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Low-floor car of the Flexity Berlin series . The world's first electric tram operated in the community of Groß Lichterfelde, which is now part of Berlin
Tatra - T3 - double traction in Prague . The Tatra T3 was the most commonly built type of tram.
Four generations of railcars for the Viennese tram
An Essen NF2 in the Frohnhausen loop
On the day of the suspension, a tram stops at the Mülheim (Ruhr) -Styrum train station , the sign already indicates that the stop is the only bus stop.
Interior of a car in Darmstadt
Interior of the Dortmund tram around 1930 - Show Panorama
Als Kugelpanorama

A tram , also tram or (in Austria and Switzerland) also Tramway or short the ( Germany and Austria ), respectively, the ( Switzerland ) tram , is a rail-bound , almost always with electrical energy powered public passenger transport means in city traffic , which of the specific conditions Road traffic is adapted.

Due to the common practice in the early days with draft animals ( horse-drawn tram ), which required a solid, unobstructed surface, the tracks had to be built into the road surface. For this reason and for reasons of space in the densely built-up urban area, classic tram routes still often run in public streets. However , they have been further developed in various ways as inner-city means of transport or as an intercity tram . The relocation of routes on their own railway tracks or in tunnels increased the travel speed. Such systems are often referred to as light rail vehicles, especially if the trains also travel through tunnels ( underground trams ), the distinction is fluid. Tram-Train systems relate, mostly outside urban areas, railway lines one, they therefore usually use standard gauge and the locomotives are for different superstructure dimensions and driving line voltages and power frequencies equipped. They connect suburbs with city centers or open up the area around the cities.


Logo used in several German cities
Stop marking in Poland
"Bönnsche Bimmel" in Bonn

The word tram is used to describe both the entire system or the network, colloquially also an individual vehicle . It is a short form of the outdated term street railway , analogous to the street railway commonly used in British English .

In Germany and Switzerland, alternatively tram or a short tram use, in Vienna Tramway, tram or Bim . It is called the tram in Germany and Austria, but the tram in Switzerland. The word “Tram” is of German origin and means “bar” (cf. “der Trämel”). A track-guided rail system used in mining and based on slotted beams came from Germany to England in the 15th century, where the term “tramway” developed in general for track-guided railways. The term found its way from English to other languages. Tramway was previously known in the German-speaking area, so it was sometimes referred to as a steam tramway or a horse-drawn tramway . Another name is electrical . The respective line number is often used as a designation, so the 5 or 5 can mean both a train on line 5 and the line itself. A very special designation has become established in Vienna for a few lines, the trains on lines D and O are called D-Wagen and O-Wagen, generalized all Viennese tram lines with letters as the line designation would be colloquially added the suffix -wagen, accordingly for example A-car, J-car, etc.

In addition, there are a number of regional, colloquial or dialect names. So Bim ( onomatopoeic , Austrian) in Vienna , Graz and Linz common name for the tram, it is the abbreviation of the southern German or Austrian designation tourist train . Bimmeln means the driver of a tram train pressing the loud doorbell . The former freight tram in Vienna was officially called Güterbim . A similar term is Bimmel, in Bonn, for example, there was a Bönnsche Bimmel party car . In the tram poses is in the local dialect of Bimba spoken (Pl. Bimby). The abbreviation in Dresden was often bell . The Hong Kong tram is also known colloquially as Ding Ding . In Ravensburg, on the other hand, people spoke of the mill , this nickname referring to the typical driving switches of older railcars that looked like the crank of a coffee grinder .

The Darmstadt tram is also called Ellebembel , in Stuttgart there is the dialect name Strambe or Strampe ; the Heilbronn tram was popularly known as the Spatzenschaukel , while the Offenbach tram is sometimes called Knochemiehl ( bone mill ) and the Freiburg tram is called Hoobl ( planer ). In Munich in the 1920s, people spoke of the Stangerlwagen , referring to the distinctive pantographs of the vehicle generations of that time. In Basel it is called Drämmli in the local dialect . Alternative German abbreviations are Straba or Strab . Other colloquial variants are fatigue train , spark carriage and spark chaise .

In Innsbruck and Vienna, the last tram ride before the nightly break is called the blue one. This is because the line signal of the last set was highlighted in blue. In numerous German and Swiss cities, the last trip at night is called a rag picker , see also the struck line .

Statutory Regulations


Trams are defined in Germany in Section 4, Paragraph 1 of the Passenger Transport Act and operated in accordance with the Ordinance on the Construction and Operation of Trams (BOStrab), which distinguishes them from the railways that are subject to the Railway Construction and Operating Regulations (EBO). This separation is based on the different operational requirements of trams, whose trains usually take part in public road traffic , must run on sight and, for example, have direction indicators (blinkers), and on railways, where trains run at higher speeds and larger masses, especially on a special track run, controlled by signals. Mixed operation with tram vehicles on railway lines and vice versa requires compliance with both regulations, unless special permits are granted by the supervisory authorities. Such systems are usually referred to as tram-train systems. According to the BOStrab, the drivers and drivers of tram cars are referred to as driving staff . Their training is carried out by teaching staff and the examination by the operations manager or an employee of the respective tram company commissioned by him. The drivers are then to be retrained at regular intervals.


In Austria trams apply according to § 1 Z. 1 lit. c) Railway Act 1957 (EisbG) as railways. In § 5 EisbG the following are defined as trams:

"(1) Trams are railways intended for public transport within a place (local trams), namely:
1. Road-dependent railways,
a) whose structural and operational facilities are at least partially in the traffic area of ​​public roads and
b) on which rail vehicles are at least partially use the traffic area on public roads and adapt their operation to the nature of road traffic;
2. Road-independent railways, on which rail vehicles only run on their own track structure, such as elevated and underground railways, suspension railways or similar railways of a special design.
(2) Railways intended for public transport between several neighboring locations are deemed to be trams if, due to their structural or operational facilities or the type of traffic to be handled on them, they essentially correspond to local trams.
(3) Catenary omnibuses are considered to be trams, unless they are liable for damage during the operation of a catenary motor vehicle, even if in connection with fixed railway technical facilities. "

The more detailed provisions on operation, systems, vehicles, signals and the like are regulated on the basis of Section 19 (4) of the Railway Act of the Federal Minister for Science and Transport on the construction and operation of trams (Tram Ordinance 1999 - StrabVO) .

Insofar as no other responsibility arises from the Railway Act, the governor is responsible as the authority according to Section 12 (2) EisbG “for all matters relating to trams including traffic on trams” . In public road traffic ("Streets with public traffic"), trams are also subject to the provisions of the Road Traffic Act 1960 (StVO), which means that, among other things, you must drive on sight. Also, not all crossings are secured with St. Andrew's crosses in accordance with the level crossing ordinance. According to § 28 StVO, rail vehicles are preferred road users with special privileges:

“(1) The drivers of rail vehicles are exempt from complying with the road police regulations insofar as compliance with these regulations is not possible because these vehicles are tied to tracks.
(2) Unless otherwise stipulated in the provisions of § 19 Paragraphs 2 to 6 on priority [this is particularly left-hand priority], other road users must leave the tracks as quickly as possible in order to accommodate the rail vehicle when a rail vehicle is approaching close; When stopping on the tracks, the drivers must remain in the vehicle during the operating hours of the rail vehicles in order to be able to meet this obligation. The tracks must not be crossed immediately before and immediately after a rail vehicle drives past. Floor markings for classifying vehicles in front of intersections must be observed regardless of the provisions of this paragraph. Thresholds or similar structural facilities that are attached along tracks must not be driven over. "

In the case of special labeling attached to the tension wires of the overhead line, trams may be permitted in accordance with Section 53 Paragraph 1 StVO, Z. 10a. turn on yellow or red ("TRAM TURNS IN ON YELLOW OR RED"). If necessary, separate red and yellow traffic lights will be installed at bus stops or critical points with an increased risk of accidents. In addition, rail vehicles are exempt from the obligation to enable pedestrians, roller skaters and cyclists who are on a protective path or a cyclist crossing or who want to use it to be able to recognize it, to cross the lane unhindered and safe (see § 9 Paragraph 2 StVO) .


General provisions

In Switzerland there is no separate legislation, all public rail transport is subject to the Railway Act (EBG). This uses the word “trams” only once in Art. 6 Para. 4, where it is stipulated that the use of the roads must be based on cantonal law. The ordinances and national driving regulations stipulate that sections of a railway can be signaled as a tram. For the driver of the rail vehicle, this means that he must also adhere to the regulations of the Road Traffic Act. Art. 48 rules for trams of the Road Traffic Act (SVG) , states: "The traffic rules of this law also apply to rail vehicles on roads, as far as this is possible with regard to the special features of these vehicles, their operation and the rail systems." Signals for the driver can be found in the Signalisationsverordnung (SSV) .

Right of way

In general, the following applies: The rail vehicle has the right of way over all other road users (Art. 38 SVG). This also applies to pedestrians on pedestrian crossings (Art. 47 VRV). Stopping on tram rails is prohibited (Art. 25 VRV).

Exceptions: If the train travels on a side street, the road users of a crossing main street are allowed to enter (Art. 45 VRV). Vehicles of the blue light organizations are also given right of way over rail traffic (Art. 45 VRV).


The Israeli standard SI 5350, which became binding for light rail vehicles in 2005, corresponds to the English translation of the German BOStrab . This means driving on sight (§ 49 SI 5350, translated from § 49 BOStrab) and the technical signaling is translated from Appendix 4 to BOStrab (SI 5350). This standard is used for the Jerusalem light rail system .


As a rule, tram networks are operated by municipal or private transport companies, and it is not uncommon for them to be mixed supply and disposal companies such as municipal utilities . In the early days of the electric tram, the power station and tram company often formed an entrepreneurial unit in order to use synergy potential . Many cities introduced electric street lighting at the same time as the electric tram . The tram companies are mostly also responsible for the local bus and - if available - trolleybus traffic . In the states of the former Soviet Union in particular , on the other hand, only trams and trolleybuses are often grouped together - these company names usually end with -elektrotrans for electric transport - while another company is responsible for bus transport. In certain exceptional cases, state railways also act as tram operators. Examples for this are:

Another special feature in this regard were the so-called state trams in the Dresden region. There the Free State of Saxony in the form of the Royal Saxon State Railways was the owner, but outsourced the operation to Dresdner Straßenbahn AG as a subcontractor. This concerned the Lößnitzbahn , the Plauensche Grundbahn , the suburban railway Loschwitz – Pillnitz , the Bühlauer Außenbahn and the suburban railway Cotta – Cossebaude .

Sometimes the term “tram” still appears as a company name, although they have not operated rail transport for decades. Examples are the Hanauer Straßenbahn GmbH (HSB, since 1944 only bus), the Celler Straßenbahn GmbH (since 1956 only bus), the tram Herne-Castrop-Rauxel GmbH (since 1959 only bus), the Aachener Straßenbahn and Energieversorgungs-AG ( ASEAG, since 1974 only bus), Hagener Straßenbahn AG (since 1976 only bus) and Vestische Straßenbahnen GmbH (VESTISCHE, since 1982 only bus).


Vehicle construction

Development of vehicles

Railcar 8 of the FOTG in the Transport Museum Frankfurt am Main , the world's oldest preserved electric tram railcar
Munich tram conductor (1917)
One of the two poles of the power supply via the slotted pipe contact line on the FOTG railcar

In the early days of the electric tram, unusual techniques were used for power supply. On the Mödling – Hinterbrühl local line near Vienna and the first commercially used electric tram in Germany, the Frankfurt-Offenbacher Trambahn-Gesellschaft (FOTG), pantographs and overhead lines of the later common designs were not yet used. Instead, a system consisting of a two-pole contact line in copper pipes with a small diameter and a slot on the underside ( slotted pipe contact line) was used for these two railways . In this two contact carts ran , which were pulled by the railcar. Direct current of 300 volts was used as the driving current .

The early trams used one or two attached sidecars in addition to the electric, mostly two-axle railcars , and more on cross-country routes. In the first years of electrical operation, the sidecars were often converted from the former horse-drawn tram . Two variants were common: open summer cars and closed cars for year-round operation. The driver's cabs remained open in many cases even after the transition to electrical operation, so that the personnel were still exposed to the weather. At first, only the front was partially glazed; it was only after the First World War that completely closed driver's cabs became established. However, the drivers had to continue to work standing up. The introduction of driver seats and the related redesign of the driver's cabs to seated operation only took place between the 1930s and the 1950s.

The development of the vehicles was shaped by the wishes of the respective tram operators, which the manufacturers followed with the production of individual small series. The often tight spatial conditions in the cities also required special adaptations, from which, for example in Dresden, the front and rear tapered pike wagons were created. The early tramcars often had longitudinal benches with a central aisle, on which the conductor with the gallop-changer typical in some places in Germany collected the fares from the passengers . Conversion of the company to passenger flow , combined with a permanently installed conductor's seat , led to - z. B. Sambawagen called in Hamburg - vehicles with a large recording area in the entry area. In Germany after the Second World War, four-axle open-plan cars with passenger flow were first introduced on the Hamburg tram . With the development of the longer articulated cars , the sidecars were increasingly displaced.

Until the 1950s, a large part of the tram cars were made individually according to the wishes of the respective tram operator, not infrequently in the transport company's own workshop, especially the sidecars. Since the 1930s, there has been a trend towards supra-local standardization in order to reduce manufacturing and maintenance costs. This applies to the American PCC cars of the 1930s, which were also copied outside the USA . In Germany, during the Second World War, the war tram car was developed to replace bomb damage . It was simple but powerful. Since the early 1950s, the Düsseldorfer Waggonfabrik ( Duewag ) has been manufacturing the Duewag standard wagon based on the PCC wagon , which - primarily as a six-axle articulated wagon - was widespread in the Federal Republic of Germany and Austria . This was followed in the 1970s by the type M / N tram from the same company. In the GDR was the LOWA a Einheitswagen developed by VEB Waggon Gotha produced for the streetcar companies both domestically and for export customers. Clinging to rigid-axle two-axle vehicles, however, became an anachronism as early as the 1960s. Later, there was an international standardization of tram production in the countries of the Comecon . The Czechoslovak manufacturer ČKD Tatra delivered vehicles based on the PCC car to most countries in Eastern Europe including the Soviet Union after a license . Further developments from ČKD Tatra were partly exported, and partly the construction of manufacturing companies in partner countries was copied, for example by Konstal in Poland .

Low-floor technology and modular construction

Low-floor sidecar 1300 in the Frankfurt Transport Museum

A low-floor tram built in 1923 was delivered in 1924 by the Uerdingen wagon factory to the Frankfurter Lokalbahn , which used it in suburban traffic on interurban tram routes between Frankfurt and Oberursel and Bad Homburg . From the manufacturer's point of view, this vehicle should generate new orders, but it remained a one-off. It was in operation until December 31, 1954. This car was retired because the BOStrab prescribed the new rail brakes at the time , but the new bogies required for this would have been too expensive. The vehicle is in the Frankfurt Transport Museum . In 1926, the Great Leipzig Tram from Christoph & Unmack in Niesky and WUMAG in Görlitz each acquired a three-car test train consisting of two-axle center-entry cars with a low-floor share of 30 percent. On this basis, a series of center entry sidecars with almost identical dimensions and an entry height of 400 millimeters were delivered in 1929. The associated railcars, built in 1930 and 1931, were four-axle, but without a low-floor entry. The low-floor sidecars were not taken out of service until 1973 because they did not offer any installation space for magnetic rail brakes.

In the 1980s, the systematic development of low-floor technology and the modularization of vehicles began. Because the drive and chassis technology was not that developed at the time, the first vehicles only had a 60 to 70 percent low-floor share in the passenger compartment, as was the case with the first low-floor articulated multiple units (NGT6C) of the Kassel tram . The car parts on the drive bogies were high-floor, which is being reintroduced as a low-entry concept for buses and coaches to save costs. Driveless car parts could be suspended on loose wheel sets (single wheel drives) or as sedan chairs floating freely through adjacent car parts, creating a consistently flat car floor. The electrical equipment was largely housed on the vehicle roof, which henceforth required an increased rigidity of the car body .

Type 68 low-floor sidecar behind a high-floor Tatra open-plan multiple unit type 33c, Leipzig 2017

Since conventional high-floor vehicles were ordered well into the 1990s and tram multiple units had an average service life of 40 years, the tram operators were faced with a problem when converting to low-floor vehicles: a multiple-unit purchased in 1990 would not be ready for retirement until 2030, so that the vehicle fleet would not be available until then would be completely converted to low-floor. However, since an earlier decommissioning of the last high-floor wagons failed financially, the transport companies, in cooperation with the manufacturers, switched to installing a low-floor middle section in their existing high-floor articulated multiple units or converting this so that at least one low-floor entry is available in a three-part train set . New low-floor sidecars (trailers) were procured for large-capacity railcars and two-part articulated railcars such as the Duewag standard car.

Modern vehicles are manufactured by manufacturers such as Bombardier Transportation or Siemens in modular design and can be adapted to local conditions ( standard lane / meter gauge , vehicle width , doors on the right / left / both sides, travel in one or both directions, number of axles, low-floor area). Examples of such vehicle types are Combino , ULF and Variobahn .


The maximum mileage of a wheel tire on the Budapest tram is between 250,000 km ( full articulated vehicle ), 300,000 km ( Tatra T5C5 ) and 500,000 km ( Combino Plus ).


Pneumatic railcar in Paris around 1900

In the first trams, the cars with passengers were pulled by horses . Steam locomotives in the street space were particularly unpopular in large cities. In several cities in the USA , trams were pulled by wire ropes laid in slot tunnels and powered by stationary steam engines. Is the last system of this type, the cable car in San Francisco . With the electric tram of Lichterfelde in Groß- Lichterfelde (a district of Berlin since 1920 ) the electric drive found its way into tram traffic in 1881. The two-pole energy supply on the ground used in Lichterfelde was unsuitable for classic tram operation without a separate track. In the same year Werner von Siemens demonstrated the first tram with overhead lines at the International Electricity Exhibition in Paris in 1881 . His slotted tube overhead line was still fragile, but with the overhead contact wire introduced experimentally in 1884 and in regular operation by Frank Julian Sprague in 1888, a safe and reliable power supply was and is the easiest to achieve.

However, there were aesthetic reservations about overhead lines in several large cities. An alternative solution practiced in Denver (Colorado) from 1885–1888 , then mainly in the New York borough of Manhattan , was underground busbars that could largely be laid in the existing cable tray channels. Among other things, in the city center of Berlin there were lines with accumulators as a source of energy, also in Paris. In Paris, the city center relied on the compressed air drive developed by Louis Mékarski in 1876 . After eleven years of experimentation, pneumatic trams ran in regular operation from 1887 to 1906. There were also gas-powered engines , but the use of internal combustion engines fell in the USA during the decline of trams when the big oil companies began to eliminate electrical competition.

Overall, the overhead line operation prevailed because of its reliability. It was only at the beginning of the 21st century that there were decisive improvements in power storage systems and busbars, so that more and more sections of the route without overhead lines can be found. The first tram vehicles with fuel cells already exist, even if they are not yet being used as planned (as of 2015).

Muscle strength

Horse rides

Horse trams were widespread in the beginning. They were mostly converted to electrical operation or discontinued for economic reasons. This type of drive also included those tracks that were pulled by mules . The so-called perambulator operation was a special form of horse-drawn tram, in which the wagons could also move away from the rails.

An example of the current use as an attraction is the Döbelner tram , which was put back into operation in June 2007 , which runs every first Saturday in the summer months and on special occasions.

Human driven

In Japan at the beginning of the 20th century there were dozens of short commercial routes up to 10 km in length, which were specially built for people to push particularly small and light wagons. Passengers and goods were transported on narrow-gauge tracks of 762 and 610 mm gauge . The first such railway, the Fujieda - Yaizu tramway, was built in 1891, most of which opened before 1910. One connection was shut down as early as 1912 and the rest before 1945, as competing modes of transport prevailed.

Internal combustion engines

Gas engine

The gas engine drive was first tested by Hasse & Co. in Berlin, whose design of a gas locomotive was published as a German patent on December 6, 1877. Many designers at home and abroad began to improve the device, such as Gottlieb Daimler in Cannstatt , the Körting brothers in Hanover and Holt in Manchester . The first practical attempt at a gas-powered tram was made in Melbourne in 1885 . This construction gained its importance through Karl Lührig in Dresden , whose development was published in 1892 and who set up a trial run with five motor vehicles in Dresden. Lührig's patents were taken over by the Deutsche Gasbahngesellschaft in Dessau , which was founded in March 1895 and which was founded following the opening of the Dessau gas railway in 1894. The first longer gas railway went into operation in 1897 between Hirschberg and Warmbrunn with a length of 15.2 kilometers, the Hirschberger Talbahn . High operating costs and frequent repairs to the gas engines led to economic failure, so that in 1899 the gauge changed from standard to meter gauge and in 1900 electrical operation was introduced. The only gas engine railway of note in Germany was in Dessau. The cars required an average of half a cubic meter of gas per car kilometer. In the compression station, the gas was compressed to eight to twelve atmospheres. With one gas filling twelve to sixteen kilometers and more were covered. The refueling process took about two to three minutes.

Petrol engine

For the demonstration and further development of the four-stroke gasoline engine, which he further developed for vehicle use, Gottlieb Daimler operated a gasoline-engine tram with a gauge of 450 millimeters from 1887 to 1899, which ran from his workshop not far from the Kursaal in Cannstatt near Stuttgart through Königstrasse (→ König-Karl- Straße) to Wilhelmsplatz (route of the U2 light rail line). Daimler had tracks and operating facilities built at its own expense. Small, two-axle, open combustion railcars with dos-à-dos longitudinal bench seats were used. The cars took about two minutes to cover the 700-meter route. The train was considered an attraction and enjoyed great popularity among the population, and the drive technology also proved itself, so that the former horse-drawn railway companies Stuttgarter Pferde-Eisenbahnen (SPE) and Neue Stuttgarter Straßenbahnen Lipken & Co. (NSS) soon inquired about the use of combustion engine technology in their vehicles.

Three test vehicles were built and used for partially public test drives on the Stuttgart horse-drawn railway network. The attempts were unsuccessful for various reasons. From 1895, electric traction finally prevailed in Stuttgart. Nevertheless, due to its positive experience with the Cannstatt test track, Daimler was able to receive several orders to set up tourist railways. When the meter-gauge electric Cannstatter tram was built through Königstraße in 1899, the Daimler-Bahn lost its importance and was discontinued. Parts of the vehicle shed have been preserved as a lower lodge in the lower spa gardens and a motor vehicle built in 1894 that is on display in the Mercedes-Benz Museum in Bad Cannstatt.

Diesel engine
Combino-Duo tram car with two-power drive in Ilfeld

The Nordhäuser tram sets since 2004. Two power railcars , the inner-city travel on the rails of the tramway in catenary operation and on the network of an on line 10 Harz narrow gauge railways from a diesel generator are supplied. The route leads right through the inner city of Nordhausen and on to the neighboring town of Ilfeld . Similar, but regular-gauge, two-motor railcars are used on the RegioTram Kassel and the Chemnitzbahn . The meter-gauge tram from Rotterdam to Hellevoetsluis was operated with diesel locomotives .


Direct current with a voltage between 500 and 750  volts is almost always used for the energy supply . The value of the tension chosen varies between companies. There used to be trams in some places that were supplied with three-phase current . Because of the complex two-pole overhead contact line , it was only rarely used and was not used permanently. The drive motors are, however, in many modern cars systems three-phase machines , of the type usually three-phase asynchronous motors . To do this, inverters are used to generate a three-phase alternating current from the direct current, with which the motors are operated. The speed of the motors and thus the driving speed is regulated by changing the frequency. In addition, numerous railcars have direct current series motors, the speed of which is controlled with a direct current controller based on thyristors. In vehicles that were developed up to around 1965, the traction motors are controlled via series resistors, whereby the slip rings used at the beginning were replaced first by cam switches and finally by contactor controls . These vehicles often have two sets of resistors, one on the roof and one under the seats, which takes over the function of vehicle heating in winter. The desire for higher travel speeds led, after experiments with compound circuits, through which coupled multiple units were switched like a single one, to the use of multiple controls also in tram operation.

After the First World War , the traction motors were also used for braking by switching them as generators and converting the induced current into heat in resistors . As a rule, the starting resistors including the car radiator were also used for this. The sidecars were fitted with solenoids that operated the mechanical brakes, which made it easy to implement a train brake that did not work automatically. With the introduction of regenerative rectifier substations from the 1980s, it was also possible to switch to regenerative braking in tram networks .

Before the introduction of the resistance brake, counter-current braking was used, but this was usually only permitted as an emergency braking option in the event of danger.

In Linz around 1980/1990 magnets with pole pieces, which hovered just above the driving shoulders of the rails, were also used for heavy braking. If the electromagnets are supplied with voltage, a current begins to flow which, from a certain strength, is sufficient to pull the 8 pairs of magnetic shoes on each side down to the iron rail against the force of a spring-loaded suspension. Even brief activation of this rail brake caused the noise of the magnetic shoes hitting the ground.

Overhead line

Electricity is mostly supplied by pantographs through overhead lines . Roller pantographs and those with contact strip (s) were and are common.

Overhead conductor rails in the Trachenberge tram station in Dresden (2019)

For aesthetic reasons (renouncing the overhead line), a power take-off from underground busbars was occasionally installed between the two runways, for example on Vienna's Ringstrasse between 1898 and 1915. In Paris, too, various lines and sections were equipped with underground busbars from 1896. In 1899, Julius Weil described seven different systems of underground power supply, mainly developed by German companies (Siemens & Halske, Union Elektrizitätsgesellschaft, Hörder Bergwerks- und Hüttenverein, Eduard Lachmann, La Burt, Schuckert and Rast). Other systems were listed by him without a description.

Since the turn of the millennium, sections have been built again with a power rail located in the middle between the running rails. The conductor rail is divided into individual segments which, for safety reasons, are only live for other road users when they are under a tram passing over them. There are two different systems:

  1. The Alimentation Par Sol (APS) system developed by ALSTOM was initially used on the Bordeaux tramway from 2003 . Other - mostly French - cities followed. In 2013, a total of 43 kilometers of APS lines were in operation. A tram line is under construction in Rio de Janeiro, which will be equipped with APS power rails over a total of 28 kilometers.
  2. The Italian company Ansaldo STS has also developed a similar product. It is called TramWave there . In November 2014, test drives began on a 1.7 km section of Line 1 of the Zhuhai tram, which is under construction .

Above-ground conductor rails (overhead conductor rails) in roofed tram depots, which replace the overhead line there, are also in use today.

Accumulators and capacitors

In the beginning, accumulator railcars were also used, for example in Paris from 1892 in regular service. The disadvantage of the lead-acid batteries available at the time was their high mass, which only permitted low driving performance and impaired the strength of the superstructure , as well as their low mechanical robustness and the acid fumes that occur during charging.

In the 21st century, accumulators (rechargeable batteries ) with improved technology are being installed again, with the help of which it is possible to drive on sections of the route without catenary.

  • When opened in 2007 Nice tramway z. B. on the Place Masséna and the Place Garibaldi on stretches of 435 m and 485 m in length, respectively, the overhead line was dispensed with in order not to impair the historical cityscape. The railcars bridge these sections with the help of batteries.
  • In 2015, the Czech manufacturer Škoda delivered twelve tram sets to the trams in the Turkish city ​​of Konya . They are equipped with batteries, with which a three-kilometer long distance without catenary could be bridged.

This drive technology was further developed within the framework of the super capacitors . They were originally only intended for energy recovery and were first used in 2003 in Mannheim during operation. In the following years, this technology was expanded so successfully that, since 2015, entire tram systems have been planned and operated with it, such as B. in Shenzhen, China .

Wireless power supply

An energy supply system that is being tested is the Primove presented by Bombardier Transportation . It is based on inductive energy transmission instead of overhead lines, and the vehicles are also equipped with batteries for the drive. From September to December 2010, a test run with a converted tram from the Rhein-Neckar-Verkehrsbetriebe took place on an 800-meter-long test track at the Augsburg exhibition center . The advantages of wireless energy transmission are that there is less visual impairment as there are no longer any contact line systems. Disadvantages are the high costs and the poorer efficiency of the wireless energy transmission to the vehicle compared to overhead lines .

Fuel cells

The for CRRC Corporation Limited belonging Sifang Company from the eastern Chinese coastal city of Qingdao has developed a tram vehicle used for the fuel cell is supplied with energy. The fuel cell is operated with hydrogen, which is stored in pressure tanks. Refueling only takes three minutes. One filling can cover a distance of up to 100 kilometers at a top speed of 70 km / h. According to reports from 2017, the first eight models will be used in Foshan .

The French manufacturer Alstom has developed a fuel cell railcar that was first used in public service in 2018.

Other types of drive

Steam and air pressure
"Steam Tram" - here as a museum train in Brno (2006)

In 1870, Louis Mékarski designed a pneumatic drive for trams. In 1876 Mékarski received the concession to operate a tram in Nantes , which began operating in 1879.

Mékarski's main field of activity was the Parisian trams : the first Mékarski cars were used there in 1894. By 1903 a total of ten lines had been converted to compressed air operation. The last Mékarski vehicles were replaced by electric railcars in August 1914. However, such vehicles were used in some other smaller cities in France.

In some places, steam trams were built towards the end of the 19th century , for example when it was not worth building a full-fledged railway. These were mostly operated with special small locomotives and lightweight passenger cars, and the rails were mostly laid in the road surface. Well-known examples are the Neuötting – Altötting steam tram and the Filderbahn line from Degerloch to Hohenheim . The latter ran on steam from 1888 until it was electrified in 1902. In addition, the tram of the Siegener Kreisbahnen should be mentioned, which no longer exists. The Chiemsee Railway (though licensed as a railway) from Prien to Stock gives an impression of the steam trams of that time.

An operational steam tram has been preserved in Bern and is operated as an attraction by Bernmobil historique . From 1890 to 1902, ten tram cars powered by compressed air ran on one line through the historic old town of Bern. At the end of the noughties, a replica of a compressed air tram was also planned for the 120th anniversary, but the implementation failed due to the requirements for approval for passenger transport.

Fireless soda locomotives were an unusual design as a special type of steam storage locomotive , which was used on a trial basis in the mid-1880s on the Aachen tram, as well as in Leipzig and Charlottenburg , and which generated steam using heated caustic soda. This design relieved the driver by the lack of a furnace and was also completely smoke-free in operation. However, it was not able to prevail because the corrosion caused by the caustic soda solution required regular and expensive replacement of the boiler system.

Pull rope
Cable car in San Francisco

Trams with funicular technology are known as cable trams . Only a few are in operation worldwide. The best known are the cable cars in San Francisco , which have been on the road since 1873. Paris also had a cable tram: it ran a steep stretch in the Belleville district from 1891 to 1924. The operator was the Compagnie du Tramway Funiculaire de Belleville .

Inner-city funiculars (with pendulum cabins) are not trams, as they usually run on a highly inclined route reserved for them alone, sometimes even entirely in a tunnel. Examples are the Tünel and the Füniküler Kabataş – Taksim in Istanbul , the Fun'ambule in Neuchâtel (CH) or the Polybahn and Rigiblick cable car in Zurich . The Dorfbahn Serfaus , Tyrol, is rail-guided and rope-pulled as an underground air-cushion railway . In Lisbon , however, three funiculars operate in the street space, two of them with classic tram technology and drive via the wheelsets of the cars.

Gear drive

In contrast to other cog railways, the Stuttgart cog railway operates as a normal urban means of transport mainly in the street space (partly flush with the street, partly on a special track) and every 15 minutes according to the tram construction and operating regulations. Only the Barmer Bergbahn, which ran from 1894 to 1959 in Wuppertal, which also had sections flush with the street, but was always licensed as a railway, was comparable with this .

Security and reporting equipment


Uniform regulations regarding braking systems on trams were only issued at the end of the 19th century. Until then, it was usually left to the respective license to regulate this. Today, at least two independent brake systems are required, at least one of which must function even after the power supply fails. A distinction is made here

  • Service brake (used in normal driving)
  • Emergency brakes (including block and tear-off brakes)
  • Parking brake (brake for or when parking a vehicle).

The electrodynamic brake is the usual service brake and is prescribed in Germany by the tram construction and operating regulations (BOStrab). Here the electric motor itself effects the braking delay by being switched as a generator. In the older form, the short-circuit brake , which is kinetic energy in a resistance converted into heat in modern electro-dynamic braking, the thus obtained electric energy is fed back. In addition, mechanical brakes are used in which the braking force is held either in the form of overpressure as a compressed air brake or spring force as a spring-loaded brake . The mechanical brakes mostly act on the wheels, be it as a drum , disc or block brake . Each car in a train also has at least one brake that can be triggered by the driver. Except for museum vehicles, emergency brakes are also required. In addition, a magnetic rail brake is prescribed in Germany according to the BOStrab . In this case, the braking force is generated by pulling a sanding shoe onto the rail using an electromagnet .

Acoustic signals

In German-speaking countries, the tram bell is so well known that it has even become the tram's nickname in Vienna (the Bim), Leipzig (de Bimmel) and Dresden (de Glocke). For a long time there were actually two bells: The warning bell corresponds to the horn of rail-independent motor vehicles. In addition, a long time had any trams, including the sidecar, at both ends a signal bell , by the conductor by means of a longitudinally guided above head height, by the carriage bell rope could be actuated. This made it possible for the train crew to communicate with each other during operation. With the improvement of electrical communication means, the signal bells have been replaced. A third type of bell rang in the trams manufactured in Eastern Europe: when the central control of the doors was introduced without protective devices such as footboard buttons or light barriers , a piercing ring tone warned passengers before the doors closed electrically.


The beginning of the development in the 19th century

First electric tram in Berlin-Lichterfelde, 1881
Four-axle railcar with pantographs on Alexanderplatz in Berlin, 1903

The development of trams began with the introduction of horse-drawn trams . The first was opened in New York on November 26, 1832 , shortly after the Budweis – Linz – Gmunden horse-drawn railway was opened on August 1, 1832 as the second European mainland railway. Later on, the horse-drawn trams were replaced on individual lines by steam trams . The first tram in Europe was the Montbrison – Montrond interurban tram. Despite the concession for steam traction, it began operating in 1839 with horse power; In 1848 she had to hire him again. Much shorter and even more short-lived was the first Viennese horse tram, which was operated in the vicinity of the Augarten from 1840 to 1842. The first horse-powered tram route in Switzerland went into operation in Geneva in 1862 . The first German horse-drawn tram was opened between Berlin and Charlottenburg in 1865 by the Berlin Horse-drawn Railway , the first German steam tram ran in Cassel from 1877 . Other types of drive (e.g. compressed air or soda ) were also experimented with; The electric drive soon impressed with its performance.

From September 3, 1880, the Russian artillery officer Fyodor Pirozki carried out a test run of several weeks with a converted horse-drawn tram on a short suburban stretch of the Petersburg tram network . It was also reported internationally, but he only pursued it as a hobby and did not pursue it later.

On May 16, 1881, the electric tram Lichterfelde-Kadettenanstalt started trial operations in Lichterfelde near Berlin . The cars built by Werner von Siemens were 4.3 m long and drove a 2.5 km long route at a maximum speed of 20 km / h. The power consumption of the 3.7  kW (5  HP ) motor was carried out via both rails. From 1883 it ran in regular operation between the Prussian main cadet institute in Lichterfelde West and the Lichterfelde train station . In the strict sense, it was not a tram, because the track was on its own route next to the driveways or in open terrain. Entering the track body was prohibited from the start because of the position of both poles of the energy supply on the ground. Julius Weil gave a good overview of the beginning of the tram era in 1899 .

Same goes for Volk's Electric Railway in Brighton . Commissioned on August 4, 1883, it is considered the first electric tram in Great Britain .

1881: The first electric tram with overhead lines

The Siemens & Halske tram; 1881

In 1881 the Exposition d'électricité took place in Paris . To mark the occasion, Siemens & Halske built a 500-meter-long route from the Place de la Concorde to the Palais de l'Industrie. The latter was in place of the Grand Palais. The double-deck vehicle with an open deck could carry 50 people. Power was supplied via slotted pipe contact lines . In Paris it was two brass tubes 22 centimeters in diameter with a six millimeter wide slot at the bottom. Inside each of the tubes was a metal movable body - called a boat - which was connected to the vehicle by cables and pulled along by the moving vehicle. The railway was only in operation for the duration of the exhibition. It was the world's first line with overhead contact lines.

Permanent railways with overhead lines

In Austria, the first electric tram opened on October 22, 1883 between Mödling and Hinterbrühl , it had a symmetrically attached two-pole slotted pipe overhead line and was partially routed in the road surface.

On February 18, 1884, the first regularly operated electric tram with overhead lines in Germany was opened by the Frankfurt-Offenbacher Trambahn-Gesellschaft (FOTG) between the Old Bridge in Frankfurt-Sachsenhausen and Mathildenplatz in Offenbach . The overhead contact line was still a two-pole slotted pipe contact line , and small contact cars attached to it served as pantographs . Part of the historic route is still used by tram 16, but the Frankfurt end of the Alte Brücke in Sachsenhausen was gradually extended via Frankfurt Central Station , Hamburger Allee and Schloßstraße to Ginnheim , while the Offenbach end was closed in 2000 and was replaced by a city bus line.

Electric tram operation in Switzerland began on June 6, 1888 with the first section of the Vevey – Montreux – Chillon tramway .

In the USA , in 1888 , Frank Julian Sprague developed a tram car that obtained its power from an overhead line , and thus built the first successful large-scale electric tram system in Richmond . Gradients of up to 10% were conquered on the hills of Richmond , which proved to be a convincing test stone for use in other cities. Around 1889, 110 electric railways with Sprague equipment were under construction or in the planning stage. Edison , who made Sprague equipment, bought the Sprague Electric Railway & Motor Company in 1890 . Sprague also introduced the classic cab layout with the drive switch on the left and the service brake on the right, as well as the basic position of the drive switch crank on the position "ten to twelve".

Electric street car in Richmond , Virginia in the 1920s
Electric tram across the frozen Neva, around 1900

In April 1891 the first large inner-city electric tram line was opened in Halle an der Saale , with tram cars built by the Allgemeine Elektricitäts-Gesellschaft (AEG) based on the patents of the American Frank J. Sprague. They were equipped with pantographs, a demonstration line based on this system had been operated temporarily the year before on the occasion of the Northwest German Trade and Industry Exhibition . Three more lines were added by June 1891. Halle states that this was the first electric tram network in Europe.

On February 22, 1892, the second oldest still existing electric tram in Germany was opened in Gera . In the same year, permanent electrical operation began in Bremen. Chemnitz , Dresden and Hanover were added in 1893, Hamburg , Dortmund , Erfurt , Gotha and Wuppertal in 1894 , and the Plauen tram started operating.

In 1895 and 1896, the Finnish Shipping Company laid tracks for three electrically operated tram lines on the frozen Neva . You avoided the monopoly of the second joint stock company of horse trams in Saint Petersburg . This operation ended in 1910 with the construction of a new bridge.

Aptitude assessment of tram drivers

In Germany, first aptitude tests were carried out on tram drivers at Hugo Münsterberg's “psychotechnical laboratory” . These examinations were among the first professional aptitude tests in the history of psychology and represent a milestone in the development of traffic psychological diagnostics .

Historic railcar in Gera

Approval in Germany

The term “tram” for rail-bound means of transport in cities is already used in the 1860s, but until at least the end of the 1880s there was no precise definition of the term.

Approvals, concessions and operating regulations for trams in Germany were initially given by local and regional authorities, railway administrations and supervisory authorities, either alone or in joint coordination, although the procedure was locally inconsistent even within a country. The first horse-drawn trams were apparently always willingly approved and the regulations were mostly issued by the police headquarters. They were put more on a par with horse-drawn buses, although it was initially unclear whether they should be viewed as railways or not.

Finally, the Prussian law on small railways and private connecting railways of July 28, 1892, which distinguished three things: railways without machine operation (horse-drawn railways), which were subordinate to regional police authorities; Machine-operated small railways (including trams) that were subject to the Small Railroad Act; and railways that were subject to railway legislation, which in turn was divided into main and secondary lines. The legal text and a commentary on it from 1893 can be found in W. Gleim . In the implementing regulations of 1898, the small railways were differentiated into trams and small railways similar to branch lines. As a result, a boom in light rail and tram construction began in Prussia, as the legal situation now provided for uniform operating regulations and permits that were considerably simplified compared to railways. Inspired by this success, other German countries adopted the basic idea of ​​this legislation.

These regulations also existed in the Weimar Republic . Railway legislation was standardized as early as the 1920s, but it was not until 1937 that the ordinance on the construction and operation of trams , or BOStrab for short, that came into effect across Germany from April 1, 1938 , was passed and earlier laws were repealed. From then on, a distinction was only made between trams on the one hand (which, however, also included underground trains and the Wuppertal suspension railway ) and railways on the other.

The transport companies, which previously fell under the federal states' small train legislation, had to decide whether they wanted to operate as trams or railways in the future. Due to the previous different legal developments in the German states, for example, the large tram and light rail networks on the Rhine and Ruhr (Prussia) were operated as trams from 1938, with a few exceptions; in the state of Baden , comparable electric overland railways became railways.

Since 1938, the regulations have been continuously adapted to current requirements and conditions; the basic principles - the distinction between trams and railways with simplified operating rules for the tram - remained.

Spread in the first half of the 20th century

Two-track expansion of a route for the Kassel tram , 1926
The world's first articulated tram car with a Jakobs bogie was put into service in Duisburg in 1926
The Milan Ventotto cars are the oldest scheduled tram cars in Europe

In quick succession, many tram companies were founded around the world - in Germany there were around 150 cities in around 1900 - and replaced the other types of traction . The tram developed into a means of mass transport. It influenced the development and planning of the cities in a decisive way by connecting the surrounding area with the city and creating the conditions for the settlement of large industries on the periphery of the cities through inexpensive travel options and its large transport capacity.

Old tram coin from Solingen

At the beginning of the 20th century, mainly in Europe and the USA, a large number of railways were built that, for cost reasons, did not run on their own route outside the cities, but on existing roads without being designed as trams. The conflicts with road traffic were definitely programmed and desired. For a long time, some concession companies refused to lay their rails in such a way that other vehicles could pass or cross them. This epoch is treated as the time of the railway battles in the history of transport.

The high point of tram development was reached around 1920, when almost all large and medium-sized cities, but also many small towns in Europe, North and South America and Australia had trams. At that time, extensive overland tram networks were very common. At that time, there were over 3,000 tram companies worldwide, only a few in Africa and Asia. In addition to very large networks, there were also various small and very small businesses, and in large cities there were often several, up to two dozen, individual, private businesses side by side.

Decommissioned Pacific Electric trams before scrapping

First in North America, later also in Europe and the other continents, the number of trams decreased with the advent of motorized individual transport . The factories often had to be closed because in many places hardly any investments were made in them for decades and they were almost completely out of date. Trolleybus systems were often set up for the disused trams, but the majority of buses with internal combustion engines predominated .

The time after the Second World War

Tram in Adelaide , route: Adelaide – Glenelg
Passenger compartment of a Combino in Poznan

The wave of shutdowns initially slowed due to World War II, as many buses were used for military service. Although new operations were opened in the Soviet Union after the end of the war from 1945, the number of tram operations decreased worldwide. In addition, the prevailing opinion at the time was that trams cut up and obstructed the flow of traffic, which is why undestroyed lines were shut down. In the former Eastern Bloc , however, trams were consistently used. On the other hand, trams disappeared here - also from areas that are important for tourism and well-developed, such as the (East) Berlin center around Alexanderplatz .

Around 1970 it seemed certain that the last tram service in the west would be given up in a few decades. At that time, the use of buses and the construction of underground trains were mainly promoted. But the extreme increase in motorized individual traffic in the cities had changed the quality of life and the oil crisis had changed people's consciousness in such a way that a new direction in transport policy had to be considered.

Especially in medium-sized cities, in which the very expensive underground construction does not pay off, the tram has returned. In West Germany, but also in numerous other countries, the aim was to modernize the railways, often taking them out of the general flow of traffic through their own track structures and the construction of individual tunnel sections. In some places the tram was transformed into a light rail . The increasing number of passengers demonstrated the acceptance of the change by the population. The introduction of the low-floor technology demonstrated the possibilities and convenience of the tried and tested means of transport.

Distribution from the end of the 20th century

Relocation of a tram track in Munich (2013)

A global trend reversal began in 1980, initially in North America, and a little later in Europe as well, when new tram and light rail operations were opened. Edmonton was the first city in Canada to start rebuilding its tram network in the early 1980s. From around 1985 the trend reversal also reached Europe. Although some small and unprofitable companies have been shut down since then, the number of tram companies has increased overall due to new openings. Wherever new operations were opened and existing networks expanded, the number of passengers generally exceeded all forecasts .

The reintroduction of the tram was often accompanied by a reconstruction of the streets used by them and the city centers by changing the division of the street space. The areas for motorized private transport were reduced, and trams, cyclists and pedestrians were given more space. Examples of such a transport policy can be found particularly in France, but also in the USA.

The partial use of existing or fallow railway lines - Karlsruhe was and is exemplary here - created further possibilities for opening up new traffic areas. People were now able to quickly reach the city centers by public transport without changing trains.

There is even talk of freight trams again. In Dresden, the tram is used to transport goods to supply the Transparent Factory . The vehicle parts are transported with specially manufactured freight trams, the CarGoTram . Due to the realignment of the production facility, operations were temporarily suspended at the beginning of 2016 and resumed in 2017.

A study with the project title Güterbim was also commissioned in Vienna , which examined the tram as a means of transporting goods within the city. Due to a lack of interest from potential customers, the project ended with no results. In Zurich, attempts are being made to organize the disposal of bulky waste by tram under the name Cargotram-Zurich .


Folding door of a tram: Marked safety devices:
(1) handles,
(2) closing pressure safety device ,
(3) obstacle detector

In 1980 there were only around 300 tram operators worldwide, but there are again around 390. According to UITP , the international association for public transport, around 100 tram and light rail systems are currently being built or planned. According to UITP estimates, the transport policy that has changed since the early 1980s will continue. On the one hand, this makes the tram mode of transport popular again due to the stronger environmental protection concept and, on the other hand, prevents planned underground construction projects due to insufficient financial resources. Although there will certainly continue to be individual closures of small or unprofitable operations in the future, a further increase in tram operations can be expected overall.

China is likely to become a growth market for trams: by 2020, a total of more than 5,000 kilometers of tram routes are to be built in 36 cities. The equivalent of 500 billion euros is necessary for this.

Economic use

In city traffic, the use of trams makes sense where the existing number of passengers makes bus lines uneconomical, but where the number of passengers is too low for the construction of a subway. For German standards, the rule of thumb is that a tram line with around 4000 passengers per working day is more economical than a bus line. With around 30,000 to 40,000 passengers per day, the limit has been reached at which high-speed rail operations make more economic sense. It should be noted that a pure line consideration is only sufficient in very few cases, since extensive line adjustments are usually made in the affected network when the system is changed.

In addition to this quantitative application criterion, there are further qualitative application features that make tram operation more advantageous than bus operation even in cases in which these numbers of passengers are not reached.

The University of Kassel developed and tested since 2019 to 2022, together with a research consortium a digital system, which provide, among other information about the occupancy status of buses and trams, improve port security during transfers and to allow a delivery service, the separate transportation of shopping and baggage.



A tram has the smooth running typical of rail-bound means of transport and thus a high level of travel comfort. This is achieved in particular when using modern and quiet vehicles. In the case of buses, the smoothness of running can be more strongly influenced by different road conditions. If the tram runs on the surface, there are generally no stairs to climb to get to the stops. Elevated platforms or low-floor vehicles make it easier for wheelchair users, older people and passengers with prams, bicycles or luggage to get on.

Driving and cruising speed

Average travel speeds of urban transport always depend on the distance between stops and the stopping times and interactions with other road users. The modern tram in Bordeaux is the fastest tram in France and has an average speed (including stops at the station) of 21 km / h.

With trams, high travel and travel speeds can be achieved in city traffic if a large part of the route is run on an independent or special track or if the tram has a priority circuit at traffic lights and is protected from interference. On short and medium-long routes, a tram can even compete with rapid transit trains , as the total travel time of the passenger is shortened by short access and exit routes at the mostly ground-level stops (no stairs) and closer distances between stops.

Area coverage

The tram is the only rail transport that can achieve a high level of area coverage. As a result, many direct connections can be offered, which reduces the number of transfers and thus shortens travel times.

Operational flexibility

One advantage over buses is the possibility of train formation . The variable addition of side or additional railcars increases the capacity without increasing the need for personnel, as is inevitable with emergency buses, for example. The tram can thus cover traffic peaks in rush hour traffic and off-peak times with adapted vehicle deployment. The maximum train length of 75 meters stipulated in the tram building and operating regulations means that trams can carry a comparatively large number of passengers at once.

Rail bonus

Especially compared to the bus, it has the rail bonus .

environmental friendliness

Since, in contrast to buses, the energy of the trams is not produced locally, but is obtained from overhead lines, there are no emissions for energy production at the place of operation. This is particularly beneficial for residents of tram routes and cities where pollution is already very high due to the dense car traffic. The local particulate matter emissions from trams, on the other hand, are only marginally lower than from buses, which is due to the abrasion of wheels, rails, pantographs and overhead lines.

The specific environmental friendliness of the tram depends largely on the electricity mix used, the vehicles used, the procurement interval and the utilization of the vehicles.

Assuming the average fleet composition and the utilization of the individual modes of transport, the following environmental balance per passenger- kilometer results in Switzerland , which also includes energy production and the manufacture of vehicles and infrastructure:

Emissions per person-kilometer Tram (CH) Trolleybus (CH) omnibus Passenger cars
(distances <5 km)
Energy consumption ( MJ equivalents ) 1.97 1.86 2.29 3.29
Greenhouse gases (g CO 2 equivalents ) 37.47 25.15 145.41 197.23
Nitrogen oxides (mg NOx) 145.40 62.70 862.16 392.16
Fine dust PM10 (mg) 37.57 36.57 44.92 70.17
Fine dust PM2.5 (mg) 19.16 19.72 28.37 37.45

Urban development

According to a recent study by the Bergische Universität Wuppertal , a street or city rail line has a positive influence on the development of a district. This applies to both property prices and retail . Conversely, contrary developments can be demonstrated after a line has been relocated or shut down.

Soft factors

The following factors are rather subjective and differ from region to region. By guiding the tram on the surface, it has several advantages over subways and buses. The high presence of the tram in public space makes the route easily recognizable and comprehensible, but also leads to possible impairment of parking space and vehicle traffic and increases the demands on the architectural integration. The passengers experience the urban space and city life directly. Not only special trips (in historical carriages, in “Christkindl” or party trams), even everyday use conveys urbanity . The presence like the ground-level access at illuminated stops improves the subjective feeling of security in the evening and at night. The construction of new trams often results in considerable conflicts about the new infrastructure - once it has been implemented, the tram has the rail bonus compared to the bus, as well as a higher identification of classic tram cities and tram residents with this means of transport.


Rail bond

One of the greatest advantages of the tram is also its greatest disadvantage. Since a tram is tied to rails, it is easily hindered in traffic, e.g. B. by vehicles parked in the track area. At construction sites, a tram can only be diverted if there is a parallel route. If this is not the case, there is only the temporary, possibly partial suspension of the lines on the affected route or the laying of special tracks associated with additional costs for the time of the construction work. Adaptation to changed traffic flows is usually only possible with comparatively great effort.

High vehicle costs

The prices for new rolling stock have risen sharply in recent years. This is sometimes due to new technology e.g. B. in the passenger information, which have found their way into other public transport. Modern tram vehicles cost between 1.5 million and 4 million euros, depending on the design. Omnibuses are cheaper to buy, but usually only have a service life of eight to twelve years, while trams with appropriate retrofit programs can be used for 30 to 50 years. Furthermore, trams usually offer more passengers space than an omnibus or trolleybus, which means that fewer vehicles are required to transport the same number of passengers. In relation to the rolling stock costs per person-kilometer, the tram is therefore still cheaper with the same vehicle utilization.

Disturbance of the cityscape

Due to their overhead line and the rails, trams can be perceived as annoying in (historically) interesting places. This phenomenon is exacerbated by catenary cables and oversized bus stop masts. However, there is also the option of doing without the overhead line thanks to an additional conductor rail between the running rails, as was implemented in 2004 in the center of Bordeaux . Or the vehicles are equipped with energy storage devices, e.g. on a capacitor basis , with which they can travel short distances without overhead lines. The use of such a technology is planned on a route in Heidelberg in order to avoid interference with sensitive equipment in university buildings along the route from electromagnetic fields. The corresponding Variobahns have already been delivered and are in use on other routes.

Vibrations, noise

Especially in cities that still have old tram routes, there is no vibration dampening, for example by means of a neoprene bedding of the tracks. Structure- borne noise spreading underground can cause vibration damage to buildings. Such a risk is excluded with a track bed according to the state of the art . Rail traffic noise can pose an additional problem .

Travel time

Compared to S-Bahn and U-Bahn , trams are significantly slower in terms of travel time , which is partly due to the closer sequence of stops, and waiting times at traffic light crossings are often added, which are not required for high-speed trains without level crossings. If the tram has to share the route with private transport, this can lead to further delays due to vehicles entering and exiting parking spaces, traffic jams, etc. This fact seems to contradict its advantages in terms of travel speed; in fact, the objective disadvantage of longer travel times can be (partially or fully) compensated, and as a result the travel time by tram is lower due to the elimination of access and exit routes on short and medium-sized routes (in some cases considerably less) than that of S-Bahn and U-Bahn trains that run the same distance.


Because of their comparatively high vehicle mass, tram vehicles pose a higher risk to other road users than buses. Brakes that are independent of the friction coefficient, such as magnetic rail brakes , largely compensate for this, but the possible braking deceleration is limited with regard to standing passengers. In addition, at tram stops, in contrast to rapid transit stations, it is usually allowed to cross the tracks. Here, especially at large transfer stops, there is a risk for passengers crossing the tracks not to notice the approach of the quiet carriages in time and to be detected by them. This type of hazard does not exist in the case of rapid transit railways, since passengers are generally not allowed to cross the tracks at the same level and are usually not structurally possible. In extreme winter situations (rainfall after a previous period of frost), in rare cases the overhead lines can break due to ice formation. Live overhead contact line ends that hang down can pose a danger to passers-by and other road users.

In order to prevent non-rail vehicles from driving on and over the track, it can be separated from the roadway by a threshold .

In the road subgrade moved grooved rails can pose a danger of falling when they are crossed diagonally along or at an acute angle for single-track vehicles such as motorcycles and bicycles in particular. In the case of multi-lane vehicles, there is a risk of sudden loss or severe reduction in grip when changing from asphalt to steel. This can lead to accidents, especially when it rains.

The absolute number of fatalities and serious injuries in accidents with trams in relation to total traffic is comparatively low, but if the accident rate is related to mileage and compared with that of other means of transport (e.g. buses and cars), tram traffic is relatively high Accident risk.

Subway tram

As premetro short U-Str , in Belgium also premetro , only in Vienna also U-Straba be classified trams, partly in a tunnel and thus operate without hindrance from other traffic. In some cities, underground trams were the origin of light rail systems , some of which are also called "U-Bahn" there. These include Cologne and Stuttgart in particular. In Vienna, the U2 underground line runs between the Karlsplatz and Schottentor stations over the U-Straba line of the former E 2 , G 2 and H 2 tram lines with its Museumsquartier , Volkstheater and Rathaus stations . The Dortmund lines U43 and U44 , which are officially classified as light rail vehicles, are in fact still more of an underground tram line.

Interurban tram

The Thuringian Forest Railway, which departs from Gotha, is a classic intercity tram

In the area of ​​some metropolitan areas such as the Rhine-Ruhr metropolitan region , the route networks of several tram companies are interconnected. Such connecting routes are also known as interurban trams . Examples are the U79 of the Rheinbahn between Düsseldorf and Duisburg or the U70 / 76 between Düsseldorf and Krefeld . Other examples are the German Thüringerwaldbahn , the Tramway Halle-Ammendorf-Bad Dürrnberg , the tram Schoneiche , the tram Woltersdorf or Kirnitzschtalbahn . In Austria this applies to the Innsbrucker Mittelgebirgsbahn .

Express tram

The level-free Viennese line 60 when crossing Breitenfurter Strasse

The express tram is an outdated name today. Its definition, however, largely coincides with the current term `` Stadtbahn '' : a tram that, thanks to the appropriate vehicles and routing, is significantly faster and more powerful than a classic tram and mainly runs on its own track, including tunnel and elevated sections.

In the German-speaking discussion, the word express tram appears during and after the First World War. From the 1910s onwards, high-speed trams emerged in particular where municipalities in the surrounding areas of large cities had to be connected to their tram network, for example in Dortmund, Dresden, Düsseldorf and Nuremberg, and then after the Second World War also in Munich and Vienna. In the GDR , this technical term was established and standardized from the end of the 1970s, it only disappeared again after 1990.

Express lines

Basically, trams stop at all stations , similar to the passenger trains on the railroad. However, there are individual efforts to offer passengers accelerated connections on certain routes and at certain times. These do not serve all intermediate stops and thus enable shorter travel times , in some cases they were previously marked with a red line number.



Trams and local rail transport in Germany
  • The oldest continuously operated tram network in the world is the Green Line of the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority in Boston with its four branches B , C , D and E . It goes back to a horse tram that opened on March 26, 1856. The oldest operating streetcar network in the world in terms of the year its opening, Regional Transit Authority in New Orleans , as it has existed since the 1835th
  • The Melbourne tram has the largest route network at around 250 kilometers. The St. Petersburg tram had the largest network before . However, there used to be much longer networks, for example in Buenos Aires with over 857 kilometers up to the 1960s and in Berlin with over 630 kilometers in 1930. The (standard-gauge) tram network of Berlin is still the longest in Germany with a route length of 192 kilometers . Apart from that, the mixed meter and standard gauge tram network on the Rhine and Ruhr is the longest in the world at 440 kilometers, but since it has several operators, the respective subnets are assessed individually.
  • The city of Łódź has the largest meter gauge network in the world . The overland lines of the Łódź tram cover a length of 182 kilometers.
  • In Mainz , between Schillerplatz and Gautor, through Gaustraße, the steepest tram line in Germany that is regularly used in adhesion operation. This route of the Mainz tram has been in operation since 1923 and has had a maximum gradient of 95.49 ‰ since it was expanded in 2004. By contrast, the steepest section of the route without gear drive ever built in Germany with a gradient of 110.7 ‰ was in Neunkirchen until 1978 .
  • In Linz the steepest tram in Austria, the Pöstlingbergbahn with a maximum gradient of 116 ‰, leads up to the Pöstlingberg .
  • The Riffelalptram above Zermatt holds two records . It is the shortest tram line in the world (675 meters) and also the highest in Europe (2211 m above sea level).
  • The longest route within Germany runs in the Rhine-Ruhr region and is only used by tram and light rail trains to BOStrab. It leads from Witten - Heven to Tönisvorst -St. Toenis. The shortest route via Bochum , Gelsenkirchen , Essen , Mülheim an der Ruhr , Duisburg , Düsseldorf and Krefeld is 102 kilometers. Detours in Gelsenkirchen, Essen, Duisburg, Düsseldorf and Neuss are possible. However, due to different track widths and wheelset dimensions, this route cannot be used without changing trains. However, this connection will no longer exist because the Mülheim city administration is planning to discontinue the Mülheim section of line 901 and replace it with a bus.
  • The longest continuous tram line in the world is the Kusttram from De Panne via Ostend to Knokke in Flanders , at 68 kilometers .
  • The longest classic high-floor tram cars are the 38.5-meter-long, twelve-axle Duewag articulated trams of the Rhein-Haardtbahn and the Ludwigshafen transport company
  • In Budapest , the world's longest low-floor tram, the CAF Urbos 3, is 56 meters long . The longest in Germany are in Leipzig with the articulated railcar NGT12-LEI (45.10 meters) and just behind in Dresden with the articulated railcar NGT D12DD (44.90 meters)
  • In Vienna and Oradea (Romania), the ultra-low-floor trams drive the trams with the world's lowest continuously level floor (180 mm above the top edge of the rails )
  • In Stuttgart, the local tram with a gradient of 8.5% manages the steepest standard-gauge rail route that is used in friction mode in public passenger transport in Europe . The section in Alexanderstraße surpasses even the steepest normal-gauge friction line in Switzerland, the Uetlibergbahn in Zurich, which increases by a maximum of 7.9%.
  • The Great Pike in Dresden holds the official world speed record on standard tram routes with 98 km / h.

Tram on rubber tires

Translohr in Padua , Italy

In some cases, track-guided trolleybuses are referred to as trams on rubber tires for marketing reasons. The French original name for this is tramway sur pneumatiques , in Switzerland it is called a pneumatic tram. The most important representatives are the systems Transport sur Voie Réservée ( TVR ) from Bombardier and Translohr from Lohr Industrie . The definition of this means of transport is controversial, however, the transition between a classic road vehicle and a train is fluid. The legal classification, for example with regard to the obligation to affix a vehicle registration number , varies from state to state.

In practice, the permanent operation of such alternative systems often encounters considerable technical difficulties. As a result, existing or potential operators now often tend to opt for conventional trams again. Compared to the global tram sector, the market share of track-guided bus-like systems does not matter.

Trams with restaurants and attractions

  • The regional trams between Düsseldorf and Duisburg ( D-Bahn ) and between Düsseldorf and Krefeld ( K-Bahn ) used to have a dining car in a two- or three-car train. These were only abolished on the Duisburg and at the end of 2014 on the (current Stadtbahn) lines of the Rheinbahn .
  • On the main line of the local railway Vienna – Baden there were buffets until the Second World War.
  • As a tourist attraction, party train carriages operate in many cities, such as the “ Ebbelwei-Express ” in Frankfurt am Main . In Munich , the “Christkindlbahn” runs around the city center during Advent. In Würzburg there is the "Schoppen-Express" as a wine bar on wheels. The "party train" runs in Jena and Gera and can be rented. In Gera it bears the distinctive number 111. A “Kater-Express” and a rentable historical tourist train, which bears the otherwise unused line number 8, also operate in Erfurt .
  • The bogie track can be rented at BOGESTRA .
  • The Sparren-Express runs in Bielefeld . The castle of the same name was the namesake here.
  • In Karlsruhe , the Regio-Bistro operated alternately on the S4, S5, S6 and S9 lines of the Stadtbahn . This service has now been discontinued, although these railways are still in regular service.
  • In Darmstadt , a steam train runs on the tram tracks in the summer months. It is reminiscent of the time when the steam tram was the only means of transport in the city and at times electric and steam-powered trams ran in parallel.
  • In Plauen , the "Bier-Elektro" (car number 78) has been available for sightseeing tours and other special trips since 1966. It is a beer pub built into a tram.
  • The Görlitz transport company owns a former Mannheim railcar ( Mannheim type ), the "Hop-Express", which has been converted into a beer tram . This runs during Advent, on special occasions or by order.
  • In Zurich in December pervert the Märli- and the fondue -Tram.
  • The Atmosfera is a restaurant tram in Milan with food preparation on the train.

Trams without passenger transport

Cross-border lines

The Jerusalem light rail system has a special feature : it is located entirely within the city ​​of Jerusalem and, unlike the other cross-border lines, its current operation is not recognizable as cross-border in the sense of the word. Nevertheless, the route runs along the demarcation line between Israel and Palestine from 1967 along from Damascus Gate to Shim'on Ha-Tsadik and further north to the part of Jerusalem that the Palestinian Authority claims as state territory. From the perspective of the Israeli Jerusalem Law , the urban areas it developed, such as French Hill and Pisgat Ze'ev, were declared an inseparable part of an Israeli Jerusalem, which in turn is considered null and void under international law (see Resolution 478 of the UN Security Council ).

Germany / France / Switzerland

  • Saarbrücken: Since 1997, the Saarbahn in Saarbrücken has been running on railway tracks to Sarreguemines in France .
  • Strasbourg: Since February 2014, an extension of the tram network from Strasbourg to Kehl in Baden-Württemberg has been under construction . A new bridge was also built over the Rhine . At the beginning of February 2017, the first test drives took place on the new route on May 2, 2017 it was finally officially opened.
  • Basel: In earlier years, lines of the Basler Verkehrs-Betriebe (BVB) also ran to Lörrach ( Germany ) as well as to Saint-Louis (Haut-Rhin) and Huningue (France).
    • Although the Basel – Rodersdorf railway is licensed as a railway , it has been operated in a similar way to an intercity tram since 1984. Line 10 of Baselland Transport AG (BLT) from Dornach via Basel to Rodersdorf runs in the area of ​​the municipality of Leymen over French territory.
    • In December 2014, line 8 of the Basel tram was extended to Weil am Rhein in Germany, where Germany's southernmost tram stop has also been located since then.
    • The extension of line 3 via Burgfelden to Saint-Louis was opened on December 9, 2017.
    • The reactivation of the former line 6 from Riehen to Lörrach is being planned.
  • Geneva: An extension of the Geneva tram to Annemasse and Saint-Julien-en-Genevois is under construction. Construction began in 2017. In December 2019, the approximately 2 km long new tram line went into operation from the previous Moillesulaz terminus directly at the state border with line 17 to Parc Montessuit in Annemasse (east of Geneva) ( own ride on December 15, 2019 ) . Another route to Saint Julien south of Geneva is planned by 2021.

To the Netherlands

  • From 1889 there were cross-border connections between Aachen (Germany) and Vaals (Netherlands).
  • A cross-border tram connection between Hasselt (Belgium) and Maastricht (Netherlands) is currently under construction. According to the current state of planning, the line should go into operation in early 2018.

To Poland

  • After the referendum in Upper Silesia in 1922, there were numerous cross-border trams in the Upper Silesian industrial area between the German Reich and the (new) Polish East Upper Silesia , which continued in individual lines until 1939, when Poland was annexed at the beginning of the Second World War. From this point on, the cross-border traffic ended, until 1945 the remaining lines were again on the territory of the German Reich.
  • In the opposite cities of Görlitz (Germany) and Zgorzelec (Poland) there are considerations to expand the route network of the Görlitz tram back over the Neisse to Zgorzelec in Poland. In the course of the new ERDF funding period 2014 to 2020, Zgorzelec sees good opportunities for funding.
  • An extension of the Frankfurt (Oder) tram to Słubice in Poland to relieve the 983 bus line, which is often overcrowded, especially on weekends, has been planned for a long time.
  • The tram in the Silesian town of Teschen was divided by the demarcation of 1918 and, until it was closed in 1921, ran across borders between the Polish ( Cieszyn ) and the Czechoslovak ( Český Těšín ) districts.



El Paso: A PCC car has just passed the state border into Mexico in the 1960s


Picture gallery

See also

Portal: Tram  - Overview of Wikipedia content on the subject of trams


  • W. Gleim (ie Johann Wilhelm Ludwig Gleim): The law on small railways and private connection railways of July 28, 1892. Second supplemented edition . Franz Vahlen, Berlin 1893. ( [2] digitized version)
  • Julius Weil: The origin and development of our electric trams. In common comprehension . Oskar Leiner, Leipzig 1899. ( [3] digitized version)
  • Wolfgang Hendlmeier: Handbook of German Tram History. Volume I: text and illustrations. W. Hendlmeier, Munich 1981.
  • Wolfgang Hendlmeier: Handbook of German Tram History. Volume II: Tables and route atlas. W. Hendlmeier, Munich 1979.
  • Joachim Fiedler: Railways. 5th edition. Verlag Werner, Neuwied 2005, ISBN 3-8041-1612-4 .
  • Harald A. Jahn: The future of cities. The French tram and the rebirth of urban space. Phoibos-Verlag, Vienna 2010, ISBN 978-3-85161-039-0 .

Web links

Commons : Trams  - Collection of Images
Wiktionary: Tram  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations
Wiktionary: Electric  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Friedrich Kluge , Alfred Götze : Etymological dictionary of the German language . 20th edition, ed. by Walther Mitzka , De Gruyter, Berlin / New York 1967; Reprint (“21st unchanged edition”) ibid 1975, ISBN 3-11-005709-3 , p. 785 f. ( Tram ).
  2. ^ Emil Dietrich : About the word "Tramway". In: Centralblatt der Bauverwaltung , Volume 1, No. 37 (December 10, 1881), p. 346.
  3. First dialect Bim does its rounds. In: Upper Austrian news . April 17, 2009.
  4. Linz AG : Christmas card for Bim and Bus
  5. The network lines headline their search page with BusBahnBim information , which can also be reached at . BusBahnBim information , also available at
  6. In 2013, a free tram called Altstadt-Bim was introduced in Graz . Graz “Altstadtbim” is free. In: the press. August 28, 2013.
  7. ^ So the newsletter of the Dresden Tram Museum Association is also called The Bell . Analogous to this, the name Glöckerlbahn used to exist in Vienna ; see The Glöckerlbahn to Dornbach on
  8. ^ Wolf-Dietger Machel: Secondary and narrow-gauge railways in Germany then & now. Loose-leaf collection. Volume 13 Baden-Württemberg: Ravensburg – Weingarten – Baienfurt
  9. a b The "Hoobl" has been running for 107 years. In: Badische Zeitung. November 3, 2008.
  10. Martin Papst: The Munich Tram - History, Lines, Vehicles GeraMond-Verlag, Munich, 2010, p. 20.
  12. Buses defeated the tram - 20 years ago Reutlingen's last Funken Chaise drove: memories of a piece of city history. at: , accessed October 2, 2014.
  13. § 12
  14. ^ Ordinance of the Federal Minister for Science and Transport on the construction and operation of trams (Tram Ordinance 1999 - StrabVO), Federal Law Gazette II No. 76/2000 in the original version; entire legal regulation in the current version in the RIS .
  15. SI 5350: Construction and operation of Light Rail Transit, reference via ( Memento of October 18, 2013 in the Internet Archive ) (PDF)
  16. The Nyiregyhaza Kleinbahn on, accessed on April 24, 2016
  17. The Avenio. PDF on, p. 25.
  18. A detour to success - the first electric tram. Siemens Historical Institute, accessed June 14, 2019 .
  19. "Holt" is mentioned in the Brockhaus Konversationslexikon 1894-1896, but not specified.
  20. Julius Weil: The origin and development of our electric trams. In common comprehension . Oskar Leiner, Leipzig 1899. ( [1] digitized). Pp. 39-56. Retrieved June 16, 2019.
  21. Catenary-free tram arrives in Rio de Janeiro. In: Railway Gazette. July 9, 2015, accessed July 28, 2015
  22. Zhuhai tramway starts trial operation. In: Railway Gazette. November 12, 2014, accessed July 28, 2015
  23. ^ Jean Robert: Les tramways parisiens. 3rd edition, p. 73.
  24. Škoda vyrobí per Turecko 12 tramvají na baterie. Ujedou tři kilometry. on: , May 6, 2014 (Czech), accessed on August 21, 2015.
  25. CSR Sifang to Deploy 8 Fuel Cell Trams in Foshan, China Powered by Ballard In: FuelCellWorks. March 17, 2017, accessed January 7, 2019.
  26. World premiere: Alstom's hydrogen trains start in public service in Lower Saxony In: Alstom press release . September 16, 2018, accessed January 7, 2019.
  27. Steam tram on Bernmobil historique
  28. Der Bund : Traum vom Lufttram burst , article from November 3, 2011
  29. Barmer Bergbahn The Wuppertaler Bergbahn on , accessed on May 19, 2019
  30. A detour to success - the first electric tram. Siemens Historical Institute, accessed June 14, 2019 .
  31. AMTUIR - Musée des Transports Urbains; Histoire générale des transports 1870–1890; Retrieved on January 1, 2014 (French) ( Memento of the original from July 18, 2011 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  32. Wolfgang König, Wolfhard Weber: Networks. Steel and electricity. 1840 to 1914 . In: Propylaea history of technology . tape 4 . Propylaen Verlag, Berlin 1990, ISBN 3-549-07113-2 , pp. 344 .
  34. ^ A. Bürkli: About trams and railways in cities , printed and published by F. Schultheß, Zurich 1865.
  35. ^ Carl Hilse: The nationalization of the streetcar. Bergmann, Wiesbaden 1889, p. 13.
  36. UITP October 2015 Light Rail in Figures Statistics Brief. (PDF) October 2015, accessed on September 27, 2016 .
  37. China builds the world's first hydrogen tram , local transport Hamburg. March 24, 2015, accessed July 23, 2015
  38. Assistance system should make local public transport more attractive - one-year field test planned in Kassel. In: Retrieved October 28, 2019 .
  39. Ulrich Weidmann, "Mobility as Limits or Mobility at the Limit" (PDF; 10.6 MB) - challenges and solution prospects for the future development of cities and agglomerations, ETH Zurich, Institute for Transport Planning and Transport Systems, Zurich 2010, p. 25, Retrieved May 12, 2012.
  40. mobitool factors (comparison tool for calculating the environmental balance) at
  41. Bombardier Transportation GmbH website on the Variobahn, accessed on April 10, 2013
  42. Bernmobil : Less noise on line 6 (PDF) media release of March 4, 2011
  43. Measures to reduce tram accidents, Accident Research of Insurers, Berlin 04/2016
  44. Measurement of Mainz mobility (operations manager and infrastructure manager)
  45. The longest tram ride in Germany. ( Memento of April 19, 2013 in the Internet Archive ) Retrieved October 9, 2016.
  46. Rheinbahn finally puts bistro cars on the siding. Rheinische Post, September 21, 2016, accessed on October 23, 2018 .
  48. Pictures of the "Bier-Elektrischen" of the PSB
  49. No cheese - the fondue tram is on its way again. VBZ, archived from the original on March 15, 2012 ; accessed on December 1, 2018 .
  50. Michael Günther: With interest guarantee for the manor castle. How the tram got to "Hohen = Schönhausen" . In: Verkehrsgeschichtliche Blätter . Volume 5, 1999, pp. 118-131 .
  51. Cargotram Zurich ( Memento from October 15, 2007 in the Internet Archive )
  52. ^ Kehl - Strasbourg: Cities are growing even closer together thanks to cross-border trams Press release by the Baden-Württemberg Ministry of Transport from February 26, 2014.
  53. Strasbourg tram stops at Kehler Bahnhof for the first time. In: February 3, 2017. Retrieved February 28, 2017 .
  54. ^ Extension de la Ligne D. In: Retrieved July 21, 2017 (French).
  55. Hannes Lauber: This tram overcomes borders. In: Badische Zeitung . December 6, 2014.
  56. By tram across the border. In: Badische Zeitung. Portrait , October 18, 2014.
  57. Project page for the extension of line 3 Basel – Bhf. Saint-Louis
  58. Basel Tram: Lörrach is looking for the tram line. In: Badische Zeitung. February 7, 2011.
  59. Le tram 15 va bientôt se rapprocher de la France in 20 minutes from December 3, 2015.
  60. Tram de St Julien on the CEST website (Coordination économique et sociale transfrontalière Ain - Genève - Haute-Savoie )
  61. Le tram de Saint-Julien avance… côté français in the Tribune de Genève of November 11, 2015.
  62. Tramway Genève / Saint-Julien on the website of the Communauté de communes du Genevois
  63. Le tramway Genève Saint-Julien on the website of the Mairie de la ville de Saint-Julien-en-Genevois
  64. ^ Project description “Tramverbinding Vlaanderen – Maastricht” (Dutch) ( Memento from November 12, 2014 in the Internet Archive ). Retrieved October 9, 2016.
  65. ↑ Take the tram across the Neisse. In: Görlitzer Anzeiger. January 28, 2012.
  66. Lack of space on the border bus. In: Märkische online newspaper. December 9, 2014
  67. LINZ was a DIVIDED CITY 1945-55 | Editorial office of the Austrian press office. Accessed April 15, 2020 (German).
  68. THE MOON WOMAN: I was at the historic dance on the Nibelungen Bridge there. Retrieved April 15, 2020 .
  69. ^ Map from 1915 at Gena Holle: The San Diego Trolley , Interurbans Special 114, Interurbans Press, Glendale, California, ISBN 0-916374-92-0 , p. 8/9. Exact dates of the opening (before 1910) and the closure (before 1940) cannot be found in the document.
  70. Tram and post
  71. Into the mists. 1956. Directed by WS Dobson.