(English tramway, from tram – wagon, trolley and way – way) – a means of urban land transport, a motor car (or motorized with trailer cars), receiving electricity from the contact wire, moving along the track.
Trams originated in the first half of the XIX century, electric – in the late XIX century. After the heyday, the era of which fell on the period between world wars, the decay of trams began, but since the end of the 20th century there has been a significant increase in the popularity of trams.
Most trams use electric current received through the air contact network by means of current collectors (pantographs or bars), but there are also trams with power from the third rail and battery trams.
A tram is an outdated form of transport.
No, the oldest type of electric transport is underground, after it there was a tram, and a year later – a trolleybus. The attempt to replace the tram with a bus, as a rule, ended in failure, and at the end of the last century the tram survived a real renaissance (taking place to this day). In many cities around the world, new networks are opening, the existing structures of tramways are expanding several times (in the case of developed capitalist countries, the reduction of lines is more typical for developing countries).
The tram is an extremely non-maneuverable mode of transport.
Yes, it is. But it should be borne in mind that rails can be laid where any other mode of transport can not move (for example, in pedestrian, forest-park, suburban areas, etc.). A convenient route network, sometimes covering the entire city (such as Amsterdam, Budapest, Munich or Prague) makes it easy to get from one point to another city with a minimum of transfers. In some countries, a long-distance tram network (interurban) is also well developed, integrated with the networks of railways and underground.
The tram travels very slowly.
The average operating speed of a tram (even equipped with an old rolling stock and moving along long unrepaired roads) is only 10% less than the speed of a trolleybus or bus. In many countries, this difference is much smaller, and in some countries the speed of a street tram even exceeds the speed of a car acceptable within the city limits.
Tram is the main cause of traffic jams.
The reasons for the traffic jams are different: an increased number of cars (often driven by inept drivers violating traffic rules), parking disruptions, poor road conditions, etc.
The construction of tram lines is extremely expensive.
Indeed, tram cars are more expensive than buses and trolleybuses, but they can also be operated much longer. For example, the service life of the trolleybus is 15 years on average, the tramcar (the cost of which is two and a half times higher) can be used for more than 40 years. And its capacity is more, and service is cheaper. In addition, it should be noted that the laying of bus lines and, especially, trolleybus lines requires a serious capital (and, of course, expensive) road repairs, which will later have to be repeated every 3-5 years. The tramway and the contact network cost about the same amount, and the rails need to be changed every 15-25 years.
The tram is the noisiest transport.
The noise produced by the tram is no more than the sound effect generated by cars. And in European countries, a tram moving along qualitatively paved roads is almost silent.
The business center of the city tram to anything.
It should be noted that the tram helps to increase the attendance of the streets on which it passes, which is of great importance for commerce. And tram lines passing by business and office centers, provide a convenient communication between them, negating the problem of parking. And the time of employees is saved.
The tram is dangerous.
Completely unreasonable statement. According to statistics, the accident rate of a tram is less than that of any other mode of transport. After all, tram cars are equipped with four braking systems, a powerful engine, which gives an advantage in maintaining steep gradients on any road. In addition, tram maneuvers are easily predictable, as they depend on the laid rails.
Trams in the center of the city do not belong.
It was the perception of the tram as a transport vehicle that contributed to a sharp increase in the loads on the subway, which led to the emergence of a large number of unpleasant situations. In many developed countries, buses and trolleybuses bring passengers to the tram lines, while the subway performs the role of an alternative vehicle aimed at a direct connection. And in cities where numerous pedestrian areas have been created in the central part or the Park Rclasse system has been introduced (providing for paid entry), a tram on narrow central streets is generally the only vehicle.
The tram can be easily replaced by another mode of transport.
As experience of many countries of the world testifies, such replacement is never equivalent. After all, the tram cars have a large capacity, and the interval of the two-car train is 6 minutes. For an equivalent replacement would have to purchase an equivalent number of trolleybuses or buses, and this, as a rule, is unprofitable for the city budget. As a result, the “equivalent” with the flow of passengers can not cope, people are transplanted into personal cars, thereby increasing the number of traffic jams and emergency situations.
Removing tram rails contributes to improving the traffic situation.
Theoretically, it would seem, it should be so. But in practice, the effect is completely reversed. If the rails were on the roadway, their disappearance only disorganized the drivers, which resulted in increased congestion at the traffic lights. The roadway, freed from tram tracks, attracted drivers from parallel routes to a new, wider one. This resulted in congestion on the main road.
Trams of Europe and America are completely different from ours, and they have only one role – to remind us of the past.
Almost all tram systems in the world are the same as ours – the same rails in the middle or on the edge of the roadway, four-axle wagons, the same conductor in the cabin collecting money for the journey. The role of the tram in the infrastructure of western cities is different. In some localities this is the main mode of transport financed by the budget, in other megacities there are commercial lines with “antique” carriages in business districts.
Trams have a devastating effect on monuments.
No, if the tramway rails are laid using modern technology. For example, in order to protect against stray currents (which have a vibrating effect on surrounding objects and are especially dangerous for bridges), the APS (Alimentation Par Sol) road pavement system has been created in France, and the technology of laying tracks with rubber gaskets allows to minimize vibration from the tram. In Prague, the tram has been going for many years not only in close proximity (1m) from buildings, but also through arches. At the same time, no damage is done to the buildings.
The tram is bad for your health.
No, doctors say the opposite. It turns out that in cities where the tram disappeared from the streets, the number of pulmonary and cardiac diseases increased. The air pollution also increased, and frequent trips by fixed-route taxis caused back problems to many passengers.