- Bremer Straßenbahn AG
On March 28, 1876 the "Actiengesellschaft Bremer Pferdebahn" was founded. The enterprise opened a horse tramway line from Herdentor to Vahrster Brücke on June 4, 1876, extending the line to Horn in 1877. In 1883, the extension from Herdentor to the
stock exchangein the city centre was opened.The rival company "Große Bremer Pferdebahn", using British capital, opened a line from Hastedt to Walle on November 3, 1879; today's line 2 partly follows the trajectory of that horse line. Both companies extended their network, lines were opened to Freihafen (1888), Hohentor (1889) and Arsterdamm (1880/1884).
In 1890, the line from the stock exchange to the
Bürgerweideexhibition grounds was electrified in a trial during an exhibition. After the exhibition ended, the catenary was removed, however the system had worked so well that it was decided to electrify the tramways, starting in 1892. Meanwhile, "Große Bremer Pferdebahn" merged with the "Bremer Pferdebahn" (which had renamed itself to "Bremer Straßenbahn" in 1890) in 1899. Until 1913, the network was fully electrified, with the exception of the Freihafen line, which had been abandoned by then.In 1908, line numbers were introduced. By 1939, the network consisted of the following lines:
* 1: Ringbahn
* 2: Gröpelingen - Markt - Sebalsdsbrück
* 3: AG Weser - Markt - Hohwisch
* 4: Horn - Bahnhof - Markt - Arsterdamm
* 5: Flughafen - Markt - Bahnhof - Hemmstraße
* 6: Vulkanstraße - Brill - Bahnhof - Hemmstraße
* 7: Hartwigstraße - Bahnhof - Markt - Rablinghausen
* 8: Gröpelingen - Burg
*10: Friedrich-Karl-Straße - Bahnhof - Waller Bahnhof
*11: AG Weser - Norddeutsche Hütte
*12: Sebaldsbrück - Osterholzer Friedhof
*15: Hemmstraße - Bahnhof - Markt - Pappelstraße - Emder Straße (über Westbrücke)
*16: Gastfeldstraße - Brill - Bahnhof - WachmannstraßeThe system suffered severe damage during
World War II- tramway services were abandoned on April 22, 1945. After WWII had ended, only 10% of the rolling stock were in working order, and 80% of the catenary had been damaged.
World War II aftermath
On June 13, 1945 the first tramways went into operation again. In the immediate WWII aftermath, the Bremen network consisted of two parts, as the bridges over the river
Weserhad been destroyed. In 1947, the connection between the two parts of the network was made, and apart from the tramway line over the "Stephanibrücke", the 1950s BSAG network reached its pre-war spread.In 1953, bus traffic was taken over by the BSAG. The new workshop "Flughafendamm" near Bremen Airportwas constructed in 1959; in 1963 the head offices moved to that site also.In 1965, the main stepover stop was moved from the marketplace to Domsheide.
Bremen, like other cities in the world, had lines close in the 1950's and 1960s due to increased use of
automobiles. On the following lines, service was abandoned:
*Line 8 1949 (
Trolleybusat first, from 1961 diesel bus)
*Line 12 1952
*Line 10 in St.-Jürgen-Straße
*Line 5 1964
*Line 7 1965
*Line 6 1965/67. The rails in Pappelstraße were used until 2001.
*Line 11 1970
*Line 4 1972, the section Kirchbachstraße - Arsterdamm had been taken over in 1967 by the new Line 1. The line reopens in 1998.
Lines 15 and 16 were renumberd to lines 5 and 6 in 1967.
However, some lines were also notably extended:
*Line 3 to Gröpelingen 1949
*Line 16 to Grolland 1955, from 1976 (then line 6) to Huchting
*Line 6 to Gastfeldstraße 1955 (closed in 1967)
*Line 16 to Riensberg 1959
*Line 15 to Kulenkampffallee 1960
*Line 10 to Georg-Bitter-Straße 1963, to Sebaldsbrück and Gröpelingen 1975. The rails in Georg-Bitter-Straße continue to be used by extra trains.
*Line 1; new line Arsterdamm - Blockdiek, extended 1968 to Osterholz, from 1973 to Arsten, renamed to line 4 and extended to Arsten Süd on 7 December 1998.
*Line 4 reopened to Horn-Lehe 23 May 1998, extension to Borgfeld on 6 December 2002.
*Line 6 newly built between Flughafendamm and Flughafen, replaces old part of Line 5 on 23 May 1998.
*Line 6 extension between Riensberg and Universität, opened October 10 1998.
The oldest vehicles still in active service are the articulated tramcars GT4d, GT4e and GT4f and the fitting trailers GB4d, GB4e and GB4f. The vehicles were built from 1973 to 1977 by Wegmann & Co. in
Kassel. Of the 61 trams and 57 trailers originally delivered, 40 are still in daily service, the rest has been demolished or delivered to Timişoarain Romania.
In the late 1990s, the Hansa-built stock dating from the 1960s was scheduled for replacement. Since the BSAG had already invested in
low-floorbuses, low-floortram vehicles were wanted as well. In 1990 , the BSAG presented a prototypeto the public. This three-part articulated car was the world's first 100% low floor tram. From 1993 to 1996, 78 low-floor trams, called GT8N, were ordered from AEG. Their main difference to the prototype is that they have four parts instead of three, hence offering more space and thus more beneficial for wheelchair users. One vehicle has been taken out of service after an accident, the prototype was sold to the Norrköpingtramways in Sweden in 1999.
The GT8N-1 is the newest tramway vehicle in BSAG's rolling stock fleet. The first car was delivered in September 2005, a total number of 20 trams is ordered from Bombardier. Furthermore an option of 23 additional vehicles can be honoured. The GT8N-1 is the second generation of low floor tramcars in Bremen. Its task is to replace older GT4 Wegmann vehicles and to increase the comfort for BSAG passengers. Therefore in comparison to the older GT8N low floor cars several changes have been made. The width of the car has been enlarged to 2.65 m, that makes the interior more spacious and allows the introduction of four seats in wide range, altogether 106 seats are available. Also an air-condition for the passengers is installed, five low floor doorways and a lift for disabled passengers facilitate the entry for all passengers.The vehicle has an overall length of 35,400 mm and a reaches a maximum speed of 70 km/h. It consists of three sections with a total of four bogies. Two of them carrying are the middle section of the car, the two end sections are carried by one bogie each of them. The end section bogies are driven, that's why above them it was not possible to realise a low floor like in the other parts of the car, altogether the GT8N-1 has 74 % low floor.The car is uni-directional for the use in BSAG's tramway network. It is also possible to built a similar bi-directional, two-systems vehicle that can also be used on DB tracks and so may connect BSAG's inner-city tramway network with railway lines.The GT8N-1 is based on Bombardier's FLEXITY Classic modular tramcar concept. Vehicles of that type run in several cities in Germany and also in Poland and Australia, the first car of this family was the 8NGTW, delivered in 1997 to KVG Kassel.
* [http://www.bsag.de BSAG homepage]
* [http://public-transport.net/bim/Bremen.htm pics of Bremen tram]
* [http://bremen.360cities.net/fs.html?loc=BSAG_Low_Floor_Tram_Niederflur_Bahn_Serie_3100.p36 360 degrees interactive panoramas from inside of trams of BSAG]
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