Trams in Graz - A

Trams in Graz - A

The Graz tramway network is a network of tramways forming an important part of the public transport system in Graz, which is both the capital city of the federal state of Styria, Austria, and the second largest city in Austria.

In operation since 1878, the network presently has six daytime lines, and five evening and Sunday lines. As of 2012, the Graz tram network ran on an almost 60 kilometres (37 mi) of route, and served 53.56 million passengers. It is operated by the Graz Linien division of Holding Graz, the city owned utility company who also operate the city's bus network and the Schlossbergbahn funicular railway. The trams form part of the styrian integrated fare system which covers all modes of public transport in Graz and Styria.

The Tramway Museum Graz, at the terminus of line 1 in Mariatrost, holds many exhibits relating to the system.

Graz Tram History

The first trams to run in Graz were horse trams in private ownership, with service commencing in 1878. The lines were electrified from 1899. In 1939, the tram network was acquired by the city.

In 1941, the narrow gauge electric railway that had linked Graz with the suburb of Mariatrost since 1898, was converted to standard gauge and became part of the tram network. The resulting long outer section of tram route 1 still retains many light railway features, with its off-street routing and long stretches of single track.

The Graz tram network reached a peak in 1950. Growing car ownership, and the growth of residential areas in outer reaches of the city not served by the trams, lead to a fall in tram usage and eventually, after 1950, the closure of several tram routes. The city introduced trolleybuses in 1941 to serve the outer areas of the city, but these were replaced by motor buses by 1967.

In the 1990s, with the city's narrow central streets proving ill-suited to large quantities of private car traffic, the city adopted a policy of improving and expanding public transport, with modernisation and extension of the tramway. The area around Jakominiplatz was developed as the main tram and city bus interchange from 1995, whilst extensions to Puntigam, Liebenau/Murpark and St Peter followed in 2006 and 2007.

In 2001, Graz was the launch customer for the Bombardier Transportation's Cityrunner design, with the acquisition of 18 27 m (89 ft) long five-section trams. These were the city's first 100% low-floor trams, although the concept was introduced in 1999 by the fitting of new low-floor centre sections to 12 existing trams.

In 2007, Graz ordered 45 Stadler Variobahn trams for delivery between 2009 and 2015. These vehicles proved controversial, with complaints over noise and vibration levels. Initially confined to the north-south axis lines 4 and 5, the trams started operating on the east-west axis in 2013, after modifications and imposition of a speed limit.

In 2012, new tram tunnels were built to serve the city's main railway station (Graz Hauptbahnhof), which was previously the terminus of two tram lines and some distance from the main westbound tram route. Trams on the main line now stop in a new subsurface tram station in the station forecourt area. This allows the station to be served by four of the city's six lines.

In 2016 a new extension of line 7 in order to serve the new medical campus of the University of Graz in Stiftingtalstraße has been constructed and opened to the public on 11 September 2016. The line was extended by one stop from the previous terminus at St. Leonhard.

Graz Tram Operation

Graz Tram Route Network

The following services operate during the day on Mondays to Saturdays:
  • Line 1: Eggenberg/UKH - Hauptbahnhof - Jakominiplatz - Mariatrost.
  • Line 3: Andritz - Jakominiplatz - Krenngasse.
  • Line 4: Reininghaus - Hauptbahnhof - Jakominiplatz - Liebenau/Murpark.
  • Line 5: Andritz - Jakominiplatz - Puntigam.
  • Line 6: Smart City/Peter-Tunner-Gasse/tim - Hauptbahnhof - Jakominiplatz - St. Peter.
  • Line 7: Wetzelsdorf - Hauptbahnhof - Jakominiplatz - LKH Med Uni/Klinikum Nord.
The following services operate in the evenings and on Sundays:
  • Lines 1, 4, 5, 6 and 7: as above.
  • Line 23: Krenngasse - Jakominiplatz.
Graz Tram Infrastructure

Graz's tram network is built to standard gauge and is electrified using overhead line at 600 V DC. The network is largely double track, with some 3.5 kilometres (2.2 mi) of single track on the northern, former light railway, section of line 1, and just over 1 kilometre (0.62 mi) towards the southern terminus of line 5. Most of the track is at grade, with the exception of the subsurface tram stop, with linking tunnels, at the main railway station, and a short tunnel just before the southern terminus of line 5.

With the exception of the short tunnelled sections, and the former light railway section of line 1, all of the system is street based, with varying degrees of segregation. As the trams are single-ended, with doors on only one side, all terminal locations are equipped with turning loops, and all tram stops are to the nearside of the tram.

Graz Tramway Network Operation

Locale: Graz, Styria, Austria
Status: Operational
Lines: 6
Operator(s): Holding Graz (since 2007)
Track Gauge: 1,435 mm (4 ft 8+1/2 in) standard gauge
Electrification: 600 V DC
Stock: 86
Route Length: 67.2 km (41.8 mi)
2012 Rider: 53.56 million
Horse Tram Era: 1878-1899
Propulsion System(s): Horses
Electric Tram Era: since 1899
Status: Still running
Operator(s): Holding Graz (since 2007)
Track Gauge: 1,435 mm (4 ft 8+1/2 in) standard gauge
Propulsion System(s): Electricity
Electrification: 600 V DC

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