Tram

Synonyms for tram are terms like streetcar, trolley, or tramway.

Tram | Tramway | Trolley | Streetcar

In middle-sized to big cities the rail-based, electrified tram (tramway, trolley, streetcar) plays an important role. The tram has a long tradition and is an accepted and a popular local public passenger transport system for the primary and fine distribution in urban public transport networks. Nevertheless, it needs to be considered that the tram is only better than the bus if there exists an alignment which is completely independent from the motorized individual traffic.

The characteristics of trams are the same as the ones of other rail-based means of transport. These are a very smooth and quiet running, a pleasant ride- and a high boarding comfort thanks to its low-floor design as well as a high vehicle capacity compared to buses. Furthermore, the tram has a high area coverage and offers a good network capability.

Air pollution is prevented because of the electrical propulsion. It is mostly the residents which are usually confronted with a high density of motorized individual traffic and a high pollution of fine dust that benefit from this fact.

Among all the public means of transport, trams give the highest sense of modern urbanity and are the best ones to change the modal split favoring the local public passenger transport and thus reduce the motorized individual traffic in a city. Especially when compared to buses, trams have the so-called bonus of rails. There are transport service companies which register a growth of passengers of 80 % after changing from a bus- to a tram line. Moreover, a tram line has a positive influence on the development of a district. This refers to prices of properties as well as to the retail sector.

Thanks to the high presence of a tram in the urban environment its alignment is apparent and comprehensible to everyone. On the other hand, the rails and the overhead cables affect the motorized automobile traffic and increase the requirements concerning the architectural integration.

Due to the wheel-rail based system of a tram the grip that the tram brings on the rails is limited. Consequently, inclinations are only possible up to 8 %. On the other hand, as far as energy consumption is concerned, the wheel-rail based tram is more economic than the rubber-tired system thanks to the low friction.