz Germany 1996 24
MainzGermany201723
MainzGermany2018132
MalagaSpain201821
Manchester United Kingdom 1992 43
Manchester United Kingdom 2005 52
Manchester United Kingdom 2007 34
Manchester United Kingdom 2009 63
Manchester United Kingdom 2010 49
Manchester United Kingdom 2011 64
Manchester United Kingdom 2013 88
ManchesterUnited Kingdom201457
ManchesterUnited Kingdom201563
ManchesterUnited Kingdom201614
ManchesterUnited Kingdom201797
ManchesterUnited Kingdom2019114
Mannheim Germany 1981 7
Mannheim Germany 1984 32
Mannheim Germany 1987 43
Mannheim Germany 1996 159
MarseilleMarseillesFrance2017291
Milano MilanItaly 1999 83
Milano MilanItaly 2008 482
Minsk Belarus 1985 28
Montpellier France 2009 328
MontpellierFrance2014270
Moskva MoscowRussia 1985 42
Most & Litvinov Czech Republic201797
Mulheim Germany 1983 7
Mulheim Germany 1985 9
Mulheim Germany 1986 29
Mulheim Germany 1995 17
Mulheim Germany 2002 41
Mulhouse France 2008 169
Munchen MunichGermany 1984 31
Munchen MunichGermany 2003 176
Munchen MunichGermany 2012 260
MurciaSpain201375
Nantes France 2006 427
NantesFrance2019205
Nice France 2009 291
Norrkoping Sweden 2008 192
Nottingham United Kingdom 2004 122
Nottingham United Kingdom 2012 65
NottinghamUnited Kingdom2015101
NottinghamUnited Kingdom2019104
Nurnberg NurembergGermany 1984 24
NurnbergNurembergGermany2018342
Oberhausen Germany 2002 16
Olomouc Czech Republic 2007 74
Orleans France 2013 222
Oslo Norway 1992 43
Oslo Norway 2006 300
OsloNorway2016243
Paris France 1997 75
Paris France 2007 190
Paris France 2013 183
ParisFrance2014189
ParisFrance2015141
ParisFrance2017103
ParlaSpain201783
Plzen Czech Republic 2004 96
Porto OportoPortugal 2008 358
Potsdam Germany 1998 75
Potsdam Germany 2005 150
Poznan Poland 2006 373
Praha PragueCzech Republic 1986 80
Praha PragueCzech Republic 2004 478
Praha PragueCzech Republic 2006 122
PrahaPragueCzech Republic2017413
ReimsFrance2014200
Riga Latvia 2012 407
Roma RomeItaly 2005 155
RomaRomeItaly
2017
241
Rotterdam Netherlands 1986 39
RotterdamNetherlands          2014478
RouenFrance2015168
SassariItaly201971
Schoneiche-Rudersdorf Germany 1998 31
Schoneiche-Rudersdorf Germany 2005 32
Schoneiche-Rudersdorf Germany 2006 8
Sevilla SevilleSpain 2011 82
Sheffield United Kingdom 1999 85
Sheffield United Kingdom 2003 27
Sheffield United Kingdom 2004 94
SheffieldUnited Kingdom201754
St EtienneFrance2015141
St Petersburg Russia 1985 60
Stockholm Sweden 2008 157
Strasbourg France 1996 30
StrasbourgFrance2015489
Strausberg Germany 1998 14
Stuttgart Germany 1984 44
Stuttgart Germany 1987 57
Stuttgart Germany 1996 147
StuttgartGermany2015211
Szczecin Poland 2006 311
ToulouseFrance2014147
TorinoTurinItaly2015 405
UtrechtNetherlands2016 121
ValenciaSpain2016277
Vitoria-GasteizSpain2015150
Warszawa WarsawPoland 1987 41
Warszawa WarsawPoland 2007 377
Weinheim (OEG)Germany19875
WienViennaAustria198628
WienViennaAustria200342
WienViennaAustria200673
WienViennaAustria2016362
WienViennaAustria2017634
WoltersdorfGermany199829
Woltersdorf Germany 2005 22
Wroclaw Poland 2006 314
Wuppertal Germany 1985 28
Wurzburg Germany 1984 6
WurzburgGermany2017170
ZagrebCroatia2018363
Zurich Switzerland 1988 4
Zurich Switzerland 1996 56
Zurich Switzerland 1997 68
Zurich Switzerland 1999 50
Zurich Switzerland 2008 36


West Germany in the 1970s  :  The photographs of Gordon Stewart and Ian Stewart



Although the InTramCities database starts with the 1980s, Gordon Stewart and his father Ian visited West German tramways on several occasions prior to this, taking a limited number of photographs with varying results. It was an era when the future of tramways was being vigorously debated as operators faced the need to modernise at great cost or concede to the strongly-vocal roads lobby supporting investment to assist the private motorist, consigning trams to the history books or at best sending them underground. In West Germany a number of cities formulated grand plans for underground tramways, some of which were, at least in part, to be realised, such as at Essen (see photo above taken in 1977 at the top of the recently-opened ramp leading from the new underground station at Porscheplatz). The fate of the other remaining systems remained unclear.......
 
Go to the report


More tramway photograph series : Copyrights owned by the photographer

InTramCities with Ian Stewart  Photographs by Ian Stewart (1931-1993)

Naples, Italy in 1973 : The first tramway photographs ever taken by Gordon Stewart
Antwerp, Belgium in 1975 by Gordon Stewart
Bratislava, Czechoslovakia, now Slovakia, in 1979 by Gordon Stewart

Nordhausen (Germany) in 2005 by Phil Barnes

National Tramway Museum, Crich, UK in 1990 by Gordon Stewart
Summerlee Museum of Scottish Industrial Life, Coatbridge UK in 2017 by Gordon Stewart

Paris, France : Line T5 "Tramway on Tyres" using the Translohr system  in 2017 by Gordon Stewart



The 1980s saw the start of a remarkable renaissance of tramways : InTramCities photos help show many of the issues involved

.

Tram and Bus : Competition or Cooperation ?



Trams had an early advantage over buses. Steel rails made it easier to haul a carriage compared with a dirt track of a road. As well as a smoother ride, fewer horses were required to do the job. Electric power gave tramways a further advantage. Improved streets and the development of the internal combustion engine then eroded those advantages. When the time came to reinvest heavily in new track, overhead and rolling stock, tramway owners, mostly municipally owned after the expiry of the concessions given to the original private developers, faced a tough decision. Could the investment be justified ? Was the tram the most suitable mode ? Many smaller tramways were sacrificed in the 1930s as a result. For many larger operations, hasty post-war reconstruction shifted the big decisions to the 1950s. In many places, the pendulum swung in favour of buses. Cheaper to buy and not requiring special infrastructure, their routes could be flexible and services planned at will. Good for passengers, taxpayers and, increasingly crucially, motorists who would have more street space, it seemed. In the UK and France especially, closures were almost universal in this period and by the early 1960s virtually nothing survived.

The renaissance of tramways, beginning in the 1980s, was largely due to concerns about increasing road congestion and later, with the prevailing impracticality of environmentally clean fuels for buses, concerns about air pollution and climate change.  The UK city of Edinburgh was one such city which completed closure of an extensive tramway system in 1956 and had a large  bus network. After much controvery, Edinburgh reintroduced trams with a new, albeit truncated, line in 2014. It was a case of adding a tram line with few other changes. On the city's main street, Princes Street, there was limited traffic calming, no reduction in the heavy bus traffic
and none of the "beautification" measures associated with most new tramways, notably in French cities. The photo above, taken in 2016, shows the less than ideal result. One way to reduce bus traffic in the city centre would have been to rearrange services to feed passengers into the tramway along its length. Good for crush loadings and economic operation of the trams, but with one major disadvantage for passengers. Those not directly served by the line would require a change between bus and tram with the uncertainty, inconvenience and possible discomfort of making such connections and with no guarantee of a comfortable seat on the connecting service. Frequent, regular and closely co-ordinated connections are likely to be essential for the success of any tram route.

Generally speaking and with all other things being equal, trams are a realistic consideration where traffic flows are too high to be handled comfortably by buses but insufficient to justify a metro.

Environmentally friendly fuels for buses (battery electric and green hydrogen) have become increasingly feasible in terms of cost and practicality. With buses and their acknowledged flexibilities now eroding the tram's advantage on environmental issues, what now for the tramway renaissance ? Trams retain many advantages but are they enough to justify the capital outlay ? Cost-Benefit Analysis, as widely used by planning authorities, is never an exact science and is often based on highly subjective data but is the generally favoured process with which to make a judgement. What is undisputed is that buses, even if not its main backbone, will continue to provide much of a city's public transport provision.    



Surface or Tunnel ?



Whilst trams are essentially an alternative to buses on surface transport corridors, they are also more suited to "upgrading". This is normally to offer a higher quality of service. but especially from the 1960s, it was seen as a possible way of achieving, at least in part, the benefits of an urban metro or underground system. Fully-fledged metros as found in major cities such as London, Paris and New York are extremely expensive to build and take many years of construction. Many smaller cities anticipated growth both in terms of population and traffic and had ideas of clearing streets for the use of private cars and, in city centres, for pedestrian precincts. Ambitious cities might also regard having a metro as having arrived in the "big league" of cities. This concept took particular hold in West Germany. The major urban conglomeration around the Ruhr river in Nordrhein-Westfalen was one such area where an integrated "Stadtbahn" concept was developed for the major cities including Dortmund, Bochum, Essen and Dusseldorf. Whilst a fully-fledged metro was the ambition, it became seen as unrealistic to achieve except in numerous small steps. One element was in the construction of tunnels under the city centres for the use of trams pending the practicality of converting the whole retained network to "metro" standards. The city of Dortmund made rapid steps in this regard. Two routes running from the north to the south of the city were moved into tunnels under the central area. The third main axis, running west to east followed. In the photo above at Heinrichstrasse, taken in 2002, the third tunnel is almost complete and the surface tracks had little time left.

Dortmund's third tunnel represents a bit of a change in the fortunes of the Stadtbahn concept as originally conceived. Not only had thoughts of a fully-segregated metro been abandoned, but the east west line was retained as tramway albeit with the central tunnel. The advent of low-floor trams meant that expensive and potentially obtrusive high-platforms were no longer required for level-boarding accessibility. Dortmund's third line has emerged as remarkably different from its first two, with low-floor trams providing the service. This concept has also been used for Dusseldorf's Wehrhahn Line, contrary to original plans. Even the tunnels themselves have not always been the benefit they were expected to be. The enormous cost of construction notwithstanding, they have been found to be expensive to maintain, clean and illuminate.  The German town of Ludwigshafen has already taken some of its tunnels out of service and there have also been discussions about the same in Mulheim. Traffic flows have not always justified the expenditure and surface trams in city centres have also experienced something of a renaissance.


High Platforms or Low Floors ?


 
The ideal has always been for the passenger to be able to step into a tram and to their seat with the minimum of effort and inconvenience. Level-boarding from street level was always impractical and such access to the passenger compartment impossible. The floor of the tram had to be above wheel or at least axle level and leave sufficient space for the electric motors and associated equipment to be stowed beneath. The development of longer trams and trams with longer wheelbases enabled loading platforms to be lowered at front and back and in many designs in the 1920s and 1930s, also in the middle of the tram between the axles. With passengers loading from street level this still required a step up and then further steps into the passenger compartments. The benefits of these arrangements were marginal and new trams generally featured steep steps, often three, for every passenger - an arrangement totally unsatisfactory for the infirm, those carrying heavy packages and especially those with baby carriages. The problem seemed impossible to solve and legislation demanding a solution still lay far in the future.

Those major cities contemplating upgrading their tramways with the ambition of eventually having a metro-like system found a solution. High platforms built to a level to match as close as possible the height of their trams' floors. Such platforms are expensive to build and require extra space for steps and ramps up to the platform. They are also highly noticeable features - suitable for stations away from streets on reserved alignments but not necessarily so in a cramped urban setting. Cities which embarked on upgrades in the 1970s such as Stuttgart and Hannover in West Germany chose to follow this method and had to find solutions for fitting tram stops into sensitive environments. The major problems were mostly avoided by having city centre stops in tunnels, again at great capital cost. One city which has failed to solve this problem is the British city of Manchester. Having earlier removed its street tramway, Manchester decided to reintroduce trams by taking over a number of local railway lines and linking them into a network via street-level tracks through the city centre. With the railway stations used for the new "Metrolink" having standard British high platforms, Manchester was constrained into ordering high-floor trams, despite the recent emergence of new low-floor vehicles, and building stations with appropriately high platforms in the city centre streets. One stop was equipped with a "profiled platform" which sloped up to allow step-free access to the centre doors only - a compromise solution in an area of restricted space. This platform was later removed and the stopping place eliminated. 

The 1980s was to herald a technological change which was to be the major impetus to the renaissance of tramways which began in earnest in that decade. A way was found to incorporate a low loading platform of sufficient and increasing size to allow a limited amount of priority seating and baby carriage space. Existing trams were increasingly retro-fitted with additional low-floor sections and technology eventually allowed tram floors to be reduced throughout the length of the vehicle. Direct street loading became one modest step only and where trams could run into platforms, these could be built at kerb level and be unobtrusive in the urban envirnoment, thus allowing totally-level access. Tramway systems could be modernised and new systems built without the enormous cost of high-level platforms and without courting the controversy that such platforms cause. The photo above shows the Hungarian city of Budapest  which has re-equipped its fleet with low-floor trams and built relatively unobtrusive platforms to allow level access as is now required by law in many countries.

Trams and Pedestrians



Tunnel-digging for a metro or underground tramway was one way that busy city centre streets could be turned over to pedestrians whilst public transport brought people to stations directly below. With low-floor trams and simple platforms it was possible to bring people to these pedestrianised areas directly without public transport being relegated to side streets and fit in neatly and relatively unobtrusively. It meant that public transport could be highly visible and accessible and available exactly where people wished to be. In this respect, trams have a major advantage over buses. Whilst buses might be able to weave through traffic, a tram's advantage is that its path is entirely predictable. In a busy pedestrian area buses might be able to hold a predictable path, but this is not guaranteed and leaves a seed of doubt in the minds of those around. The tram follows the rails and its course is clear. An element of overhang must be reckoned with, but differentiated colours in the paving around the tracks are often used to identify a tram's "swept path", the maximum extent to which a tram will encroach as it passes. For this reason, trams appear better suited to mingling with pedestrians as shown above in Berlin's Alexanderplatz in 2016 where trams have been reintroduced to pedestrianised areas of the city centre despite underground lines below and local and regional railways above (and behind the camera).
New Tramway Systems


InTramCities' photos include a number of entirely new tramway systems built since the 1980s. Most are in places which once had tramways but had previously closed their systems. Others are in places operating tramways for the first time. The photo above shows the first new line in the Italian city of Firenze (Florence) in 2016. The historic "Renaissance City" closed the last line of its first generation system in January 1958 and opened the first of its new lines in February 2010. Firenze has taken to tramways in an enthusiastic way with new lines built and planned although not in the narrow streets of the historic city centre which are unsuitable for modern tram operations.
In most cities, the reintoduction of trams is hotly debated. The arguments for and against are numerous. The investment required is substantial and the benefits not always evenly distributed. Many cities have judged that the wider community's gains outweigh the financial or other losses felt by those who might have to contribute but not directly benefit. The introduction of a tramway often leads to the reorganisation of bus services in the transit corridor served : again, something where the greater good might outweigh specific losses. Many new projects have bean realised, but in 2020 a referendum of the citizens of Wiesbaden in Germany voted against a tramway through the city linking a local railway and the tramway of the neighbouring city of Mainz. It is for each case to be decided on its merits by those involved.


Reserved Track



Those whose hopes of having a metro metro system were not to be realised might have to compromise with their tramways as much as possible on reserved track. Space permitting, the central reservation of wide highways, either in place already or created through the converssion of existing road space, can give trams a free run past congested areas of roadway. The number of junctions with existing roads can also be restricted to allow faster journey times. Extensive areas of segregation have also allowed tramways, including new systems, to be "heavier" than might otherwise being the case, with wider trams resembling light railways running on railway-style track mounted on sleepers. Such systems, including that in Utrecht (see photo above) which opened in December 1983, was seen as a new generation of light rail and dubbed Sneltram (ie Fast Tram) and resembled a metro rather more than a traditional street tramway. Irrespective of the "heaviness" of the tramway system, reserved track is generally seen as a desirable part of any tramway system so long as the tram stops are relatively easy to access. Utrecht's Sneltram was built shortly before low-floor trams became widely availabl, so featured high-level platforms at its stations. With such infrastructure being costly, a major extension to Utrecht's tram system which opened in 2020, was built with low platforms and operated by low-floor trams. As the plan was to link the old and the new lines, the existing Sneltram line was re-equipped with new low-floor trams and the station platforms rebuilt accordingly, but the large amount of reserved track will continue to allow the trams to offer rapid journey times to tempt car users to leave their vehicles at home and use public transport.


Wireless Power



The InTramCities collection concentrates on traditional tramways : steel wheel on steel rail and power supply primarily via an overhead wire. However, for aesthetic reasons, especially for new-build tramways, new ways of powering trams have been looked-at and in some cases implemented. One objection to tramways, especially in urban environments of great beauty and historical importance, is the presence of overhead wiring and possibly additional stanchions needed to support the wiring. Some major cities such as London had used ground-based power collection since the early days of tramway operation but such instances were rare and new methods were required to be developed for modern tramways. All have their drawbacks and high costs, so implementation has been limited. Currently a number of tramways are using on-board battery technology to bridge relatively short gaps in the wiring. Others, particularly in France, are using sophisticated ground-based collection methods, such as the Alimentation Par Sol (APS) system in Bordeaux (see photo above taken in 2008). Relatively long stretches of track use the APS system here and capital cost is the only reason why it is not used more widely. In the photo, the vista of the grand buildings along the city's river front is not interrupted by wires. Even the tram stop in this sensitive area has been designed as minimalist for the same aesthetic reason.
InTramCities photos show the APS system in Bordeaux, Reims and Angers and battery operation in Nice and Sevilla.
 

Closed Tramway Alignments



Despite the numerous new tramway openings in recent years, some traditional tram tracks have been closed. In most cases this has been in favour of improved alignments or tunnels. One such is that in Stuttgart's Friedhofstrasse, closed in 2017 and seen above on June 9th 2015.
Photos in the InTramCities collection illustrate other examples. Click here for more   (only text currently available on-line)


Tramway on Tyres



Is it a tram or is it not ? Ever since city streets became smooth enough to run on once the petrol engine had been developed, buses became increasingly popular for public transport as the expenditure on track and overhead was not required and the buses could weave in and out of traffic. Electric buses had their supporters and trolleybuses with overhead wires were a suitable compromise solution, especially for places contemplating the need to renew tramway tracks and their relatively expensive tram cars. In western Europe the drawbacks of trolleybuses meant that most systems eventually gave way to motor buses but with the renewed interest in trams, segregated rights of way and emission-free vehicles, thoughts were turned to possible ways of having a "tramway" but at cheaper capital cost. Two maufacturers in France, home of the pneumatic tyre maker Michelin, promoted guided buses powered by overhead wires. The French capital city region has adopted the Translohr technology for a number of its developments in the suburbs outside Paris. Line T5 in the city of St Denis (see photo above) is one such line. It  has been reasonably successful, but the cities of Caen and Nancy which adopted the so-called "Tramway on Tyres" eventually decided that their experiment was a failure, closed their lines and replaced them with a traditional tramway. It appears that any future for such systems will be limited.

InTramCities League Table of  Tramway City Photos

Tramway Country Photos
Vienna Austria 1139
Prague Czech Republic 1093
Amsterdam Netherlands 999
Berlin Germany 902
Paris France 881
Budapest Hungary 881
Den Haag Netherlands 862
Manchester United Kingdom 738
Frankfurt-am-Main Germany 730
Basel Switzerland 723
Brno Czech Republic 662
Freiburg Germany 659
Gdansk Poland 647
Nantes France 632
Geneva Switzerland 601
Bruxelles Belgium 599
Montpellier France 598
Oslo Norway 588
Milan Italy 565
Lisbon Portugal 553
Antwerp Belgium 551
Dusseldorf Germany 549
Bordeaux France 524
Strasbourg France 519
Rotterdam Netherlands 517
Lyon France 475
Munich Germany 469
Krakow Poland 467
Bremen Germany 464
Stuttgart Germany 459
Essen Germany 426
Warsaw Poland 418
Gothenburg Sweden 407
Riga Latvia 407
Turin Italy 405
Bratislava Slovakia 402
Rome Italy 396
Nottingham United Kingdom 392
Dortmund Germany 382
Poznan Poland 373
Nurnberg Germany 366
Zagreb Croatia 363
Porto Portugal 358
Dresden Germany 345
Bochum-Gelsenkirchen Germany 339
Graz Austria 337
Katowice Poland 336
Wroclaw Poland 314
Szczecin Poland 311
Marseille France 291
Nice France 291
Cologne Germany 278
Valencia Spain 277
Barcelona Spain 270
Dijon France 267
Dublin Ireland 267
Sheffield United Kingdom 260
Grenoble France 243
Mannheim Germany 241
Blackpool United Kingdom 239
Istanbul Turkey 236
Potsdam Germany 225
Orleans France 222
Zurich Switzerland 214
Mainz Germany 205
Bergen Norway 204
Reims France 200
Hannover Germany 197
Darmstadt Germany 196
Magdeburg Germany 196
Norrkoping Sweden 192
West Midlands United Kingdom 185
Bilbao Spain 181
Le Havre France 178
Wurzburg Germany 177
Leipzig Germany 170
Le Mans France 170
Mulhouse France 169
Rouen France 168
Madrid Spain 168
Besancon France 166
Stockholm Sweden 161
Elblag Poland 160
Granada Spain 153
Vitoria-Gasteiz Spain 150
Edinburgh United Kingdom 150
Innsbruck Austria 150
Toulouse France 147
Kassel Germany 146
St Etienne France 141
Florence Italy 140
London (Croydon) United Kingdom 137
Almada Portugal 136
Alicante Spain 135
Karlsruhe Germany 134
Angers France 128
Utrecht Netherlands 121
Bonn Germany 118
Brandenburg Germany 113
Gent Belgium 112
Heidelberg Germany 107
Mulheim Germany 103
Most & Litvinov Czech Republic 97
Plzen Czech Republic 96
Knokke-De Panne Belgium 88
Duisburg Germany 87
Augsburg Germany 87
Parla Spain 83
Sevilla Spain 82
Bern Switzerland 80
Braunschweig Germany 78
Linz Austria 77
Murcia Spain 75
Olomouc Czech Republic 74
Bielefeld Germany 73
Frankfurt (Oder) Germany 72
Schoneiche-Rudersdorf Germany 71
Sassari Italy 71
Halle Germany 66
Cottbus Germany 65
Kiev Ukraine 61
St Petersburg Russia 60
Aubagne France 52
Woltersdorf Germany 51
Cairo - Heliopolis Egypt 48
Moscow Russia 42
Ludwigshafen Germany 42
Chemnitz Germany 32
Lille France 30
Minsk Belarus 28
Wuppertal Germany 28
Krefeld Germany 23
Helsinki Finland 23
Hong Kong China 21
Malaga Spain 21
Kirnitzschtal Germany 20
Charleroi Belgium 20
Lausanne Switzerland 19
Oberhausen Germany 16
Gmunden Austria 15
Strausberg Germany 14
OEG (Interurban) Germany 5
     
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