Travels 2024

Lodz (PL) – June

Telefoniczna and Chocianowice depots.

Line 43 re-opening

Lodz and Sochaczew (PL) – June

We visited the tramway museum in Brus again in Lodz and also had another look at the small private collection north of Lodz. On the way back we re-visited the narrow gauge railway museum in Sochaczew. For www.vdva.de we ran another charter/private hire, this time using Duewag GT8N 1512 which is now owned by the KMST club.

Woltersdorf (DE) and Poznan (PL) – June

A trip to Lodz (PL) allowed us to stop us to have a very brief look again at these two systems (a return visit will hopefully follow later this year to see more trams and visit more photo locations there).

Arnhem (NL) June

The last destination of our Dutch adventure. Always nice to visit is the open air museum. They keep brining in more houses from around the country and also the trams seem to get swapped around a bit (with other museums). When we visited only Rotterdam trams ran but the depot has a few more cars from other operators. We did not see any of the new trolleybuses in the city but had little time to search for them before the long drive home.

Haarlem (NL) June

We also visited – for the first time – the N.Z.H. interurban museum (luckily it was open because a Scottish tram group visited just before our arrival – we had met with them in The Hague the day before – we waved them goodbye but ran into them again later at the railway station where the bus pics were taken). On the way back towards Amsterdam we also looked at the N.Z.H. bridge in Bennebroek (this is the site of an original bridge but the metal railings and poles are new) – a small modern museum piece kept to remember the blue interurban trams that served the Leiden line.

Amsterdam (NL) June

A short visit only. The main aim was to visit Lekstraat depot where much of the EMA museum trams are housed now. The EMA tram museum line is out of service and a new small temporary depot is being erected at the northern end of the museum line. Once the bridge works are finished in a few years the line will also return running to the original southern terminus. The old northern terminus by Haarlemmermeerstation will eventually be replaced by a new loop and the whole area around it (including where the museum depot buildings used to be) will be feature new housing. We also went on the new line 25 where the very southern end is not yet seeing service (but everything seems almost ready). Bus pics taken at Uithoorn interchange. We also briefly looked at the TEE cars sitting in the closed transport museum in Nieuw-Vennep (they need to move the museum to a new location) as the area will soon be used for new housing.

Den Haag (NL) June

Attending the 75th anniversary of Western European PCCs was the main reason for this “Dutch” trip. Most of the museum’s PCC cars operated on line 11 for free during the day and we managed for the first time to see the blue interurban trams at the lovely tram museum – a super wide angle was needed for most cars in there (they used to be housed at Scheveningen depot by a different society – the collections have been merged). Most images shown here show the PCCs but we also managed to get a few of the modern trams in but we did not have time to travel round the system (same in Rotterdam). Many tram enthusiasts were present and many good friends were spotted. Needs another visit! Brussels sent one of their PCCs and other metre gauge PCCs had been proposed as static visitors (but did not appear). Unfortunately, the Brussels car needs adjustments to the pantograph before it can actually operate. Maybe another visit later this year?

Rotterdam (NL) June

After Utrecht we headed south to Rotterdam. The tram museum was not yet opened when we had visited last some years ago and we were lucky to get a “behind the scenes tour” (not all of the museum space is available to the public because it is used for storing trams that actually come and go on tours and charters plus some non-restored stored equipment is there and a workshop area). What a lovely and extensive collection they have. Well worth a visit! Many trams operated that day on the tourist line, the shuttle to the museum and also various charters (private hires) went around the network. We also had a look at the newest metro line going to Hoek van Holland. The modern trams operating in Rotterdam are a little “boring”, very few advertising liveries were spotted (but there may be more of course that did not run that Saturday).

Utrecht (NL) June

A long weekend took us to Utrecht and a few more locations. We covered more-or-less all tram related locations.

A very short visit to Ulm, specially to see line 2, which wasn’t there the last time we visited (many years ago)

Gent (BE) May

150 years of trams: a big event with thousands of visitors and visiting trams. Day one saw many of the museum trams operate on three routes centred at the railway station. Day two was the big parade (with more trams than on the previous day) with another route operated (plus a short separate stretch for the horse tram). The steam tram locomotive did some runs (without the trailers that it pulled during the parade) in the historic old town which was the centre of events that day. The visiting trams came from various museums and were all ex Vicinal (SNCV/NMVB/NKG interurban). All in all a very nicely organised event. The horse tram (with 3 horses!) saw probably the longest lines of people waiting for a ride (even though the car itself was not pulled by horses when it ran on the Vicinal network in the old dayx). The small SNCV diesel railcar also proved to be a great hit.

Antwerp (BE) May

To reach the big event in Gent by railway we stopped over in Antwerp to have a look mainly at the ex Gent double-ended PCCs (that run on line 12 because of a stub-end at the northern terminus due to road construction) before they are replaced by brand new double ended CAF cars (which have started to arrive). No regular PCCS were seen and only a small number remain in weekday service. We return here in August with www.vdva.de and will have more time to look at the modern Antwerp fleet and the nice museum (but the PCCs are due for retirement in June, we’ll rent a museum car).

Hamburg (DE) May

2 test trains (for automatic service) on the test track at Berne station. Green S-Bahn set at Poppenbüttel station and a mix of images from Barmbek station (includes metro with locomotive heading short work train en-route to the nearby main workshops at Hellbrookstraße, S-Bahn and a stricken bus)

Schwerin (DE) March

A short visit to the retired DT2 #618 (half a set) of the Hamburg Hochbahn (metro = U-Bahn) at a golf club at Brunstorf near Schwarzenbek before we headed to the capital (the smallest in Germany) of the state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern.

Wehmingen tram museum near Hanover (DE) March

On the way back home half an hour or so was spent having a quick look at the new line (SL13) from Hanover to Hemmingen. A few “new” trams could be seen at the museum. The cars that do not look very good are no longer part of the museum collection and are used by a company running outdoor festivals on the museum site – it would have been too expensive to restore these cars as they had sat outside for many many years slowly rusting away. One can not keep everything.

Ulm (DE) March

In Wuerzburg the last surviving 6 Duewag GT8 cars were out in force because of a problem with the second generation low-floor cars. We managed to see 5 of them in service. What a delightful downtown! Needs a repeat visit.

Wuerzburg (DE) March

Service frequencies on this Sunday (we arrived Saturday but there was a strike) were not that great but still we managed to visit a few locations including the Henschel museum (mostly models on show here plus the two diesel locos in the old factory yard). The Technical museum next door has all the Kassel museum trams but the majority of the museum halls are unfortunately closed because of safety issues with the building. At least they put one of the trams in the accessible hall (plus a locomotive, models and a Transrapid maglev car).

Kassel (DE) March

We start the year with a visit to the “Elbbruecken” U-Bahn and S-Bahn stops in Hamburg (which are adjecent to each other). The metro part was opened in 2018 as the terminus of this new line and the suburban electrics started using this new stop a year later (there used to be a station here until 1944 but not for S-Bahn). The old bridge visible in some of the pics was built between 1917 and 1926 and features a space in the upper half to accommodate a metro line (this was never built). The U-Bahn will be extended eventually but not using this life expired bridge. Things take time in Hamburg.

Hamburg (DE) January