- Zürich trams
Trams make an important contribution to public transport in the city of
Zürichin Switzerland. The tramnetwork serves most city neighbourhoods. It is supplemented by trolleybusand busroutes as well as two funicularrailways and one rack railway. The city trams are operated by VBZ.
Various projects to introduce trams to Zurich were proposed from the 1860s onwards. It was not until
1882, however, that the first tram operated in the city. In the early years, trams were operated by private companies. These were acquired by the municipal tramway operator, StStZ, between 1896 and 1931 and integrated into a single network. These companies are summarised in the table below. StStZ also added many lines.
The table also includes companies whose lines lie entirely outside the current city boundaries and which were never absorbed by StStZ, but which do or did at some point have physical connections to the city system. These are shown in "italic" type.
Tram companies which are still operating as such are shown in bold type.
List of railway companies in Switzerlandand List of town tramway (urban tramway, streetcar) systems - Europe
By the mid 1930s, the city operator,
StStZ, had a dense network of tramlines serving most city neighbourhoods.
Modernisation began in the late 1930s with the introduction of the
Swiss Standard Tram.
At various points, the tram system was threatened by plans to partly replace it with trolleybuses, a pre-metro and a full scale underground. The tram system survived these threats.
Zürich's tram network has seen relatively few line closures. Besides some very short sections and realignments, the lines closed are:
*The Schlieren - Dietikon line of the LSB company was closed in 1928. The Schlieren - Weinigen line of the same company followed when this company was taken over by the city in 1931. As part of the
Stadtbahn Limmattalproject, there are today long-term plans to return trams to this area.
*The Oerlikon - Schwamendingen and Seebach - Glattbrugg lines of the ZOS company were converted to bus when this company was taken over by the city in 1931. Trams returned to Schwamendingen in 1986 (however, a different alignment is followed). The
Stadtbahn Glattalproject which is currently being realised will return trams to Glattbrugg, again by a different alignment.
*Two temporary lines existed in 1939 to serve the National Exhibition or Landesausstellung.
*Wetzikon - Meilen, operated by the WMB company, was closed in 1950.
*Tram route 1, converted to bus in 1954 and trolleybus in 1956. This together with "Farbhof - Schlieren" is the only tram line to have been replaced by a trolleybus. The sections of track that were rendered redundant and dismantled as a result are: "Kreuzplatz - Kunsthaus" and "Kaserne - Bäckeranlage" (modern names).
*Farbhof - Schlieren (part of route 2) was converted to bus in 1956 and trolleybus in 1958.
*Wipkingerplatz - Bhf. Wipkingen, abandoned 1967.
A model system
From the 1980s onwards, the system was increasingly acclaimed for its success in mainatining a high share of the
modal split. The key to success came to be known as the Zürich modeland other cities attempted to emulate it. In this way, Zürich is considered to have played an instrumental part in bringing about a worldwide tram renaissance.
Routes operated today
(Excluding buses and trolleybuses)
Urban tram routes
(all operated by
*4 (purple): Tiefenbrunnen - Bellevue - Central - Hauptbahnhof - Escher-Wyss-Platz - Werdhölzli
*10 (pink): Hauptbahnhof - Central - ETH/Universitätsspital - Seilbahn Rigiblick - Irchel - Milchbuck (- Sternen Oerlikon - Bhf. Oerlikon)
*11 (green): Rehalp - Kreuzplatz - Bhf. Stadelhofen - Bellevue -
Bürkliplatz- Paradeplatz- Hauptbahnhof - Schaffhauserplatz - Bucheggplatz - Bhf. Oerlikon - Sternen Oerlikon - Hallenstadion - Leutschenbach - Auzelg
*15 (red): Klusplatz - Römerhof - Kreuzplatz - Bhf. Stadelhofen - Bellevue - Central - Schaffhauserplatz - Bucheggplatz
Interurban tram/light-rail routes
Seilbahn Rigiblick): Rigiplatz [Seilbahn Rigiblick] - Rigiblick
Polybahn): Central - Polyterrasse
Dolderbahn): Römerhof - Grand Hotel Dolder
Tram types used today
**Be 4/4 "Karpfen" [withdrawn from service in late 2006]
**Be 4/6 "Mirage" #1601 - 1690 and #1691 - 17.. "Blinde Kuh" [cabless]
**Be 4/6 "Tram 2000" #2001 - 2098
**Be 4/6 "Tram 2000" #2301 - 2315 [cabless]
**Be 2/4 "Tram 2000" #2401 - 2435 [cabless] also known as "Pony"
**Be 4/8 "Tram 2000 Sänfte" #2099 - 21.. [rebuilt from Be 4/6 of the same car-number with additional midsection]
**Be 5/6 "Cobra" #3001 ff
**B4 (bogie trailers) - various types in use with Be 4/4 and Be 4/6 1601 ff
**various works trams
**cargo tram / E-Tram
Various plans for new lines exist. Currently a new three-line system called
Stadtbahn Glattalis being built in the Glattal area (to the North of the city). The line "Escher-Wyss-Platz - Bhf. Altstetten" is also at an advanced stage of planning. In the more distant future numerous other extensions will be realised.
* [http://www.vbz.ch VBZ official Website]
* [http://www.tram-museum.ch Tram Museum Zürich]
* [http://www.proaktiva.ch/tram/zurich Private homepage on Zürich trams in English]
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