Dresden trams, May 2010
We went to the capital of Saxony with friends to witness the farewell of the Tatra trams, but I also tried to see as much of the "normal" tram activities as possible. It wasn't easy, because the city has a quite large network, and one day is just not enough.
Postplatz can be considered as the central hub for trams. Until a few years ago it looked quite different, but then the junction was rebuilt into a V-shaped junction. On these two photos we can see two types of low-floor trams: a 45-meter-long Bombardier Flexity Classic XXL - locally called the NGTD12DD - to the left, and a "SachsenTram" (Siemens + DUEWAG + DWA + ABB) NGT6DD. The latter is more-or-less the same vehicle as the "Hermelijn" trams used in Gent, Antwerp and on the Kustlijn.
The most unusual vehicle on rails is the CarGoTram, which is a scheduled freight tram service shuttling between the Volkswagen logistics center at Fiedrichstadt and the "Glass Manufacture" car factory in Dresden's inner city. The idea of this operation came because the central location of the car factory prohibited large storage facilities, plus they also wanted to avoid large convoys of trucks going through the streets of the inner city. Although such a service seems rather special, it's totally everyday here, it's even displayed on the visual information boards in the stops ("VW-Bahn in 5 Minutes").
And here's the other "wing" of the Postplatz hub.
NGTD12DD in the inner city, NGTD12DD in the suburbs. Although these trams are not entirely low-floor, they're quite comfortable.
A shorter brother of the NGTD12DD is the three-part NGTD8DD, which is only 30 meter long.
Most termini seemed to have reversing loops, but at Friedrichstadt the tram reversed in a triangle.
The tracks are nicely maintained, and cruising speed is fairly high, no matter if on private right-of-way or in the middle of the street.
Route 7 features multiple single-track stretches north of the inner city. (I know there are also other routes with such sections, but I had limited time, so I skipped most suburban tram lines with a vicinal character.)
A bit of single-track running in the middle of the street, then we arrive to a passing loop.
Single-track running is not confined to suburbia: Görlitzer Strasse in the inner city also has one such stretch.
A short video of this section.
The extension between Gorbitz and Pennrich was opened in November 2008. This is how a modern tramway should look like!
Back to the inner city, to see some street-running trams.
Route 11 runs out of the city, up to some green hills, along castle parks... On the photos: Mordgrundbrücke.
Some properly fast street-bound running.
To the left: the interior of a NGTD12DD. To the right: trams on the Augustusbrücke, with the old city center in the background.
Albertplatz is another busy junction, with a "grand union" connecting every direction. The tall, graffiti-polluted building in the background is the former HQ of the public transit operator ("Verkehrsbetriebe").
Long and short "roundheads".
This "Gotha" unit served as the Children's Tram, and was withdrawn two weeks after this photo was taken.
To the left: Liststrasse. To the right: even where the street surface is of poor quality, the tracks are good.
To the left: a tram sporting measuring equipment for a study about the wear of the vehicle over some years. To the right: one of the double-decker sightseeing buses of DVB, the municipal public transit operator..
"Normal" buses are low-floor, too: a Mercedes to the left, a Solaris to the right.
To the left: compact tram stop sign with PA and digital display integrated. To the right: if the on-board passenger information system runs Windows, this kind of error message can be anticipated ;)
To the left: I saw several disused tram depots around the city. This one - in Waltherstrasse - was at least still held by DVB, and had track connections. To the right: signalling madness :)
Not public transit, but looks like public transit of old: a cart looking like an old horse-tram, and an omnibus.
And at the end of the page, two old coaches: a Fleischer S2 RU II to the left, and a Saurer to the right. I must admit, I was a little disappointed that I saw no Ikarus, but these were nice, too :)
© Ákos Endre VARGA, unless stated otherwise. All rights reserved.
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