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RE: What is Tram Pararam? How do you think about the answers? You can sign in to vote the answer. Symbolic User Lv 7. Conventional electric trams are operated in street running and on reserved track for most of their route.

However, on one steep segment of track, they are assisted by cable tractors, which push the trams uphill and act as brakes for the downhill run.

For safety, the cable tractors are always deployed on the downhill side of the tram vehicle. Similar systems were used elsewhere in the past, notably on the Queen Anne Counterbalance in Seattle and the Darling Street wharf line in Sydney.

Galveston Island Trolley in Texas operated diesel trams due to the city's hurricane-prone location, which would result in frequent damage to an electrical supply system.

Although Portland, Victoria promotes its tourist tram [73] as being a cable car it actually operates using a hidden diesel motor.

The tram, which runs on a circular route around the town of Portland, uses dummies and salons formerly used on the extensive Melbourne cable tramway system and now beautifully restored.

In the midth century many tram systems were disbanded, replaced by buses, trolleybuses , automobiles or rapid transit.

The General Motors streetcar conspiracy was a case study of the decline of trams in the United States.

Vehicle fabricates from the s and onwards such as the Bombardier Flexity series and Alstom Citadis are usually low-floor trams with features such as articulation and regenerative braking.

Trams have been used for two main purposes: for carrying passengers and for carrying cargo. There are several types of passenger tram:. There are two main types of tramways, the classic tramway built in the early 20th century with the tram system operating in mixed traffic, and the later type which is most often associated with the tram system having its own right of way.

Tram systems that have their own right of way are often called light rail but this does not always hold true. Though these two systems differ in their operation, their equipment is much the same.

Trams were traditionally operated with separate levers for applying power and brakes. More modern vehicles use a locomotive -style controller which incorporate a dead man's switch.

The success of the PCC streetcar had also seen trams use automobile-style foot controls allowing hands-free operation, particularly when the driver was responsible for fare collection.

Electric trams use various devices to collect power from overhead lines. The most common device found today is the pantograph , while some older systems use trolley poles or bow collectors.

Ground-level power supply has become a recent innovation. Another new technology uses supercapacitors ; when an insulator at a track switch cuts off power from the tram for a short distance along the line, the tram can use energy stored in a large capacitor to drive the tram past the gap in the power feed.

It was called Conduit current collection. Washington's was the last of these to close, in Today, no commercial tramway uses this system.

More recently, a modern equivalent to these systems has been developed which allows for the safe installation of a third rail on city streets, which is known as surface current collection or ground-level power supply ; the main example of this is the new tramway in Bordeaux.

A ground-level power supply system also known as Surface current collection or Alimentation par le sol APS is an updated version of the original stud type system.

APS uses a third rail placed between the running rails, divided electrically into eight-metre powered segments with three-metre neutral sections between.

Each tram has two power collection skates, next to which are antennas that send radio signals to energize the power rail segments as the tram passes over them.

Older systems required mechanical switching systems which were susceptible to environmental problems. At any one time no more than two consecutive segments under the tram should actually be live.

Wireless and solid state switching remove the mechanical problem. Alstom developed the system primarily to avoid intrusive power supply cables in the sensitive area of the old city of old Bordeaux.

Route patterns vary greatly among the world's tram systems, leading to different network topologies. The resulting route patterns are very different.

Some have a rational structure, covering their catchment area as efficiently as possible, with new suburbs being planned with tramlines integral to their layout — such is the case in Amsterdam.

Bordeaux and Montpellier have built comprehensive networks, based on radial routes with numerous interconnections, within the last two decades.

Some systems serve only parts of their cities, with Berlin being the prime example, owing to the fact that trams survived the city's political division only in the Eastern part.

In Rome , the remnant of the system comprises 3 isolated radial routes, not connecting in the ancient city centre, but linked by a ring route.

Some apparently anomalous lines continue in operation where a new line would not on rational grounds be built, because it is much more costly to build a new line than continue operating an existing one.

It is planned to open a line linking Hasselt Belgium with Maastricht Netherlands in Tramway track can have different rail profiles to accommodate the various operating environments of the vehicle.

They may be embedded into concrete for street-running operation, or use standard ballasted track with railroad ties on high-speed sections.

A more ecological solution is to embed tracks into grass turf. Tramway tracks use a grooved rail with a groove designed for tramway or railway track in pavement or grassed surfaces grassed track or track in a lawn.

The rail has the railhead on one side and the guard on the other. The guard provides accommodation for the flange.

The guard carries no weight, but may act as a checkrail. Grooved rail was invented in by Alphonse Loubat , a French inventor who developed improvements in tram and rail equipment, and helped develop tram lines in New York City and Paris.

The invention of grooved rail enabled tramways to be laid without causing a nuisance to other road users, except unsuspecting cyclists, who could get their wheels caught in the groove.

The grooves may become filled with gravel and dirt particularly if infrequently used or after a period of idleness and need clearing from time to time, this being done by a "scrubber" tram.

Failure to clear the grooves can lead to a bumpy ride for the passengers, damage to either wheel or rail and possibly derailing.

In narrow situations double-track tram lines sometimes reduce to single track, or, to avoid switches , have the tracks interlaced, e.

There is a UK example of interlaced track on the Tramlink , just west of Mitcham Station, where the formation is narrowed by an old landslip causing an obstruction.

See photo in Tramlink entry. Historically, the track gauge has had considerable variations, with narrow gauge common in many early systems.

However, most light rail systems are now standard gauge. An important advantage of standard gauge is that standard railway maintenance equipment can be used on it, rather than custom-built machinery.

Using standard gauge also allows light rail vehicles to be delivered and relocated conveniently using freight railways and locomotives. Another factor favoring standard gauge is that low-floor vehicles are becoming popular, and there is generally insufficient space for wheelchairs to move between the wheels in a narrow gauge layout.

Standard gauge also enables — at least in theory — a larger choice of manufacturers and thus lower procurement costs for new vehicles. However, other factors such as electrification or loading gauge for which there is more variation may require costly custom built units regardless.

Tram stops may be similar to bus stops in design and use, particularly in street-running sections, where in some cases other vehicles are legally required to stop clear of the tram doors.

Some stops may resemble to railway platforms , particularly in private right-of-way sections and where trams are boarded at standard railway platform height , as opposed to using steps at the doorway or low-floor trams.

Approximately 5, new trams are manufactured each year. As of February , 4, new trams were on order from their makers, with options being open for a further 1, Trams are in a period of growth, with about tram systems operating around the world, 10 or so new systems being opened each year, and many being gradually extended.

In the past 20 years their numbers have been augmented by modern tramway or light rail systems in cities that had discarded this form of transport.

There have also been some new tram systems in cities that never previously had them. Tramways with tramcars British English or street railways with streetcars North American English were common throughout the industrialised world in the late 19th and early 20th centuries but they had disappeared from most British, Canadian, French and US cities by the midth century.

By contrast, trams in parts of continental Europe continued to be used by many cities, although there were contractions in some countries, including the Netherlands.

Since trams have returned to favour in many places, partly because their tendency to dominate the roadway, formerly seen as a disadvantage, is now considered to be a merit since it raises the visibility of public transport encouraging car users to change their mode of travel , and enables streets to be reconfigured to give more space to pedestrians, making cites more pleasant places to live.

In Milan, Italy, the old " Ventotto " trams are considered by its inhabitants a "symbol" of the city. The same can be said of trams in Melbourne in general, but particularly the iconic W class.

The Toronto streetcar system had similarly become an iconic symbol of the city, operating the largest network in the Americas as well as the only large-scale tram system in Canada not including light rail systems, or heritage lines.

However it was completely closed in The final line, the Santa teresa route was closed in Substituting subway services for tram routes continues.

As from , the Melbourne system currently recognised as the world's largest took over Sydney's title as the largest network in Australia.

In many European cities, much tramway infrastructure was lost in the midth century, though not always on the same scale as in other parts of the world such as North America.

Most of Central and Eastern Europe retained the majority of its tramway systems and it is here that the largest and busiest tram systems in the world are found.

Whereas most systems and vehicles in the tram sector are found in Central and Eastern Europe, in the s and s, tram systems were shut down in many places in Western Europe, however urban transportation has been experiencing a sustained long running revival since the s.

Many European cities are rehabilitating, upgrading, expanding and reconstructing their old tramway lines and building new tramway lines.

In North America, these vehicles are called "streetcars" or "trolleys" ; the term tram is more likely to be understood as an aerial tramway or a people-mover.

Streetcar systems were developed in late 19th to early 20th centuries in a number of cities throughout North America. However, most North American cities saw its streetcar lines removed in the midth century for a variety of financial, technological and social reasons.

Toronto currently operates the largest streetcar system in the Americas in terms of track length and ridership.

Operated by the Toronto Transit Commission , the streetcar system is the only large-scale streetcar system existing in Canada, excluding heritage streetcar, or light rail systems that are operated in other Canadian municipalities.

The streetcar system was established in , and used a variety of vehicles in its history, including horse-drawn streetcars, Peter Witt streetcars , the PCC streetcar, and the Canadian Light Rail Vehicle and its articulated counterpart, the Articulated Light Rail Vehicle.

Since 29 December , [] the system exclusively uses the Flexity Outlook made by Bombardier Transportation.

However, Canadian cities excluding Toronto, removed their streetcar systems in the midth century. In the late s and early s, light rail systems were introduced in Calgary and Edmonton; with another light rail system established in Ottawa in There is now something of a renaissance for light railways in mid-sized cities with Waterloo, Ontario the first to come on line and construction underway in Mississauga, Ontario.

In the late 20th century, several Canadian locales restored portions of their defunct streetcar lines, operating them as a heritage feature for tourists.

Pittsburgh had kept most of its streetcar system serving the city and many suburbs, making it the longest-lasting large-network streetcar system in the United States.

In the late 20th century, several cities installed modern light rail systems, in part along the same corridors as their old streetcars systems, the first of these being the San Diego Trolley in San Diego in In the s, some cities in the United States brought back streetcars lines, including Memphis , Tampa , and Little Rock ; However, these streetcar systems were designed as heritage streetcar lines, and used vintage or replica-vintage vehicles.

The first "second-generation streetcar systems" in North America was opened in Portland in They are typically powered and will accept plastic figures inside.

Common manufacturers are Roco and Lima , with many custom models being made as well. The German firm Hödl [] and the Austrian Halling [] specialise in scale.

Bowser Manufacturing has produced white metal models for over 50 years. Many of these run on O scale trams are also very popular among tram modellers because the increased size allows for more detail and easier crafting of overhead wiring.

In the US these models are usually purchased in epoxy or wood kits and some as brass models. The Saint Petersburg Tram Company [] produces highly detailed polyurethane non-powered O Scale models from around the world which can easily be powered by trucks from vendors like Q-Car.

It is thought that the first example of a working model tramcar in the UK built by an amateur for fun was in , when Frank E. Nathan was a passenger by No.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Street-running light rail. This article is about public transport vehicles running on rails. For other uses of "tram", see Tram disambiguation.

For other uses, see Streetcar disambiguation. Main article: History of trams. Main article: Horsecar. See also: Tram engine and Steam dummy.

Main article: Cable car railway. Main article: List of tram systems by gauge and electrification. Main article: Convict tramway. Main article: Types of Trams.

Main articles: Railway electrification system and Current collector. Main article: Ground-level power supply. Main article: Tramway track. Main article: Tram stop.

Tram stops can range from purpose-built, tram-exclusive facilities left , to simple stops within a public road right.

Main articles: Tram and light rail transit systems , List of tram and light rail transit systems , and List of town tramway systems.

Countries with tram networks. Countries without tram networks. Main article: List of largest town tramway systems. This section needs to be updated.

Please update this article to reflect recent events or newly available information. January Main article: List of town tramway systems in Africa.

Main article: Trams in Asia. See also: Trams in China. Main article: Trams in Europe. Main article: Streetcars in North America. Further information: List of tram accidents.

Further information: Trams in popular culture. See also: Rail transport modelling. Transport portal Trains portal. The Free Dictionary. Retrieved 19 February Archived from the original on 9 April A Dictionary of the Older Scottish Tongue up to Dictionary of the Scots Language.

Archived from the original on 10 May Retrieved 8 March Post Greenwood Publishing Group. Archived from the original on 12 September The Time of the Trolley , p.

Milwaukee: Kalmbach Publishing. Archived from the original on 26 June Retrieved 25 February Archived from the original on 29 July Retrieved 21 January Retrieved 23 December Retrieved 22 December Archived from the original on 24 February Retrieved 10 February The Civil Engineer and Architect's Journal.

Ulysses Press. The Argus. Retrieved 10 March — via National Library of Australia. Retrieved 8 December Archived from the original on 30 December Retrieved 22 July Archived from the original on 29 September Archived from the original on 28 March Retrieved 27 July CRC Press, Palace Ed.

Popular Mechanics. Hearst Magazines. Fylde Tramway Society. Archived from the original on 17 July Retrieved 19 November Public Transportation History".

Archived from the original on 3 March Retrieved 20 March Archived from the original on 28 September Retrieved 7 August Fort Worth Daily Gazette.

Fort Worth, Texas. Grace's Guide to British Industrial History. Grace's Guide Ltd. Archived from the original on 12 March Retrieved 10 March Topeka Daily Capital.

Topeka, Kansas. Archived from the original on 23 October Archived from the original on 11 January Archived from the original on 2 March Archived from the original on 18 March Archived from the original on 4 March Retrieved 25 April AS Oslo Sporveier, Oslo , pp.

Archived from the original on 2 April Retrieved 12 February Stanford University Press. Retrieved 19 April Nye MIT Press. Retrieved 14 February Railway Gazette.

Archived from the original on 14 January Retrieved 2 June The Sydney Morning Herald. Fairfax Media. Retrieved 23 February Tasman Council.

Retrieved 4 July Retrieved 5 July The Fatal Shore. Random House. The Age. Archived from the original on 9 March Retrieved 15 February Archived from the original on 31 March Archived PDF from the original on 8 August Retrieved 12 March Archived from the original on 8 June Archived from the original on 29 November Archived from the original on 8 November Besides recounting statistics and anecdotes, this source also reprints a San Jose Mercury News cartoon of one such accident, in which a bemused tow truck driver quips, "Dang!

Rod Diridon was right! The trolley does reduce the number of vehicles on the road! Archived from the original on 1 June Archived from the original on 19 March The Toronto Star.

Torstar Corporation. Archived from the original on 15 September Archived from the original on 9 September Archived from the original on 5 May Archived from the original on 25 April Retrieved 19 May Petersburg Tram".

Archived from the original on 23 February Archived from the original on 18 August Archived from the original on 31 May Retrieved 14 September Archived from the original on 6 July Archived from the original on 20 August Azienda Trasporti Milanesi S.

Retrieved 5 June Archived from the original on 8 February Archived from the original on 21 January Archived from the original on 13 March Archived from the original on 10 March Archived from the original on 1 March Archived from the original on 23 March Archived from the original on 19 February Retrieved 28 August Archived from the original on 25 October

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Thank you. Answer Save. This Site Might Help You. RE: What is Tram Pararam? How do you think about the answers? You can sign in to vote the answer.

Symbolic User Lv 7. Still have questions? Tram vehicles are usually lighter and shorter than main line and rapid transit trains.

Today, most trams use electrical power, usually fed by a pantograph sliding on an overhead line ; older systems may use a trolley pole or a bow collector.

In some cases, a contact shoe on a third rail is used. If necessary, they may have dual power systems—electricity in city streets and diesel in more rural environments.

Occasionally, trams also carry freight. Trams are now commonly included in the wider term " light rail ", [3] which also includes grade-separated systems.

Some trams, known as tram-trains , may have segments that run on mainline railway tracks, similar to interurban systems.

The differences between these modes of rail transport are often indistinct and a given system may combine multiple features.

One of the advantages over earlier forms of transit was the low rolling resistance of metal wheels on steel rails, allowing the trams to haul a greater load for a given effort.

Problems included the high total cost of ownership of horses. Electric trams largely replaced animal power in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

Improvements in other vehicles such as buses led to decline of trams in the mid 20th century. However, trams have seen resurgence in recent years.

The English terms tram and tramway are derived from the Scots word tram , [4] referring respectively to a type of truck goods wagon or freight railroad car used in coal mines and the tracks on which they ran.

The word tram probably derived from Middle Flemish trame "beam, handle of a barrow, bar, rung". The identical word la trame with the meaning "crossbeam" is also used in the French language.

Etymologists believe that the word tram refers to the wooden beams the railway tracks were initially made of before the railroad pioneers switched to the much more wear-resistant tracks made of iron and, later, steel.

Although the terms tram and tramway have been adopted by many languages, they are not used universally in English; North Americans prefer streetcar , trolley , or trolleycar.

The term streetcar is first recorded in , and originally referred to horsecars. When electrification came, Americans began to speak of trolleycars or later, trolleys.

A widely held belief holds the word to derive from the troller said to derive from the words traveler and roller , a four-wheeled device that was dragged along dual overhead wires by a cable that connected the troller to the top of the car and collected electrical power from the overhead wires ; [7] this portmanteau derivation is, however, most likely folk etymology.

The alternative North American term 'trolley' may strictly speaking be considered incorrect, as the term can also be applied to cable cars, or conduit cars that instead draw power from an underground supply.

Conventional diesel tourist buses decorated to look like streetcars are sometimes called trolleys in the US tourist trolley.

Furthering confusion, the term tram has instead been applied to open-sided, low-speed segmented vehicles on rubber tires generally used to ferry tourists short distances, for example on the Universal Studios backlot tour and, in many countries, as tourist transport to major destinations.

The term may also apply to an aerial ropeway, e. Although the use of the term trolley for tram was not adopted in Europe, the term was later associated with the trolleybus , a rubber-tired vehicle running on hard pavement, which draws its power from pairs of overhead wires.

These electric buses, which use twin trolley poles, are also called trackless trolleys particularly in the northeastern US , or sometimes simply trolleys in the UK, as well as the Pacific Northwest , including Seattle , and Vancouver.

The New South Wales government in Australia has decided to use the term "light rail" for their trams. The history of trams, streetcars or trolley systems, began in the early nineteenth century.

It can be divided up into several discrete periods defined by the principal means of motive power used. The Mumbles Railway Act was passed by the British Parliament in , and horse-drawn service started in Street railways developed in America before Europe, largely due to the poor paving of the streets in American cities which made them unsuitable for horsebuses , which were then common on the well-paved streets of European cities.

Running the horsecars on rails allowed for a much smoother ride. There are records of a street railway running in Baltimore as early as , however the first authenticated streetcar in America, was the New York and Harlem Railroad developed by the Irish coach builder John Stephenson , in New York City which began service in the year Charles Streetcar Line.

Other American cities did not follow until the s, after which the "animal railway" became an increasingly common feature in the larger towns.

The first permanent tram line in continental Europe was opened in Paris in by Alphonse Loubat who had previously worked on American streetcar lines.

The first tram in South America opened in in Santiago, Chile. The first trams in Australia opened in in Sydney.

Africa's first tram service started in Alexandria on 8 January Problems with horsecars included the fact that any given animal could only work so many hours on a given day, had to be housed, groomed, fed and cared for day in and day out, and produced prodigious amounts of manure, which the streetcar company was charged with storing and then disposing of.

Since a typical horse pulled a streetcar for about a dozen miles a day and worked for four or five hours, many systems needed ten or more horses in stable for each horsecar.

Horsecars were largely replaced by electric-powered trams following the improvement of an overhead trolley system on trams for collecting electricity from overhead wires by Frank J.

His spring-loaded trolley pole used a wheel to travel along the wire. In late and early , using his trolley system, Sprague installed the first successful large electric street railway system in Richmond, Virginia.

Within a year, the economy of electric power had replaced more costly horsecars in many cities. By , electric railways incorporating Sprague's equipment had been begun or planned on several continents.

Horses continued to be used for light shunting well into the 20th century, and many large metropolitan lines lasted into the early 20th century. The tram made its last journey on 30 September when the Omagh to Enniskillen line closed.

The "van" now lies at the Ulster Transport Museum. A horse tram route in Polish gmina Mrozy , first built in , was reopened in The first mechanical trams were powered by steam.

Generally, there were two types of steam tram. The first and most common had a small steam locomotive called a tram engine in the UK at the head of a line of one or more carriages, similar to a small train.

Steam tramways also were used on the suburban tramway lines around Milan and Padua ; the last Gamba de Legn "Peg-Leg" tramway ran on the Milan- Magenta -Castano Primo route in late The other style of steam tram had the steam engine in the body of the tram, referred to as a tram engine UK or steam dummy US.

The most notable system to adopt such trams was in Paris. French-designed steam trams also operated in Rockhampton , in the Australian state of Queensland between and Stockholm , Sweden, had a steam tram line at the island of Södermalm between and Tram engines usually had modifications to make them suitable for street running in residential areas.

The wheels, and other moving parts of the machinery, were usually enclosed for safety reasons and to make the engines quieter. Measures were often taken to prevent the engines from emitting visible smoke or steam.

Usually the engines used coke rather than coal as fuel to avoid emitting smoke; condensers or superheating were used to avoid emitting visible steam.

A major drawback of this style of tram was the limited space for the engine, so that these trams were usually underpowered. Steam tram engines faded out around the s to s, being replaced by electric trams.

Another motive system for trams was the cable car, which was pulled along a fixed track by a moving steel cable. The power to move the cable was normally provided at a "powerhouse" site a distance away from the actual vehicle.

The London and Blackwall Railway , which opened for passengers in east London, England, in used such a system. The first practical cable car line was tested in San Francisco , in Part of its success is attributed to the development of an effective and reliable cable grip mechanism, to grab and release the moving cable without damage.

The second city to operate cable trams was Dunedin in New Zealand, from to The most extensive cable system in the US was built in Chicago , having been built in stages between and New York City developed multiple cable car lines, that operated from to There were also two isolated cable lines in Sydney , New South Wales, Australia; the North Sydney line from to , [25] and the King Street line from to In Dresden , Germany, in an elevated suspended cable car following the Eugen Langen one-railed floating tram system started operating.

Cable cars suffered from high infrastructure costs, since an expensive system of cables , pulleys , stationary engines and lengthy underground vault structures beneath the rails had to be provided.

They also required physical strength and skill to operate, and alert operators to avoid obstructions and other cable cars.

The cable had to be disconnected "dropped" at designated locations to allow the cars to coast by inertia, for example when crossing another cable line.

The cable would then have to be "picked up" to resume progress, the whole operation requiring precise timing to avoid damage to the cable and the grip mechanism.

Breaks and frays in the cable, which occurred frequently, required the complete cessation of services over a cable route while the cable was repaired.

Due to overall wear, the entire length of cable typically several kilometres would have to be replaced on a regular schedule.

After the development of reliable electrically powered trams, the costly high-maintenance cable car systems were rapidly replaced in most locations.

Cable cars remained especially effective in hilly cities, since their nondriven wheels would not lose traction as they climbed or descended a steep hill.

The moving cable would physically pull the car up the hill at a steady pace, unlike a low-powered steam or horse-drawn car. Cable cars do have wheel brakes and track brakes , but the cable also helps restrain the car to going downhill at a constant speed.

Performance in steep terrain partially explains the survival of cable cars in San Francisco. The San Francisco cable cars , though significantly reduced in number, continue to perform a regular transportation function, in addition to being a well-known tourist attraction.

A single cable line also survives in Wellington , New Zealand rebuilt in as a funicular but still called the " Wellington Cable Car ".

Another system, actually two separate cable lines with a shared power station in the middle, operates from the Welsh town of Llandudno up to the top of the Great Orme hill in North Wales , UK.

In the late 19th and early 20th centuries a number of systems in various parts of the world employed trams powered by gas, naphtha gas or coal gas in particular.

On 29 December the Melbourne newspaper The Argus reprinted a report from the San Francisco Bulletin that Mr Noble had demonstrated a new 'motor car' for tramways 'with success'.

The tramcar 'exactly similar in size, shape, and capacity to a cable grip car' had the 'motive power' of gas 'with which the reservoir is to be charged once a day at power stations by means of a rubber hose'.

The car also carried an electricity generator for 'lighting up the tram and also for driving the engine on steep grades and effecting a start'.

Comparatively little has been published about gas trams. However, research on the subject was carried out for an article in the October edition of "The Times", the historical journal of the Australian Association of Timetable Collectors, now the Australian Timetable Association.

A tram system powered by compressed natural gas was due to open in Malaysia in , [31] but the news about the project appears to have dried up. The world's first electric tram line operated in Sestroretsk near Saint Petersburg , Russia, invented and tested by Fyodor Pirotsky in Petersburg, which operated only during September The first public electric tramway used for permanent service was the Gross-Lichterfelde tramway in Lichterfelde near Berlin in Germany, which opened in It was built by Werner von Siemens who contacted Pirotsky.

This was world's first commercially successful electric tram. It initially drew current from the rails, with overhead wire being installed in It was the first tram in the world in regular service that was run with electricity served by an overhead line with pantograph current collectors.

This system is still in operation in a modernised form. Earliest tram system in Canada was by John Joseph Wright , brother of the famous mining entrepreneur Whitaker Wright , in Toronto in , introducing electric trams in In the US, multiple functioning experimental electric trams were exhibited at the World Cotton Centennial World's Fair in New Orleans, Louisiana , but they were not deemed good enough to replace the Lamm fireless engines then propelling the St.

Charles Avenue Streetcar in that city. The first commercial installation of an electric streetcar in the United States was built in in Cleveland, Ohio and operated for a period of one year by the East Cleveland Street Railway Company.

Sprague later developed multiple unit control, first demonstrated in Chicago in , allowing multiple cars to be coupled together and operated by a single motorman.

This gave rise to the modern subway train. Following the improvement of an overhead "trolley" system on streetcars for collecting electricity from overhead wires by Sprague, electric tram systems were rapidly adopted across the world.

Earlier electric trains proved difficult or unreliable and experienced limited success until the second half of the s, when new types of current collectors were developed.

While this line proved quite versatile as one of the earliest fully functional electric streetcar installations, it required horse-drawn support while climbing the Niagara Escarpment and for two months of the winter when hydroelectricity was not available.

It continued in service in its original form into the s. Sidney Howe Short designed and produced the first electric motor that operated a streetcar without gears.

The motor had its armature direct-connected to the streetcar 's axle for the driving force. Bucharest and Belgrade [46] ran a regular service from The first electric tramway in Australia was a Sprague system demonstrated at the Melbourne Centennial Exhibition in Melbourne ; afterwards, this was installed as a commercial venture operating between the outer Melbourne suburb of Box Hill and the then tourist-oriented country town Doncaster from to By the s, the only full tramway system remaining in Australia was the Melbourne tram system.

However, there were also a few single lines remaining elsewhere: the Glenelg tram line , connecting Adelaide to the beachside suburb of Glenelg , and tourist trams in the Victorian Goldfields cities of Bendigo and Ballarat.

In recent years the Melbourne system, generally recognised as the largest urban tram network in the world, has been considerably modernised and expanded.

A completely new system, known as G:link , was introduced on the Gold Coast, Queensland on 20 July In Japan, the Kyoto Electric railroad was the first tram system, starting operation in Two rare but significant alternatives were conduit current collection , which was widely used in London, Washington, D.

The convenience and economy of electricity resulted in its rapid adoption once the technical problems of production and transmission of electricity were solved.

Electric trams largely replaced animal power and other forms of motive power including cable and steam, in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

There is one particular hazard associated with trams powered from a trolley pole off an overhead line. Since the tram relies on contact with the rails for the current return path, a problem arises if the tram is derailed or more usually if it halts on a section of track that has been particularly heavily sanded by a previous tram, and the tram loses electrical contact with the rails.

In this event, the underframe of the tram, by virtue of a circuit path through ancillary loads such as interior lighting , is live at the full supply voltage, typically volts DC.

In British terminology, such a tram was said to be 'grounded'—not to be confused with the US English use of the term, which means the exact opposite.

Any person stepping off the tram completed the earth return circuit and could receive a nasty electric shock.

In such an event, the driver was required to jump off the tram avoiding simultaneous contact with the tram and the ground and pull down the trolley pole, before allowing passengers off the tram.

Unless derailed, the tram could usually be recovered by running water down the running rails from a point higher than the tram, the water providing a conducting bridge between the tram and the rails.

In the s, two companies introduced catenary-free designs. As early as , Thomas Davenport , a Vermont blacksmith, had invented a battery-powered electric motor which he later patented.

The following year he used it to operate a small model electric car on a short section of track four feet in diameter.

Attempts to use batteries as a source of electricity were made from the s and s, with unsuccessful trials conducted in among other places Bendigo and Adelaide in Australia, and for about 14 years as The Hague accutram of HTM in the Netherlands.

The first trams in Bendigo, Australia, in , were battery-powered but within as little as three months they were replaced with horse-drawn trams.

In New York City some minor lines also used storage batteries. Then, comparatively recently, during the s, a longer battery-operated tramway line ran from Milan to Bergamo.

In China there is a Nanjing battery Tram line and has been running since Paris and Berne Switzerland [64] [ circular reference ] operated trams that were powered by compressed air using the Mekarski system.

The Convict Tramway [65] was hauled by human power in the form of convicts from the Port Arthur convict settlement. The tramway carried passengers and freight, and ran on wooden rails.

The gauge is unknown. The date of closure is unknown, but it was certainly prior to The Trieste—Opicina tramway in Trieste operates a hybrid funicular tramway system.

Conventional electric trams are operated in street running and on reserved track for most of their route. However, on one steep segment of track, they are assisted by cable tractors, which push the trams uphill and act as brakes for the downhill run.

For safety, the cable tractors are always deployed on the downhill side of the tram vehicle. Similar systems were used elsewhere in the past, notably on the Queen Anne Counterbalance in Seattle and the Darling Street wharf line in Sydney.

Galveston Island Trolley in Texas operated diesel trams due to the city's hurricane-prone location, which would result in frequent damage to an electrical supply system.

Although Portland, Victoria promotes its tourist tram [73] as being a cable car it actually operates using a hidden diesel motor. The tram, which runs on a circular route around the town of Portland, uses dummies and salons formerly used on the extensive Melbourne cable tramway system and now beautifully restored.

In the midth century many tram systems were disbanded, replaced by buses, trolleybuses , automobiles or rapid transit. The General Motors streetcar conspiracy was a case study of the decline of trams in the United States.

Vehicle fabricates from the s and onwards such as the Bombardier Flexity series and Alstom Citadis are usually low-floor trams with features such as articulation and regenerative braking.

Trams have been used for two main purposes: for carrying passengers and for carrying cargo. There are several types of passenger tram:.

There are two main types of tramways, the classic tramway built in the early 20th century with the tram system operating in mixed traffic, and the later type which is most often associated with the tram system having its own right of way.

Tram systems that have their own right of way are often called light rail but this does not always hold true. Though these two systems differ in their operation, their equipment is much the same.

Trams were traditionally operated with separate levers for applying power and brakes. More modern vehicles use a locomotive -style controller which incorporate a dead man's switch.

The success of the PCC streetcar had also seen trams use automobile-style foot controls allowing hands-free operation, particularly when the driver was responsible for fare collection.

Electric trams use various devices to collect power from overhead lines. The most common device found today is the pantograph , while some older systems use trolley poles or bow collectors.

Ground-level power supply has become a recent innovation. Another new technology uses supercapacitors ; when an insulator at a track switch cuts off power from the tram for a short distance along the line, the tram can use energy stored in a large capacitor to drive the tram past the gap in the power feed.

It was called Conduit current collection. Washington's was the last of these to close, in Today, no commercial tramway uses this system.

More recently, a modern equivalent to these systems has been developed which allows for the safe installation of a third rail on city streets, which is known as surface current collection or ground-level power supply ; the main example of this is the new tramway in Bordeaux.

A ground-level power supply system also known as Surface current collection or Alimentation par le sol APS is an updated version of the original stud type system.

APS uses a third rail placed between the running rails, divided electrically into eight-metre powered segments with three-metre neutral sections between.

Each tram has two power collection skates, next to which are antennas that send radio signals to energize the power rail segments as the tram passes over them.

Older systems required mechanical switching systems which were susceptible to environmental problems. At any one time no more than two consecutive segments under the tram should actually be live.

Wireless and solid state switching remove the mechanical problem. Alstom developed the system primarily to avoid intrusive power supply cables in the sensitive area of the old city of old Bordeaux.

Route patterns vary greatly among the world's tram systems, leading to different network topologies. The resulting route patterns are very different.

Some have a rational structure, covering their catchment area as efficiently as possible, with new suburbs being planned with tramlines integral to their layout — such is the case in Amsterdam.

Bordeaux and Montpellier have built comprehensive networks, based on radial routes with numerous interconnections, within the last two decades.

Some systems serve only parts of their cities, with Berlin being the prime example, owing to the fact that trams survived the city's political division only in the Eastern part.

In Rome , the remnant of the system comprises 3 isolated radial routes, not connecting in the ancient city centre, but linked by a ring route.

Some apparently anomalous lines continue in operation where a new line would not on rational grounds be built, because it is much more costly to build a new line than continue operating an existing one.

It is planned to open a line linking Hasselt Belgium with Maastricht Netherlands in Tramway track can have different rail profiles to accommodate the various operating environments of the vehicle.

They may be embedded into concrete for street-running operation, or use standard ballasted track with railroad ties on high-speed sections.

A more ecological solution is to embed tracks into grass turf. Tramway tracks use a grooved rail with a groove designed for tramway or railway track in pavement or grassed surfaces grassed track or track in a lawn.

The rail has the railhead on one side and the guard on the other. The guard provides accommodation for the flange.

The guard carries no weight, but may act as a checkrail. Grooved rail was invented in by Alphonse Loubat , a French inventor who developed improvements in tram and rail equipment, and helped develop tram lines in New York City and Paris.

The invention of grooved rail enabled tramways to be laid without causing a nuisance to other road users, except unsuspecting cyclists, who could get their wheels caught in the groove.

The grooves may become filled with gravel and dirt particularly if infrequently used or after a period of idleness and need clearing from time to time, this being done by a "scrubber" tram.

Failure to clear the grooves can lead to a bumpy ride for the passengers, damage to either wheel or rail and possibly derailing. In narrow situations double-track tram lines sometimes reduce to single track, or, to avoid switches , have the tracks interlaced, e.

There is a UK example of interlaced track on the Tramlink , just west of Mitcham Station, where the formation is narrowed by an old landslip causing an obstruction.

See photo in Tramlink entry. Historically, the track gauge has had considerable variations, with narrow gauge common in many early systems.

However, most light rail systems are now standard gauge. An important advantage of standard gauge is that standard railway maintenance equipment can be used on it, rather than custom-built machinery.

Using standard gauge also allows light rail vehicles to be delivered and relocated conveniently using freight railways and locomotives.

Another factor favoring standard gauge is that low-floor vehicles are becoming popular, and there is generally insufficient space for wheelchairs to move between the wheels in a narrow gauge layout.

Standard gauge also enables — at least in theory — a larger choice of manufacturers and thus lower procurement costs for new vehicles.

However, other factors such as electrification or loading gauge for which there is more variation may require costly custom built units regardless.

Tram stops may be similar to bus stops in design and use, particularly in street-running sections, where in some cases other vehicles are legally required to stop clear of the tram doors.

Some stops may resemble to railway platforms , particularly in private right-of-way sections and where trams are boarded at standard railway platform height , as opposed to using steps at the doorway or low-floor trams.

Approximately 5, new trams are manufactured each year. As of February , 4, new trams were on order from their makers, with options being open for a further 1, Trams are in a period of growth, with about tram systems operating around the world, 10 or so new systems being opened each year, and many being gradually extended.

In the past 20 years their numbers have been augmented by modern tramway or light rail systems in cities that had discarded this form of transport.

There have also been some new tram systems in cities that never previously had them. Tramways with tramcars British English or street railways with streetcars North American English were common throughout the industrialised world in the late 19th and early 20th centuries but they had disappeared from most British, Canadian, French and US cities by the midth century.

By contrast, trams in parts of continental Europe continued to be used by many cities, although there were contractions in some countries, including the Netherlands.

Since trams have returned to favour in many places, partly because their tendency to dominate the roadway, formerly seen as a disadvantage, is now considered to be a merit since it raises the visibility of public transport encouraging car users to change their mode of travel , and enables streets to be reconfigured to give more space to pedestrians, making cites more pleasant places to live.

In Milan, Italy, the old " Ventotto " trams are considered by its inhabitants a "symbol" of the city. The same can be said of trams in Melbourne in general, but particularly the iconic W class.

The Toronto streetcar system had similarly become an iconic symbol of the city, operating the largest network in the Americas as well as the only large-scale tram system in Canada not including light rail systems, or heritage lines.

However it was completely closed in The final line, the Santa teresa route was closed in Substituting subway services for tram routes continues.

As from , the Melbourne system currently recognised as the world's largest took over Sydney's title as the largest network in Australia.

In many European cities, much tramway infrastructure was lost in the midth century, though not always on the same scale as in other parts of the world such as North America.

Most of Central and Eastern Europe retained the majority of its tramway systems and it is here that the largest and busiest tram systems in the world are found.

Whereas most systems and vehicles in the tram sector are found in Central and Eastern Europe, in the s and s, tram systems were shut down in many places in Western Europe, however urban transportation has been experiencing a sustained long running revival since the s.

Many European cities are rehabilitating, upgrading, expanding and reconstructing their old tramway lines and building new tramway lines.

In North America, these vehicles are called "streetcars" or "trolleys" ; the term tram is more likely to be understood as an aerial tramway or a people-mover.

Streetcar systems were developed in late 19th to early 20th centuries in a number of cities throughout North America. However, most North American cities saw its streetcar lines removed in the midth century for a variety of financial, technological and social reasons.

Toronto currently operates the largest streetcar system in the Americas in terms of track length and ridership.

Operated by the Toronto Transit Commission , the streetcar system is the only large-scale streetcar system existing in Canada, excluding heritage streetcar, or light rail systems that are operated in other Canadian municipalities.

The streetcar system was established in , and used a variety of vehicles in its history, including horse-drawn streetcars, Peter Witt streetcars , the PCC streetcar, and the Canadian Light Rail Vehicle and its articulated counterpart, the Articulated Light Rail Vehicle.

Since 29 December , [] the system exclusively uses the Flexity Outlook made by Bombardier Transportation.

However, Canadian cities excluding Toronto, removed their streetcar systems in the midth century. In the late s and early s, light rail systems were introduced in Calgary and Edmonton; with another light rail system established in Ottawa in There is now something of a renaissance for light railways in mid-sized cities with Waterloo, Ontario the first to come on line and construction underway in Mississauga, Ontario.

In the late 20th century, several Canadian locales restored portions of their defunct streetcar lines, operating them as a heritage feature for tourists.

Pittsburgh had kept most of its streetcar system serving the city and many suburbs, making it the longest-lasting large-network streetcar system in the United States.

In the late 20th century, several cities installed modern light rail systems, in part along the same corridors as their old streetcars systems, the first of these being the San Diego Trolley in San Diego in In the s, some cities in the United States brought back streetcars lines, including Memphis , Tampa , and Little Rock ; However, these streetcar systems were designed as heritage streetcar lines, and used vintage or replica-vintage vehicles.

The first "second-generation streetcar systems" in North America was opened in Portland in They are typically powered and will accept plastic figures inside.

Common manufacturers are Roco and Lima , with many custom models being made as well. The German firm Hödl [] and the Austrian Halling [] specialise in scale.

Bowser Manufacturing has produced white metal models for over 50 years. Many of these run on O scale trams are also very popular among tram modellers because the increased size allows for more detail and easier crafting of overhead wiring.

In the US these models are usually purchased in epoxy or wood kits and some as brass models. The Saint Petersburg Tram Company [] produces highly detailed polyurethane non-powered O Scale models from around the world which can easily be powered by trucks from vendors like Q-Car.

It is thought that the first example of a working model tramcar in the UK built by an amateur for fun was in , when Frank E.

Nathan was a passenger by No.

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