Tramscape Tramway Cities 

Gordon Stewart travels regularly throughout Europe to create what is perhaps the finest tramway photograph resource on the internet. Although trams are the focal point and common thread throughout, it is where they are running which provides the diversity and interest in his photos. As well as city centres with their grand architecture (such as at Alexanderplatz, Berlin in 2016, above), Gordon takes you to less well-known suburbs to give a real feel for the tramway city. The photos are becoming an important historical record for those interested in the city itself as well as its trams and also show how trams fit into urban environments to provide an attractive and accessible transportation system. 

This website does not attempt to describe the history or technical attributes of the tramways. These aspects are covered by specialist publications and websites elsewhere.
This website does try to present as comprehensively as possible a record of a tramway city at a given point in time. Although coverage is rarely fully complete, the objective now  is to capture views along each route at and around each tram stop.


Scope : There are now over 31,000 photos from 129 tramway systems

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 sequenque in which they were taken and for more recent series, the name of the street along which the trams are running are shown in the comments column.

Larger photos (1000px long-side) are presented for selected tramway systems as well as the 9/screen format and are noted as "1000 px" in the Comments column.  The series selected to be shown in this larger format will change periodically - so keep checking in.

Catalogue : You can view or download the full photograph catalogue as an MS Excel format spreadsheet. The approximate file size is 1.5 MB. 
Updated to : 26/10/16.  
Click here

A source of photos for illustration : Larger resolution photos may be made available for illustration in publications and promotional materials at the discretion of the webmaster. See contact details below. Images prior to 2004 are scans of photographic prints. The earliest photos are likely to be of poorer quality. You are welcome to link to these pages. Please don't copy photos for insertion into other websites or publications without permission from the webmaster.

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 

What's new this year ? :   Rome (Italy)

Coming soon :  

What's new since January 2013 ? :  Scroll down to below the table

In 2016, Tramscape reported on : Florence (Italy), Valencia (Spain), Den Haag (Netherlands), Utrecht (Netherlands), Berlin (Germany), Oslo (Norway), Bergen (Norway), Manchester (UK), West Midlands (UK), Graz (Austria), Vienna (Austria), Edinburgh (UK), Dijon (France) and Besancon (France)

TO VIEW THE PHOTOGRAPH ARCHIVE  :   Click on the Year in the table below alongside the selected city

Mobile phone and smaller tablet users : Please note that the table below (and the detailed photograph lists on the individual tram city pages) will need to be expanded manually on screen to be viewed

Tram System Country Year  (click to view) No. of Photos Comments
Alicante / AlacantSpain20131351000px
Amsterdam Netherlands 1986 15 A
Amsterdam Netherlands 2007 444 A
Antwerp (Antwerpen) Belgium 1985 65 A
Augsburg Germany 1975 3 A
Augsburg Germany 1984 20 A
Augsburg Germany 2003 67 A
Bad Schandau - Kirnitzschtalbahn Germany 2004 20


Barcelona Spain 2010 270 1000px
Basel Switzerland 1996 52 A
Basel Switzerland 2008 519 A
Berlin Germany 1983 12 A
Berlin Germany 1998 148 A
Berlin Germany 2005 397 A
Berlin Germany 2006 225 A
Bern Switzerland 1988 10 A
Bern Switzerland 1996 65 A
Bern Switzerland 2001 5 A
Bielefeld Germany 1983 8 A
Bielefeld Germany 2002 65 A
Bilbao / BilboSpain2015181A
Birmingham - West Midlands MetroUnited Kingdom200031A
Birmingham - West Midlands MetroUnited Kingdom2016154A
Blackpool United Kingdom 1982 8 A
Blackpool United Kingdom 1984 25 A
Blackpool United Kingdom 2005 129A
BlackpoolUnited Kingdom201377A
Bochum-Gelsenkirchen Germany 1983 6 A
Bochum-Gelsenkirchen Germany 1985 34 A
Bochum-Gelsenkirchen Germany 1986 61 A
Bochum-Gelsenkirchen Germany 1988 30 A
Bochum-Gelsenkirchen Germany 1991 69 A
Bochum-Gelsenkirchen Germany 1995 94 A
Bochum-Gelsenkirchen Germany 2002 45 A
Bonn Germany 1983 8 A
Bonn Germany 1984 10 A
Bonn Germany 2001 99 A
Bordeaux France 2008 524 1000px
Brandenburg Germany 1998 54 A
Brandenburg Germany 2005 59 A
Bratislava Slovakia 1979 6 A
Bratislava Slovakia 1986 22 A
Bratislava Slovakia 2007 271 A
Braunschweig Germany 1983 5 A
Braunschweig Germany 1998 73 A
Bremen Germany 2013 464


Brno Czech Republic 2006 548 A
Brno Czech Republic 2007 114 A
Brussel / Bruxelles Belgium 1983 40 A
Brussel / Bruxelles Belgium 1985 40 A
Brussel / Bruxelles Belgium 2012 519 A
Budapest Hungary 1986 122 A
Budapest Hungary 2006 494 A
Cairo - Heliopolis Egypt 1998 48 A
Charleroi Belgium 1983 7 A
Charleroi Belgium 1997 13 A
Chemnitz Germany 1997 32 A
Cologne (Koln) Germany 1983 28 A
Cologne (Koln) Germany 1988 32 A
Cologne (Koln) Germany 2000 9 A
Cologne (Koln) Germany 2001 156 A
Cologne (Koln)Germany201453A
Cottbus Germany 2005 65 A
Darmstadt Germany 1984 33 A
Den Haag Netherlands 1986 40 A
Den Haag Netherlands 2013 392


Den HaagNetherlands2016430A
Dortmund Germany 1984 84 A
Dortmund Germany 1986 8 A
Dortmund Germany 1988 36 A
Dortmund Germany 1991 99 A
Dortmund Germany 1995 79 A
Dortmund Germany 2002 76 A
Dresden Germany 1997 117 A
Dresden Germany 2004 228 A
Dublin Ireland 2005 117 A
Dublin Ireland 2013 150


Duisburg Germany 1984 24 A
Duisburg Germany 1986 16 A
Duisburg Germany 1995 18 A
Duisburg Germany 2002 30 A
Dusseldorf Germany 1983 7 A
Dusseldorf Germany 1984 4 A
Dusseldorf Germany 1985 48 A
Dusseldorf Germany 1986 26 A
Dusseldorf Germany 1991 22 A
Dusseldorf Germany 1995 44 A
Dusseldorf Germany 2001 171 A
Dusseldorf Germany 2002 10 A
EdinburghUnited Kingdom2014117A
EdinburghUnited Kingdom201633A
Essen Germany 1983 11 A
Essen Germany 1985 66 A
Essen Germany 1986 36 A
Essen Germany 1988 86 A
Essen Germany 1991 48 A
Essen Germany 1995 59 A
Essen Germany 2002 120 A
Florence (Firenze)Italy20161401000px
Frankfurt an der Oder Germany 2005 72 A
Frankfurt-am-Main Germany 1979 19 A
Frankfurt-am-Main Germany 1984 122 A
Frankfurt-am-Main Germany 1987 80 A
Frankfurt-am-Main Germany 1996 62 A
Freiburg Germany 2000 67 A
Gdansk Poland 2011 383 A
Geneva (Geneve) Switzerland 1988 18 A
Geneva (Geneve) Switzerland 2000 25 A
Geneva (Geneve) Switzerland 2005 179 A
Geneva (Geneve) Switzerland 2007 161 A
Geneva (Geneve)Switzerland2015218A
Gent Belgium 1985 17 A
Gent Belgium 1997 59 A
Gent Belgium 1999 36 A
Gmunden Austria 2003 15 A
Gothenburg (Goteborg) Sweden 1990 57 A
Gothenburg (Goteborg) Sweden 2007 350 A
Grenoble France 2007 243 1000px
Halle Germany 1997 66 A
Hannover Germany 1977 2 A
Hannover Germany 1983 23 A
Hannover Germany 1991 65 A
Hannover Germany 1998 109 A
Heidelberg Germany 1974 6 A
Heidelberg Germany 1981 6 A
Heidelberg Germany 1984 7 A
Heidelberg Germany 1987 15 A
Heidelberg Germany 1996 79 A
Helsinki / Helsingfors Finland 1989 5 A
Helsinki / Helsingfors Finland 1990 18 A
Hong Kong China 1982 21
Innsbruck Austria 2003 44 A
Istanbul Turkey 1994 14 A
Istanbul Turkey 2009 222 A
Karlsruhe Germany 1987 29 A
Karlsruhe Germany 1996 105 A
Kassel Germany 2002 146 A
Katowice - Tramwaje Slaskie Poland 2009 336 A
Kiev Ukraine 1985 61 A
Knokke-De Panne Belgium 1983 4 A
Knokke-De Panne Belgium 1997 68 A
Knokke-De Panne Belgium 1999 13 A
Krakow Poland 1987 49 A
Krakow Poland 2009 418 A
Krefeld Germany 1986 23 A
Lausanne Switzerland 2000 19 A
Le HavreFrance2015178A
Leipzig Germany 1997 170 A
Lille France 1997 25 A
Lille France 1999 5 A
Linz Austria 2003 77 A
Lisbon (Lisboa) Portugal 2007 356 A
London United Kingdom 2008 137 A
Ludwigshafen Germany 1981 3 A
Ludwigshafen Germany 1984 17 A
Ludwigshafen Germany 1987 5 A
Ludwigshafen Germany 1996 17 A
Lyon France 2006 230 1000px
Lyon France 2007 38 1000px
Magdeburg Germany 1991 39 A
Magdeburg Germany 1998 85 A
Magdeburg Germany 2005 72 A
Mainz Germany 1984 20 A
Mainz Germany 1987 6 A
Mainz Germany 1996 24 A
Manchester United Kingdom 1992 43 A
Manchester United Kingdom 2005 52 A
Manchester United Kingdom 2007 34 A
Manchester United Kingdom 2009 63 A
Manchester United Kingdom 2010 49 A
Manchester United Kingdom 2011 64 A
Manchester United Kingdom 2013 88


ManchesterUnited Kingdom2014571000px
ManchesterUnited Kingdom201563A
ManchesterUnited Kingdom201614A
Mannheim Germany 1981 7 A
Mannheim Germany 1984 32 A
Mannheim Germany 1987 43 A
Mannheim Germany 1996 159 A
Milan (Milano) Italy 1999 83 A
Milan (Milano) Italy 2008 482 A
Minsk Belarus 1985 28 A
Montpellier France 2009 328 1000px
MontpellierFrance2014270 1000px
Moscow (Moskva) Russia 1985 42 A
Mulheim Germany 1983 7 A
Mulheim Germany 1985 9 A
Mulheim Germany 1986 29 A
Mulheim Germany 1995 17 A
Mulheim Germany 2002 41 A
Mulhouse France 2008 169 A
Munich Germany 1984 31 A
Munich Germany 2003 176 A
Munich Germany 2012 260 A
Nantes France 2006 427 1000px
Nice France 2009 291 1000px
Norrkoping Sweden 2008 192 A
Nottingham United Kingdom 2004 122 A
Nottingham United Kingdom 2012 65 A
NottinghamUnited Kingdom2015101A
Nurnberg Germany 1984 24 A
Oberhausen Germany 2002 16 A
Olomouc Czech Republic 2007 74 A
Orleans France 2013 222


Oslo Norway 1992 43 A
Oslo Norway 2006 300 A
Paris France 1997 75 1000px
Paris France 2007 190 1000px
Paris France 2013 183 1000px
Plzen Czech Republic 2004 96 A
Porto Portugal 2008 358 A
Potsdam Germany 1998 75 A
Potsdam Germany 2005 150 A
Poznan Poland 2006 373 A
Prague (Praha) Czech Republic 1986 80 A
Prague (Praha) Czech Republic 2004 478 A
Prague (Praha) Czech Republic 2006 122 A
Riga Latvia 2012 407 A
Rome (Roma) Italy 2005 155 A
Rome (Roma)Italy
Rotterdam Netherlands 1986 39 A
RotterdamNetherlands          2014478A
Schoneiche-Rudersdorf Germany 1998 31 A
Schoneiche-Rudersdorf Germany 2005 32 A
Schoneiche-Rudersdorf Germany 2006 8 A
Seville (Sevilla) Spain 2011 82 A
Sheffield United Kingdom 1999 85 A
Sheffield United Kingdom 2003 27 A
Sheffield United Kingdom 2004 94 A
St EtienneFrance2015141A
St Petersburg Russia 1985 60 1000px
Stockholm Sweden 2008 157 A
Strasbourg France 1996 30 A
Strausberg Germany 1998 14 A
Stuttgart Germany 1975 3 A
Stuttgart Germany 1977 6 A
Stuttgart Germany 1984 44 A
Stuttgart Germany 1987 57 A
Stuttgart Germany 1996 147 A
Szczecin Poland 2006 311 A
Turin (Torino)Italy2015 405A
UtrechtNetherlands2016 121A
Vienna (Wien) Austria 1986 28 A
Vienna (Wien) Austria 2003 42 A
Vienna (Wien) Austria 2006 73 A
Vienna (Wien)Austria2016362A
Warsaw (Warszawa) Poland 1987 41 A
Warsaw (Warszawa) Poland 2007 377 A
Weinheim (OEG)Germany19875A
Woltersdorf Germany 1998 29 A
Woltersdorf Germany 2005 22 A
Wroclaw Poland 2006 314 A
Wuppertal Germany 1985 28 A
Wurzburg Germany 1975 4 A
Wurzburg Germany 1984 6 A
Zurich Switzerland 1988 4 A
Zurich Switzerland 1996 56 A
Zurich Switzerland 1997 68 A
Zurich Switzerland 1999 50 A
Zurich Switzerland 2008 36 A






Other urban transit types 









London (Docklands) United Kingdom 1988 5 DLR
London (Docklands) United Kingdom 2009 22 DLR
Miami United States 1987 3 Metro
Newcastle-upon-Tyne United Kingdom 1988 17 Metro
Newcastle-upon-Tyne United Kingdom 2005 4 Metro
Newcastle-upon-Tyne United Kingdom 2011 49 Metro
Paris France 1997 34 Metro
Paris France 2007 36 Metro
Crich United Kingdom 1990 8 Museum tramway
Miami United States 1987 14 Peoplemover
Wuppertal Germany 1985 10 Schwebebahn

Rome (Italy) : 20th - 21st March, 2017
This series covers most of the tramway system which was not covered in 2005 and should be viewed in conjuction with the earlier series. In the intervening period there has been substantial track renewal and alignment improvement, and one short extension now giving hope for the future.

Above :  Tram 9230, a 100% low-floor tram of the "Cityway2" type, of which 52 examples were ordered from Fiat-Alstom in 1999, is from the most modern batch of  trams in service in Rome. The oldest still in use date originally from 1948. This picture is taken at the city-centre terminus of line 8, originally opened in 1998,which was extended one stop from Largo di Torre Argentina (with the former terminus stub in Via di Torre Argentina given up) along via Florida,  Via delle Botteghe Oscure, Via di S, Marco and Largo Enrico Berlinguer to a stub at Piazza di S. Marco but named "Venezia" after the adjoining major piazza on 6th June 2013. Line 8 represented a welcome reversal of earlier policy of tramway contraction and although it has been slow work, many of the remaining alignments have been renovated (including long-term bus replacement services) and the tramway now appears to have a secure future despite work progressing on bringing Metro Line C into the city centre at Colosseum and Venezia and hopes remaining for a fourth cross-city line.


Besancon (France) : 29th September 2016
Hailed as a "low-cost" tramway for a reasonably small city, the Besancon system (one long line with a short branch to the railway station) exhibits all the good things one expects from the second generation of French tramways. The 14.5 km long system was opened in August 2014 and is operated by Urbos 3 trams from CAF

Above : The nearest that Besancon's sleek CAF trams get to the historic core of Besancon is at Place de la Revolution, but careful design has allowed this modern form of transport to blend in well in a city proud of its architectural history and pleasant environment


Dijon (France) : 27th - 28th September 2016
Dijon joined the modern French tramway revolution in 2012, with two lines operating over three branches with a short terminus spur in front of the main railway station. 20 km in length, the line skirts the northern side of the historic city core, the seats of the former Dukes of Burgundy. Citadis trams from Alstom provide the services which have become very popular as the citizens of Dijon have really taken to their tramway.  

Above :  Place Darcy, at the end of the city's main shopping street Rue de la Liberte and featuring a magnificent triumphal arch is the main tramstop serving the city centre although good walking access to the traffic calmed historic central area is available from a number of other stops.


Edinburgh (United Kingdom) : 20th September 2016
A brief visit to central Edinburgh's Princes Street

Edinburgh's controversial tramway now appears to be catching on with the public although the inquest as to what went wrong in the delivery of the system continues in the hands of a public scrutineer. Thoughts are now being turned to extensions, including the original plan to reach Leith and Newhaven. Princes Street, despite the banning of cars over most of its length, remains a busy and for much of the day a chaotic thoroughfare with innumerable buses jostling for position at the many bus stops along the prestigious boulevard.  In this view, looking westwards from the main Princes Street tram stop,there is a welcome break from the worst of the non-tram traffic, although one bus lies closely alongside the nearside flank of the tram.


Vienna (Austria) : 9th - 12th September 2016
Austria's capital city has one of the world's largest tramway networks. Despite some new extensions, it has lost some of its length to due to growth of the city's metro system. Nevertheless trams continue to run along parallel streets westwards out of the city centre, maintaining an excellent service for these densely populated areas. As a result, the system largely retains a traditional street-tramway atmosphere. Despite the delivery of large numbers of ultra-low-floor trams from Siemens (an early pioneer of 100% low floor design and still unique to Vienna), it is also a showcase for many of the enormous number of Duwag style high-floor trams built under licence in Austria which continue to dominate the street scene - and will continue to do so for many years.   

Vienna is a city of grand architecture and it is possible to photograph trams in front of many of the city's masterpieces, including the National Parliament. Seen from the Dr Karl Renner Ring tram stop, a traditional Duwag-design six-axle articulated tram and bogie trailer traverses the "Ring" a wide boulevard running around much of the historic city centre, laid out in the late 19th century on the site of the former city walls. Under the reign of Emperor Franz Josef I, the Austro-Hungarian empire reached its zenith before its untimely fall as a consequence of World War I and a large number of showpiece buildings were constructed around the ring to show off Habsburg grandeur 


Graz (Austria) : 7th - 8th September 2016
Austria's second city has a well-equipped tramway which runs through the beautiful historic core of the city - a UNESCO world heritage site on account of its architecture. At the time of the visit, route 1 between the city centre and Mariatrost was closed for reconstruction along with the western end of the same line between Asperngasse and Eggenberg/UKH. Bus replacement was also in operation for the short central stretch between Jakominiplatz and Steyrergasse.

Graz has replaced its fleet with modern low-floor articulated trams - the latest being Variobahn from Stadler, complementing the earlier batch of Cityrunners from Bombardier (for which Graz was the first customer, taking delivery in 2001). In this view, Variobahn 204 is seen at Hauptplatz in the heart of the city, having just come along the busy tram and pedestrian only Herrengasse from Jakominiplatz, the city's main transport interchange. The imposing edifice is the city's municipal administration building. In the background is the tower of the Holy Blood church.


West Midlands (Birmingham-Wolverhampton), UK : 16th August, 2016
There had been virtually no progress with the metro line linking the UK's second city with neighbouring Wolverhampton along a disused former railway alignment for 20 years until December 2015 when the line, now rebranded as a tramway, was extended into the centre of Birmingham as the first phase of what is hoped to be a considerable expansion in the next few years 

Birmingham city centre is an intriguing mix of late Victorian grandeur and post-war modernism as illustrated by the view above of a tram on Corporation Street approaching the eponymous tram stop from Grand Central, the new name for the redeveloped Birmingham New Street Station complex, where the new extension to the tram line currently terminates in Stephenson Street having been extended from Bull Street at the end of May 2016. Birmingham is undergoing considerable redevelopment as witnessed by the large number of cranes and shiny new office blocks. Surface trams will be part of this urban regeneration, with the line planned to be extended to Victoria Square and Broad Street passing a number of major traffic generators such as the International Convention Centre and the Symphony Hall and will eventually be extended to the inner suburb of Edgbaston. A decision has been made to dispense with overhead catenary in the Victoria Square area where the line will pass close to the Victorian architectural set-pieces of the Town Hall, Council House and Museum and Art Gallery and it is expected that the CAF Urbos 2 trams will be retrofitted with accumulators to bridge the gap in the wires. Further inner-city links are planned to connect with the proposed High Speed Train station at Curzon Street.      

Manchester, UK : 27th June, 2016
Photos of the recently opened Exchange Square Metrolink stop in the centre of Manchester on the first stage of the Second City Crossing - a new link between Victoria Staion and St Peter's Square designed to relieve the overcrowded original route through the city whilst also providing access to this busy shopping area.   Photos also show the new arrangements at Victoria Station following the establishment of the new line.

The new tram stop, pictured above, is located outside the northern entrance to the Arndale Shopping Centre Centre and alongside a number of large department stores.

Bergen, Norway : 19th June, 2016
Bergen's "second-generation" started operation in June 2010 as far as Nesttun and was extended to the current terminus at Lagunen in June 2013. Currently 13.4 km long, it is being further extended at its southern end to reach Bergen airport with a planned opening date later in 2016. 

Bergen's modern light rail system features a number of short tunnels to cope with the steep and rocky terrain. This view is taken at Wergeland tram stop


Oslo, Norway : 13th - 15th June, 2016
An update to Tramscape's last visit to Oslo, including those areas not covered in 2006

Whilst Oslo has been investing heavily in its extensive Metro and the state railways have been developing local transport networks, the tramway has not been forgotten. Much work has been put in to improve the infrastructure now that the future of the system seems secure following many years of uncertainty. No expansion of the network can take place until more trams are delivered and a large order is expected to be placed soon.  At the time of the visit, the network had been rearranged significantly in the city centre due to a long-running road closure, resulting in a "one-way" system with services from the west running via Aker Brygge towards Jernbanetorget and westbound services running via the route of unaffected lines along Kirkeristen and Grensen and a new link in Rosenkrantz gate (see photo above) to regain their standard alignment along Stortingsgata  

Berlin, Germany : 30th May - 1st June, 2016
A brief update on Berlin, the city's enormous tram system having been covered in some detail in 2005 and 2006. The recent extension to Hauptbahnhof and the finished "Alex II" link are shown along with some missing locations from previous visits 

After years of planning and attendant controversy, the latest extension to the system brought trams to the new Hauptbahnhof (Main Station) which has been constructed on the site of the old Lehrter Bahnhof to serve the reunited city in an appropriate manner. The photo above, taken at Hauptbahnhof, shows virtually the entire length of the extension, on reservation at this point over what was once a "no-man's land" on the western side of the former Berlin Wall, but running on-street amongst heavy traffic in the distance on what was once East Berlin territory.
Utrecht, Netherlands : 13th May, 2016
One of the earliest of the new generation of tramways was the Sneltram Utrecht-Nieuwegein which opened in December 1983. In December 1985, a branch was opened from Nieuwegein to Ijsselstein. 

The system is high-platform throughout and  links the busy central station at Utrecht to south-western lying suburban towns but does not penetrate the city centre of Utrecht. In 2013 the 20.7 km long line was cut back to the south side of the station to allow reconstruction in association with an extension to Uithof, replacing a busy bus service to the city's university grounds. The planned new route, which also will not penetrate the city centre is expected to feature an accumulator system so as to eliminate overhead line in parts of the university area. It is also planned to be a low-floor system and this has left the thorny issue of whether to convert the existing line with its substantial "light rail" infrastructure to match the new line.

Den Haag, Netherlands : 12th - 16th May, 2016
Coverage of those parts of the network which were not covered in 2013, primarily the routes in the southern part of the city, plus the line through the old city centre which had been temporarily out of service.

An attractive view at Gravenstraat in the old centre of Den Haag, closed during the 2013 visit, but now reopened after the completion of the construction an underground car park.


Valencia, Spain : 14th and 15th April, 2016
Spain's third city has an extensive metro system but also a street tramway line dubbed metro line 4 (opened in 1994 and subsequently extended) which runs from the north-west to the beach in the east of the city, running on an alignment to the north of the historic city centre but with an unusual "dip" towards the city centre at Pont de Fusta with double tracks along each side of the wide Carrer d'Almassora, midway along the line. Line 6 (opened in 2007) links the metro station closest to the beach area (Maritim-Serreria) with the seaside and then shares the alignment of line 4 towards the city centre before branching to the north to Tossal del Rei. An extremely short line line 8 (opened in 2015) links Maritim-Serreria with Marina Reial Joan Carles I. 

Lines 6 and 8 share a cross-platform interchange with metro lines 5 and 7 at Maritim-Serreria immediately before the ramp to allow the metro to be extended towards the beach and marina as a conventional street tramway. From the beach area, line 6 follows the course of the original line 4 as far as Primat Reig before heading north to Tossal del Rei. The metro is unusual as it is built to 1000mm gauge. 

Florence, Italy : 29th and 31st March, 2016
The magnificent renaissance Tuscan city of Florence closed its original tramway by January 1958, but in common with many cities, decided to reintroduce the mode of transport, with line 1 opening on February 14th, 2010 after a protracted construction period. The line is 7.4 km long and almost all on reserved track, linking the main railway station and the western suburb of Scandicci and is served by 17 Sirio trams from Ansaldo-Breda. There are plans for three more lines and some construction work is under way, with a link to the city's airport the first to be constructed.

The current city terminus is alongside the main railway station, Santa Maria Novella in via Alamanni (see photo above). The tracks continue to the front of the station in Piazze della Stazione but are unused, with the current terminus normally using only one track, reached by a crossover in Alamanni. With a high frequency service of usually around four minutes, lay-over time at the busy station stop is necessarily limited. The city's plans originally involved extending the tracks further towards the city centre along via de Panzani and via de Cerretani, but public concern regarding the routing of the tramway directly alongside the magnificent historical cathedral has led to delays in further developments as other alternatives are evaluated. This has included building a tunnel under the compact city centre, but with numerous architectural gems to consider, this is also controversial, not least in terms of cost. The narrow maze of streets in the historic centre also make a street alignment not only controverial but not optimal. The second line, for which work is now under way will link the city's airport with the station (and pass a planned new high-speed line station) whilst running at least slightly closer to the city centre at the spacious Piazza del' Unita Italiana which adjoins the severely congested Piazza della Stazione. 
Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain : 12th November, 2015
Vitoria-Gasteiz' two-line tram system, serving modern northern suburbs and joining at the new bus station to run on a joint line round the west and south of the old city centre to an inner-city terminus at Angulema was opened in 2008
Urbos 2 type trams from Spanish builder CAF provide a unitary fleet and are visually similar to the Urbos I trams operating in nearby Bilbao. The Basque regional capital city and capital of the Alava province has plans to extend the line to the south of the city centre, which it skirts partially on a wide grassy reservation as seen above and partially in narrow traffic calmed streets.
Bilbao, Spain : 10th - 11th November, 2015
Bilbao is busy reinventing itself for the post-industrial age and as part of a wide ranging programme of urban modernisation, a single-line tramway was opened in 2002. With an extensive bus system and a metro bringing in the major passenger numbers from the riverside industrial communities closer to the coast, the tram line acts as an inner-city circulator linking most of the main transport hubs, tourist and cultural establishments, the football ground, a hospital and the historic old town. Central to Bilbao's rejuvenation and new international profile is the iconic Frank Gehry-designed Guggenheim art museum, which the tram naturally passes alongside (see below)
Bilbao's tram line has shown how an inner city line can be successful, linking places where passengers want to go. Much of the line is on a wide green reservation alongside the river where redevelopment has made this a magnet for tourists and promenaders, but in the newer parts of the city there is much street-running alignment. The eastern part of the line, through parts of the "new" city adjoining the river and across the River Nervion and skirting the old city is laid out as single track, largely gutter-running, with one passing point at Arriaga Plaza
Nottingham, UK : 26th October, 2015
On August 25th 2015 after much delay and months of testing, Nottingham more than doubled its tram network with its "Big Bang" opening of two routes to the south of the city (to Toton Lane and to Clifton South). The new lines join the original tram line above Nottingham Station where the elevated route was extended to take tracks directly over the inter-city rail station and now run through to Hucknall and Phoenix Park respectively. This series looks at the Toton Lane line only. 
Not an enormous amount of the Nottingham system shares road space with car traffic as roads in UK cities tend to be too narrow to allow central reservations to be created. Therefore they have to be carefully integrated into existing street plans, often with associated traffic calming measures. In the photo above, a tram heading to Toton Lane approaches Chilwell Road in the suburban town of Beeston. It is one of the 22 Alstom Citadis trams purchased in advance of the extensions opening to augment the original fleet of Bombardier Incentros.
Le Havre, France : 1st October, 2015
Le Havre joined the list of French cities with second-generation tramways when its 13 km long system, also "Y" shaped, opened on December 12th, 2012
In 2012 a period of 55 tram free years ended when Le Havre opened its new tramway with two branches joining to descend through a tunnel to the lower-lying city centre area in this major port on the Normandy coast. The four-minute frequency of the joint line throughout much of the day means a regular and frequent service past the railway station and the town hall (above) to the terminus at the beach. In common with most French tram systems, the cars were obtained from Alstom with its highly-successful Citadis design. 
Rouen, France : 30th September, 2015
Rouen has re-equipped its tramway with Alstom Citadis trams and despite being an early member of the French tramway revival, presents a thoroughly modern image. However, despite one branch of its "Y"-shaped system having been extended, there is disappointment that a larger network has not been developed.
Rouen had originally intended that its one line (with two branches in the southern part of Rouen's city region) would not be its last, but cost constraints have led to the main east-west axis through the city being built as a high-quality bus route with tram-like platforms and optical guidance to bring buses close to the platform edge to allow for step-free access. Whether these bus routes will ever be converted to tram is not clear, but passenger numbers are heavy and services frequent - suggesting that if the money can be found, upgrading would be justified.
The city centre section is underground although it rises to an expansive surface-level terminus with bus connections to the northern suburbs and the tram dives into a tunnel immediately after crossing the river Seine as seen in the photo above at Theatre des Arts. The east-west bus axis crosses immediately above the tunnel portal
Paris, France : 29th September, 2015
Further tramway developments in the Paris suburbs, with new line T8 linking St Denis and Epinay-Orgement including a branch to Villetaneuse
Coverage of the Paris city region's newest tramway, Line T8 from St Denis (Porte de Paris) to Epinay with a short branch to Villetaneuse. In line with its policy of improving public transport links in its sprawling "banlieue", the Paris transport authorities and the Ile de France region have made quick work of its new tramways (and  tramways on tyres). Line T8, opened on December 16th 2014, runs from near the city proper boundary at  St Denis' Porte de Paris northwards and has a flat junction with the existing tram line through St Denis outside the station.
Innsbruck, Austria : 22nd July, 2015
The small alpine city has re-equipped its tramway with new articulated trams, giving a much more modern image than before with its mixture of old and various second hand rolling stock. Expansion is now firmly on the cards with the new branch to Hottinger Au the first part of a westwards extension into growing suburbs and plans exist to serve eastern parts of the city developing along the valley of the river Inn.
New Flexity trams from Bombardier have given the Innsbruck tramway a new and modern image and the future of the system now appears bright. Car 316 runs along Museumstrasse towards Hauptbahnhof and is about to call at the Landesmuseum tram stop.
Manchester, United Kingdom : 20th July, 2015
Manchester's Metrolink keeps expanding. The latest line, branching from the East Didsbury line, takes trams through Wythenshawe to terminate at the International Airport alongside the main line trains which make the largest airport in the UK outside the London area well served by public transport
Manchester Airport. The line opened one year earlier than anticipated and below budget - quite some achievement in terms of British tramways. This has allowed Manchester to proceed with the next stages of planned expansion, with a line from Salford Quays to the Trafford Centre retail complex now in final design stage. The tram above is showing as running to Cornbrook. In the summer of 2015 the Metrolink network was split into to parts with the central section between Market Street and Deansgate-Castlefield closed to allow a major reconstruction of St Peter's Square for the junction with the new "second" city crossing, currently under construction. The new link is required to relieve the original link through the city following the improvement of frequencies on existing lines and the addition of new lines to the network. The Deansgate-Castlefield stop has recently reopened after substantial reconstruction including the installation of a new platform. However, due to pressure of infrastructure here, the Airport line is being terminated at Cornbrook, where shuttle buses are being provided for onward travel into the city centre. Whilst the link through the city centre will be restored later in the year, Airport services are expected to continue to terminate at Cornbrook until the new city crossing is opened.  
Strasbourg, France : 11th - 13th June, 2015
When Gordon Stewart last visited Strasbourg in 1996, the Alsatian city was beginning to benefit from its starter tram line from Baggersee to the main station. A lot has happened in the intervening years and the city which is home to the European Parliament now has an extensive tramway network with very attractive frequencies and excellent passenger numbers.
Strasbourg is a popular tourist destination because of its magnificent setting on an island in the river Ill and featuring attractive historical architecture including the fairy-tale like timber framed buildings in the Petite France area and the impressive cathedral which is thought to once have been the tallest structure in Europe. Trams have played a major role in allowing the city to become highly pedestrianised and traffic-calmed. Although the many tourists who now take the popular boat trips around the city get to see the imposing glass structures of the highly-modernistic European Parliament buildings, perhaps many miss the equally impressive classical buildings in the city, particularly at Place de la Republique. Republique is a very busy tramway interchange set out in a grand style. The photo above shows one of the original batch of British-built low-floor trams passing the National and University Library on Place de la Republique, heading north on the line to Hoenheim with the more recent branch to Robertsau, passing the European Parliament buildings. More development is on the way with a start on linking the German town of Kehl, which lies on the opposite bank of the River Rhein into the network.  
Stuttgart, Germany : 9th - 11th June, 2015
Stuttgart has completed its transition from metre-gauge street tramway to standard-gauge Stadtbahn in a process which took over 30 years and has ended up with one of the most exemplary transit systems around.
Stuttgart is not standing still after so many years of upheaval and investment. Expansion is still anticipated and the latest route is that to Hallschlag which left the existing network at Lowentor (above). Hallschlag is only a temporary terminus, however. Work is underway to link the line with the Muhlhausen / Remseck line and provide the latter communities with two routes into the city centre.   
Turin, Italy : 17th - 20th April, 2015
Despite long-held plans for a metro system and the opening in stages of the first automated light metro (VAL) line, the tramway network has remained remarkably consistent over time. Some lines have fallen victim to metro construction and more recently to the routing of mainline rail tracks underground around Porta Susa, but tracks have been retained and there is the prospect that some lines might be restored. Attempts have been made to upgrade the tramways and some extensions have been constructed, but rolling stock shortages have always constrained growth and despite the arrival of new "Cityway" trams at the beginning of the century, much old rolling stock remains.
Turin is a city of magnificent architecture with fine buildings wherever you look. With the metro not penetrating the city centre, there is still plenty of tramway activity despite a plethora of buses and cars and the opportunity to see traditional trams running through collonaded porticos such as here at  Piazza Vittorio Veneto. Cars from the city's extensive historical collection are used most of the year on a hourly-served one-way loop around the city on Saturdays, Sundays and holidays as a tourist attraction, but what is remarkable about Line 7 is that it can be used freely as part of the regular transport system within the standard fare structure.     
St Etienne, France : 11th March, 2015
St Etienne is one of three French tramways which survived from the "first generation" of systems and like the other two was basically a single line. Although the city has not embarked on any major expansion, it has made extensions to the existing line and built a branch to the main station. An intensive service is maintained with frequent trams running along primarily tram and pedestrian only streets in a north-south direction through the city centre and on reserved alignments elsewhere.
St Etienne's main north-south tram alignment is traffic-calmed and allows for a fast and frequent service through the heart of the city. 925 is seen heading southbound on Rue Charles de Gaulle approaching the Jean Jaures tram stop.
Lyon, France : 9th and 10th March, 2015
More new developments to report from Lyon including one complete new line, one new line opened as a branch from an existing service and  a further extension through a rapidly developing area close to the city centre to the south of Gare Perrache

Lyon has been actively developing its tram system and since the last review of the network. a complete new line (T4) has been built, from Gare Part Dieu to Hopital Feyzin Venissieux. Route T1 has been extended from Montrochet back to the eastern side of the Rhone to connect with the Metro at Debourg. The line serves the enormous redevelopment projects in the peninsula at the confluence of the Rhone and Saone, including new regional government offices, commercial developments and the prestige Museum of the Confluence. A new line, T5, has been introduced, partially duplicating line T2 and including a new branch to Eurexpo. The Rhone-Express rapid tram link to Lyon's St-Exupery Airport has now been completed. It shares its route with urban tram line T3 for much of its length with only a limited number of stops. The distinctive red trams terminate at Gare Part Dieu.
Above : View back towards Part Dieu from the Manufacture Montluc tram stop as the new T4 carves a route south through the city 
Geneva, Switzerland : 7th, 8th and 12th March, 2015
Since the last review of Geneva in 2007, the Swiss city has constructed routes to Bernex and to the CERN atomic research centre (with a branch into Meyrin). The two new routes have been linked by a new connection through the city centre, bringing trams to the central interchange at Bel-Air 
The new route to the CERN scientific research centre follows a long virtually straight alignment from the city centre via the Rue de Servette and the Route de Meyrin and almost reaches the international border with France. The above image view shows the view back to the city centre from Meyrin Village. 

Manchester, United Kingdom : 30th September, 2014
A return to the UK's premier tramway network to see how the Manchester Metrolink, a system which exhibits both light-railway and tramway features, has converted a former railway line to the neighbouring towns of Oldham and Rochdale and re-routed part of the new line through central Oldham
Union Street in Oldham runs closely parallel to the old railway alignment linking Manchester with Rochdale, but the newly-converted Metrolink line now follows this new route through Oldham and shows distinct tramway features albeit with high level platforms. The new Oldham Central stop is in the background in the photo above.  
Edinburgh, United Kingdom : 13th September, 2014
A look at the recently-opened tram line in Scotland's capital city which overcame much political controversy, disputes with building contractors, a change of planned operator and massive cost overruns to open many years behind the originally expected schedule. On several occasions it was feared that the project would be cancelled outright, but the western half of the originally planned first line has been completed and, since opening on May 31st 2014, has been a reasonable success even without the major re-casting of bus services, some of which appear to provide competition along some of the line and on end-to-end journeys.
Edinburgh's main street, Princes Street, has a tram service at long last, despute rails being laid, lifted and relaid in what was an almost farcical management of a major public infrastructure project. To keep ballooning costs to a minimum, the line was only built to York Place, two stops beyond Princes Street tramstop (above). Another cost cutting measure can be seen in the surrounding street. Unlike the majority of new tramways around Europe and the world in general, no attention was paid to street "beautification" and very little to traffic calming measures. Princes Street remains a bustling street, clogged with numerous buses and taxis and with pedestrians kept to the old uneven pavements alongside the highway  
Cologne, Germany : 18th June, 2014
A brief visit covering only the short surface stretch between Rudolfplatz and Heumarkt - the only surface line crossing the city centre. Cologne's large tram and underground "Stadtbahn" network was covered in some detail in 2001. 
The central area tram stop at Neumarkt is on the only remaining surface line though central Cologne. A large number of lines funnel into this route making it extremely busy. A new north - south underground tram line is currently under construction and now partially opened after severe delays following the collapse of a museum building above the tunneling work, but it seems that this east - west route will remain above ground for the foreseeable future. 
Dusseldorf, Germany : 17th, 19th and 20th June, 2014
A look at central Dusseldorf before the opening of the "Wehrhahn" Line, the second and long-awaited underground route through the city centre. Unlike the first Stadtbahn line and in a change to original plans, this has been built for low-floor trams, allowing the existing tram routes, which have in recent years been so re-equipped, to funnel into the tunnel between Bilk and Am Werhahn via Graf Adolf Platz, Heinrich-Heine-Allee, and Schadowstrasse. Also covered are the route to Bilk Kirche and the recent extension from there to Mediahafen plus  the route to Benrath and views at Kaiserswerth (Klemensplatz). 
Time is running out for the surface tram line alongside Dusseldorf's historic Altstadt. The tunnel for the future Heinrich-Heine-Allee station on the proposed Wehrhahn line was built here when the first underground route was under construction. The rest of the tunnel is now built and being fitted out and this iconic view northwards on Hunsruckenstrasse where the trams run southbound (northbound trams being on the parallel Breite Strasse and Heinrich-Heine-Allee) will soon be consigned to the history books.
Rotterdam, Netherlands : 22nd - 25th May, 2014
When Tramscape last visited in 1985, the tram system was looking somewhat down at heel and despite some new extensions, such as to the Beverwaard housing development, investment was being concentrated on to the metro system. In recent years, the tram network has been completely upgraded. 
The networks north and south of the river have been linked again via the new Ersamus Bridge and an extensive inner-city network survives as the city itself modernises once more with gleaming high-rise blocks creating a thoroughly modern environment in parts, but despite the enormous destruction at the beginning of World War II, a remarkable amount of traditional streetscape survives. Alstom Citadis trams in two (very slightly different) series provide all the services. The photo above shows the scene at Beurs. The Erasmus Bridge is in the middle distance.
Toulouse, France : 3rd May, 2014
France's fourth largest city agglomeration embarked on a driverless mini-metro construction programme which has given it an excellent two-line system. Trams then came on to the agenda, but recent mayoral elections returned a new incumbent promising to end further tramway development in favour of a third metro line.        
An extensive network of "first generation" trams finally disappeared in 1957, but the rapid growth of Toulouse, powered by the aerospace industry meant that an all-bus solution increasingly became seen as inadequate. A strong city mayor pushed for and achieved a two-line "VAL" mini-metro system, the concept being accepted in 1983 and the first line opening in 1993. Line 2 followed in 2007. There is an interchange between the two lines at Jean-Jaures station, close to the city's historic core. The focus shifted to tramways, partially because of the high cost of metro construction and by December 2010, line T1 was opened, linking the developing north-western communities of Beauzelle and Blagnac (see photo above at Place Georges Brassens) to the city proper and terminating at Arenes metro station for transfers onward to the city centre. Tram line T1 was extended towards the southern side of the city centre, reaching Palais de Justice and the new track was opened for service in December 2013. Most passengers still change at Arenes because the trams do not penetrate into the historic city centre, but passenger numbers on the new extension have been encouraging. A short branch from line T1 is currently under construction to serve Toulouse-Blagnac airport and a recent change of political power in the city threatens future development of the tram network.    
Montpellier, France : 2nd, 4th and 5th May, 2014
Much has happened in the four and a half years since Tramscape's 2009 visit, with a complete new line crossing the city and a loop around the inner southern suburbs adding to the network in this progressive Mediterranean city 
Four tram lines now converge in front of Montpellier's St Roch station, with the latest line 3 approaching along Rue de la Republique (see photo above)  and a new line 4 inaugurated with the intention to create a future inner-city loop line using these tracks opened on April 7th 2012. The opening of the new lines resulted in a reorganisation of the former two-line network in the inner city areas and now both lines 1 (opened July 2000) and 2 (December 2006) share tracks between St Roch and Corum, both serving the main city stop at Comedie. Rather then just the blue-liveried trams of line 1, this attractive square now sees the brightly-coloured red, yellow, green and orange floral design of line 2 - and a highly frequent service with it now uncommon to have no tram in or approaching the platforms in daytime hours. This set of photos follows lines 3 and 4 and records the new colours abounding in the city centre which now include the two new designs chosen for the new lines. Montpellier is not stopping there as more construction is now in the pipeline to complete the loop around the old-city, but new leaders in the city hall have called for a proposed line in the city's north-west to be reviewed as financial constraints take hold.  
Paris, France : 27th March, 2014
New tramway line T7 has opened since the last visit a year ago - and the first new generation tramway has been upgraded and, more recently, extended since Tramscape's first visit to line T2 in 1997
Tramway development continues unabated as the communities in the Ile-de-France region expand their populations rapidly. Tramway line T7 was opened in November 2013 and is basically a southern extension of metro line 7 from the community of Villejuif (see photo above) to Orly Airport and on to Athis-Mons on the airport's southern perimeter (11.2 km - 7 miles in total). The line passes the enormous food market and logistics handling area at Rungis and a number of developing commercial areas and despite the apparent lack of dense residential developments, there is still healthy traffic on the new line and an impressively frequent service - and plans are in place to extend the line in the south to connect with the RER regional metro at Juvisy. The photographs also cover tram line T2 which when opened was Paris' first new generation tramway - a tentative conversion of a lightly used railway line. The concept has been a massive success - it has been extended to provide interchange with the equally successful line T3 (now circling much of the city of Paris proper) at Porte de Versailles and at its northern end from la Defense to Pont de Bezons. The area covered has been subject to much development and traffic numbers are impressive and crush loads common, despite new rolling stock being introduced to allow the operation of coupled tram sets 
Reims, France : 24th-26th March, 2014
Another new second generation French tramway - with the points already in place for extensions. However, a recent change in the city's mayor office has called further developments into question. Reims is a relatively small city and whatever their merits, tramways are expensive to build and maintain and this can be controversial.
Reims chose a ground-contact power collection system for its city centre tram line primarily so as to protect views of the historic cathedral from the clutter of overhead wires and supporting columns (as at the Langlet tram stop shown above). The design of the ends of the Alstom Citadis cars was reputedly inspired by the shape of the flutes used for drinking Champagne, the sparkling wine inextricably associated with the region around Reims, where a number of producers' cellars are located and open to the public. Trams are painted in a variety of colours in an attempt to brighten up the city's environment rather than reflect any corporate image. Points have already been installed at Opera and Comedie in anticipation of two new branches to the tramway which opened in 2011. It is not certain that the proposed new east-west line will proceed, but if it does, the provisions made mean that the existing route will not need to be disruped to allow it to be connected the tracks through Rue Vesle. The normal service on Route A is 8 trams per hour augmented by the less frequent trams on line B which duplicate the route for most of its length before branching off to serve the Champagne High Speed Train (TGV) station located in open ground to the south of the city in Bezannes territory. On opening, line B terminated at Gare Centre but has since been extended to Neufchatel.  Trams on line B are timed with respect to connecting with high-speed trains calling at Gare Champagne TGV.


Murcia, Spain : 29th November, 2013
75 views in a southern Spanish city which only had a short experience of trams but has now decided to bring them back in a big way
Modern trams run along modern alignments on two radial routes originating at the northern edge of the city centre which afford lots of space for tram stops and tracks. The city has big plans for more lines. The first objective is to penetrate the city centre along Gran Via and link in with the railway station which lies to the south of the centre. Further routes are planned to intersect at the station giving good coverage in all directions. The photo is taken on Avenida Juan Carlos I on the section of route which was originally built as a short demonstration line - a magnificent advert for a modern tramway, which offered free rides throughout and convinced the public and the authorities to proceed with the tramway project

Alicante / Alacant, Spain : 27th and 30th November, 2013
135 views in this Spanish Mediterranean city where trams have been revived with two new urban routes and where a coastal light railway leading to popular coastal resorts such as Benidorm has been upgraded to modern light rail standards. Both systems share tracks in the city area and run through to the main railway station in a tunnel underneath the central area.
Trams on the city routes and tram-trains on the interurban route now share a tunnel bringing services right into the heart of the city and provide a modern and efficient service for local travellers and tourists alike. Along with other Spanish cities, much money has been spent on transport infrastructure in recent years - and despite a temporary halt due to the severe economic downturn in Spain, more developments are planned
Blackpool, United Kingdom : 14th September, 2013
77 views along the promenade in central Blackpool of the newly modernised line operated by new Bombardier Flexity-2 trams
Those who knew Blackpool would hardly recognise the transformation which has taken place in recent times. A complete renovation of the tracks, tram stops, electrical equipment and a brand new depot - and new articulated trams to replace the old fleet, many of which dated back to the 1930s. These photos show the "new" tramway along the "old" route on Blackpool's sea-front
Manchester, United Kingdom : 5th June, 2013
Coverage of the Droylesden branch and the recently opened extension to East Didsbury as well as views in central Manchester

Manchester 2013.jpg

Manchester's Metrolink is growing rapidly. 2013 saw the opening of the line from Piccadilly to Droylsden, passing through the Eastlands redevelopment area, where several large sports facilities have been built, including the Etihad Stadium, built for the Commonweath Games and now home of Manchester City FC.  On May 23rd a further extension was opened - from St Werburgh's Road to East Didsbury on a long-abandoned former railway alignment. The photo above shows tram 3023 inbound at Didsbury Village. Close to St Werburgh's Road, construction works can be seen for the line to Manchester Airport via Wythenshawe and the Droylsden line is due to be extended to Ashton-under-Lyne shortly. With the former heavy rail line to Rochdale via Oldham now open as a Metrolink service, the network has expanded greatly. A new alignment through Oldham town centre is due soon and a short extension from Rochdale Railway Station to the town centre will improve the service even further. Hoardings at St Peter's Square in the city centre refer to the second city crossing - a new link beteween the Square and Victoria Station to relieve the busy tracks through the city via Market Street and Shudehill which will become even busier as the new lines come on stream - and twin-set trains become standard on the Altrincham and Bury lines


Bremen, Germany : 22nd - 24th May, 2013
Full network coverage of this progressive but entirely surface operating big-city tramway

Bremen 2013.JPG

Modern trams slink their way through the historical areas of central Bremen and serve all sides of this former Hanseatic port city in an exemplary street-based network. The system is growing and the final phase of the line to Mahnsdorf Bahnhof, opened earlier in the year, is only the latest of a number of new extensions to be opened


Paris, France : 15th April 2013
featuring two of the major route extensions inaugurated since the 2007 visit - around the southern and eastern edges of the city proper and the westwards extension from St Denis to Genevilliers

Paris 2013.JPG

With such a dense underground railway (Metro) network in the city of Paris and a regional express railway (RER) bringing suburban commuter lines into and through the city centre, it is easy to think that there would be no role for trams in Paris. That was the thinking when the city's system closed, but it was one which was reversed when the mode was deemed ideal for tangential routes, linking the outer points of the metro network and bringing much-needed high capacity links in the city's burgeoning suburbs. This philosophy had already been put into practice when Tramscape visited in 2007 and by the next visit ten years later, extensions were in full swing, including the beginning of a circumferential route around the inner edge of the city proper. This route has now been extended the complete the southern side of the city (see photo above), run around the east and terminate in the north. As well as linking numerous metro routes, it caters for significant amounts of local traffic. Now so long, route 3 has been divided into A and B routes to help operational efficiency. This photo series also covers the extension of line T1 from its erstwhile western terminus as St Denis Gare to Genevilliers, providing interchange with the RER at Genevilliers and the extended Metro at the current new terminus at Genevilliers (Les Courtilles).  Tramway development is not stopping there - and there is already an extension to line T2 at La Defense which awaits coverage.


Orleans, France : April 12th - 13th 2013
This historic French city built two tram lines in double quick time. Line B features ground current collection in the city centre where the tram line passes the cathedral.

Orleans Jeanne dArc.JPG

Orleans (France) was a pleasant surprise. It was no surprise however that, along with many other French cities which had been tramless for 50 years, two long new lines had been built in double quick time in the 21st century. It was good to see that the new system had been well-designed, was providing an extremely frequent service, appeared to be well-used and clearly had had a major effect on calming road traffic. Much of the city centre is now either pedestrianised or with restricted car access. Orleans also has a number of fine architectural masterpieces and imposing classical street frontages. With line B in planning and the tracks planned to run along Rue Jeanne d'Arc to the city's cathedral (see photo above) it was decided to implement a ground-collection system for the electric current to eliminate the need for wires and, potentially, poles. The system had been successful in Bordeaux and was specified so as to protect the view along Rue Jeanne d'Arc and also Rue des Carmes and Rue Porte Madeleine as the line transverses the city centre from east to west. The photos show how the tram (especially in its sandy-coloured livery) can fit unobtrusively into a sensitive historical environment. In this view at Place de Gaulle, where lines A and B cross, the wires for line A can be seen immediately above the tram. Perhaps line A was built just too soon for the ground collection system to be specified to protect the vistas in Rue de la Republique and Rue Royale. Nevertheless, the overhead collection is unobtrusive and the Orleans system is a fine example of the new generation of French tramways.


Den Haag, Netherlands : March 23rd - 27th 2013
The Dutch administrative capital is perhaps not as well known for its trams as nearby Amsterdam, but it has an enormous traditional street tramway and now a short tram subway in the city centre. It is also benefiting from the so-called Randstad Rail project, bringing upgraded light rail to the city

Den Haag 2013.JPG

Alstom low-floor light rail vehicles now run through Den Haag, mainly on shared track with the existing tramways, but on also special reserved tracks to and through the modern sattelite development at Zoetermeer. Part of the route is shared with high-platform trains serving neighbouring city Rotterdam's metro which has been extended to Den Haag Centraal Station. The futuristic station pictured above is on an elevated alignment through the modern office developments of the Beatrixkwartier close to Den Haag CS which is for light rail only. Nothwithstanding Randstad Rail developments, there are on-going extensions to the traditional network, the latest under construction being in the nearby city of Delft which is undergoing an enormous expansion away from its picturesque and historic core.


Dublin, Ireland : February 13th - 14th 2013
Catching up on recent extensions to the Red Line, to the Point (O2 Arena) in the east and the community of Saggart in the west and adds the westen branch to Tallaght and additional photography on the core Red line to the photos taken in 2005

Dublin 2013.JPG

It had long been planned to extend the Red line eastwards to the entrance to the commercial docks where the O2 Arena is situated. The route, along George's Dock (see photo above), Mayor Street Lower and Upper and terminating in Castleforbes Road, passes through old docklands areas now partially redeveloped as an International Financial Area. The recent economic depression which hit both Ireland and the Financial sector hard has meant that the route is not as busy as originally hoped, but with economic conditions improving, the long term value of the link will be realised. Traffic on the extension to Saggart at the western end of the route has also been disappointing. New housing areas created on the edge of the city during the times of the boom, which in terms of the Irish housing market approximated a construction bubble, have not filled to the level expected. Dublin is pressing ahead with tramway development despite government budgetary cuts which have seen the cancellation of more ambitious projects such as Metro North and Metro West and a rail tunnel under the city centre linking Heuston and Connolly Stations. The Green Line which currently terminates at St Stephen's Green will be extended northwards through the city centre and a nre bridge over the River Liffey is under construction for the southbound tracks of the forthcoming line.


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