History of Trams - Electric Trams

Electric Trams

The convenience and economy of electricity resulted in its rapid adoption once the technical problems of production and transmission of electricity were solved. The first prototype of the electric tram was developed by Ukrainian engineer Fedir Pyrotskyi. In 1875 he experimented with electrically powered railway cars on the Sestroretsk railway. The electricity was transferred over a distance of approximately one kilometer; both rails were isolated from the ground, one rail served as a direct conductor and one as a return conductor. In 1880 he modified a city two-decker horse tram to be powered by electricity instead of horses, and on 3 September 1880 this unusual form of public transport started to serve residents of Saint Petersburg, amid the vocal protests of the owners of the horse-cars. This short-lived experiment continued only until the end of September 1880.

On 16 May 1881, Werner von Siemens opened the world's first electric tramway in the suburb of Gross-Lichterfelde, (later incorporated into Berlin). The Gross-Lichterfelde Tramway was built in meter gauge and ran from today's suburban station Lichterfelde Ost to the cadet school on Zehlendorfer Strasse (today Finckensteinallee). At first, the route was just a testing plant; Siemens named it an "elevated line taken down from its pillars and girders". The route was regauged to standard gauge in October 1925. (See Berlin Straßenbahn).

In 1883, Magnus Volk constructed his 2-foot gauge Volk's Electric Railway along the eastern seafront at Brighton, England. This 2 km (2,000 m) line, re-gauged to 2 ft 9 in (840 mm) in 1884, remains in service to this day, and is the oldest operating electric tramway in the world.

In October of the same year, the first permanent tram with transmission of electricity by a bipolar overhead line was opened in Austria. This Lokalbahn Mödling–Hinterbrühl was in service till 1932.

In 1884 the electric tram FOTG from Frankfurt am Main to Offenbach was opened with rails of metre gauge all on road and a bipolar overhead line. In 1905 it was changed to standard gauge, and the overhead line became unipolar. The western part of this line is still working.

The first electric street tramway in Britain, the Blackpool Tramway, was opened on 29 September 1885 using conduit collection along Blackpool Promenade; it was later changed to overhead power supply. After 1960, this remained the only first-generation operational tramway in the UK; it remains in operation today. The most extensive systems were to be found in Birmingham, Glasgow, London, and Manchester.

In the United States on April 15, 1886 Montgomery, Alabama established its electric streetcar system nicknamed the Lightning Route. Another successful, continuously-operating electrified streetcar system in the United States was established in Scranton, Pennsylvania by November 30, 1886, giving it the nickname "The Electric City". But the first large-scale electric street railway system known as the Richmond Union Passenger Railway was built in Richmond, Virginia, in January 1888. By 1890 over 100 such systems had been begun or were planned.

While Paris had an experimental electric tram in 1881 (which ran between Place de la Concorde and Palais de l'Industrie for an exhibition about electricity), the first major electric tram systems in Europe probably ran in Budapest from 1887 while Bucharest ran a regular service from 1894 and Sarajevo from 1895.

The first electric tramway in the Southern Hemisphere was opened in Melbourne, Australia in 1889 and was operated by a group of land developers. It ran from Box Hill railway station up to Doncaster Hill as a tourist tramway and closed in 1896.

In South America, battery-powered tramways operated in Niterói, Brazil and Rio de Janeiro starting in 1883 and 1887, respectively, but the first true electric tramway—with overhead wires—anywhere in Latin America opened in Rio de Janeiro in 1892.

Read more about this topic:  History Of Trams

Other articles related to "tram, electric trams, trams, electric":

Kiev Tramway - History - During The Russian Empire
... On July 30, 1891, the first horse-drawn tram wagon was set on a track ... By August 1, the tram line stretched from the Tsar's Square to the Demiivska Square ... Soon after tram operations were started, many problems arose ...
Tramways In Poznań - History - Electric Trams
... On 6 March 1898 horse trams were replaced by electric ones ... were three lines white - like the old horse tram from the train station via Rynek/Ring to Ostrów Tumski red - from Rynek Jeżycki/Jersitz Markt via ul ... and along the old horse tram route to Rynek/Ring and Brama Wildecka/Wilda Thor yellow - from the train station like the white line but only as far as the intersection of ul ...
Trams In Adelaide - Electric Trams - Electric Tram Types - Citadis 302 / Type 200 / Type J
... The newest trams in Adelaide are six Alstom Citadis (model 302) trams which were purchased second hand from the Spanish city of Madrid ... Compared to the Flexity Classic trams already in service, they have a higher 'crush loading' (186 compared with 115) but 10 fewer seats ... Originally built as part of an order for seventy Alstom Citadis trams by Spanish operator MetroLigero for service in Madrid, six Citadis trams were acquired by TransAdelaide for ...
St Kilda, South Australia - Features - Tramway Museum
... Adelaide had an extensive tram system, beginning as horse trams in 1878, moving to electric trams in 1909 and reduced in 1958 to a single tram line which runs from Adelaide's ... of the 1902 school, the Adelaide Tramway Museum at St Kilda showcases trams and trolleybuses that were either used or built in Adelaide ... The museum is operated by the Australian Electric Transport Museum (SA) Inc, a not-for-profit volunteer organisation accredited with the History Trust of South Australia and dedicated to preserving and ...

Famous quotes containing the word electric:

    The more I see of democracy the more I dislike it. It just brings everything down to the mere vulgar level of wages and prices, electric light and water closets, and nothing else.
    —D.H. (David Herbert)