For starters: there's no tramway in Hannover anymore. What they have since the inaugural of the first such line in 1975, is called "Stadtbahn" - the german way of doing modern light rail transit. Hannover (along with Frankfurt am Main and Cologne) was one of the earlier cities to experiment with this mixture of trams, subways and interurban railways systematically.
Also Hannover now has something in common with my hometown - or better, we have something common with Hannover: these TW6000 light rail vehicles built by D▄WAG, and later LHB. Budapest bought 76 of them a few years ago, although we use them as normal tramcars.
These bulky vehicles with their traditional lime-green livery...
... or all-over ads still dominate the streets, even though there are newer cars.
The city's Mercedes Citaro buses feature a bit extravagant design, but that's just my opinion...
Coupled TW6000 unit in a "tram roundabout".
Many of the stops have normal-height platforms, so to vehicles have folding stairs.
Of course some of the most important stations on the surface have high platforms...
... just like the underground stations.
There are three subway tunnels under the inner city with 19 stations. It was strange for me to see "our trams" acting as subways here!
Remark: these pictures were taken off-peak - normally the utilisation of these trains is quite high.
Our friend, Wolfgang took us to some tram depots to see the TW6000's which may be bought by Budapest in the near future. There will be about two dozen of them, but currently noone knows if we'll buy it or not.
Interestingly Hannover has almos no carbarn halls in their depots - the vehicles are stored on the open air.
Number 6001 is the first of the 6000er series. It's still in service: we saw it on route 9 the other day.
The "Hiroshima Tram" features a special all-over paintwork, commemorating the 60th anniversary of the deployment of the A-bomb.
A still life.
Snow-plough number 805 was built out of an old tram. Its orange paintwork makes it stand out of all the lime-green trams in the yard.
Number 823 is another works car, it's used for dispensing salt - or some other kind of de-icing substance - in winter.
This depot - along with other things - is also used as a storage place for vehicles taken out of service.
These two 6000ers are good examples: the one on the right-hand side waits for a potential customer like Budapest, the other, ...
.. number 6021 just got back from Houten, The Netherlands. It was one of the two tramcars used on a big railway side-line.
The colorful interior shows that it's something special.
Another works car.
I already mentioned that there are more modern vehicles in Hannover: this is the TW 2000 series, which has two sub-series: one are normal bidirectional cars with driver's cabs on both ends, the other consists of bidirectional cars with just one driver's cab on one...
... and a passage-way on the other end.
This means two such vehicles
... can be coupled into one permeable unit.
The third depot was a classic one, ...
... one of the last in Hannover with a carbarn. The yard was currently being rebuilt to house TW 2000's.
The remise is used (at least for the time being) by heritage trams. On the picture: a D▄WAG "Breitraumwagen" with a trailer.
I felt lucky to catch such a wonderful classic tram!
Unfortunately it was only shunting back into one of the halls...
This was the tram with which we later headed for the Wehmingen museum.
Two other oldtimers were standing in the yard. I believe they will be scrapped. Too bad!
This old "Aufbauwagen" was heading for some festivity held for the families of the staff of the urban transit operator.
And it happenned again: as soon as we stopped taking photos, the sun immediately started to shine! :)
I believe I must come back to Hannover sometimes, to take some further looks at this interesting transit system - half a day just wasn't enough!