LPE horse tramcar
Motor tram number 349
Trailer number 103, built 1896
Trailer number 103, interior
On 18 May 1872, the Leipziger Pferdeeisenbahn (LPE, "Leipzig Horse Railway) opened service. The Reudnitz tram depot was the first in Leipzig and the location of the LPE head office. Twenty-five years after opening, the LPE owned 1,013 horses, 172 tramcars and five depots. A competing tramway enterprise, the Leipziger Elektrische Straßenbahn (LESt, "Leipzig Electric Tramway Company") started construction of an electric tramway network in 1895. This prompted the LPE to begin electrification. The Große Leipziger Straßenbahn (GLSt, "Greater Leipzig Tramway Company") organized as the legal successor to the LPE, managed to open the first electric tramway in Leipzig on 17 April 1896. The LESt opened service soon thereafter, on 20 May 1896. To the regret of many residents, the last horse tramway service operated on 16 April 1897.
Suburban lines were developed from 1900, and motorbus services from 1913. After the First World War, the privately owned companies were dissolved and replaced by a municipal undertaking, which operated under the old name Große Leipziger Straßenbahn (GLSt). This was renamed Leipziger Verkehrsbetriebe (LVB, "Leipzig Transport Company") from 1938, incorporating motorbus, trolleybus and taxi services. In 1949, following establishment of the DDR, LVB was integrated with other (formerly private) enterprises taken into state ownership. It became part of the (nationalized) transport undertakings operated as Volkseigener Betrieb Kombinate ("People's Collective Enterprises") in 1970. Following the fall of the DDR, LVB was reorganized as a company with limited liability (GmbH), owned by the Leipzig local authority and the district (Landkreis) of Leipzig.
A detailed overview of the development of the Leipzig tramway, segment by segment, may be found in the article Leipzig Tramway Network History.
Read more about this topic: Leipziger Verkehrsbetriebe
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