Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Austria: Trams

In Austria, Gmunden, Graz, Innsbruck, Linz and Vienna all have tramway systems. With 173.4 km of track, Vienna's network is one of the largest in the world. 

The cars have been constantly modernised over the years and many are now ultra low-floored. Many of the Austrian tramlines have been in constant operation since they were first opened. Vienna started with horse trams in 1865 with electrification in 1897. Graz had horse trams in 1878 and electric cars in 1898 while Linz goes back to 1880 with electrification in 1897.

The Gmunden Tramway, only 2.3 km long, is currently one of the shortest in the world. With gradients of up to 9.6%,  it is also one of the steepest and has become a popular tourist attraction.

Innsbruck, which traditionally used second-hand trams from other cities, has recently replaced its whole fleet with 32 Bombardier low-floor cars (as of Summer 2009). The P├Âstlingbergbahn, in Linz, is an unusual "mountain tramway", which has a gradient of 10.6% [one of the world's steepest gradients on a surviving adhesion-only railway] and now reaches the city centre via the tracks of the urban tram system.

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