Tramways in Saint Petersburg
The city of Saint Petersburg
Saint Petersburg
Saint Petersburg is a city and a federal subject of Russia located on the Neva River at the head of the Gulf of Finland on the Baltic Sea...

, Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

 once had the largest tram
A tram is a passenger rail vehicle which runs on tracks along public urban streets and also sometimes on separate rights of way. It may also run between cities and/or towns , and/or partially grade separated even in the cities...

Transport network
A transport network, or transportation network in American English, is typically a network of roads, streets, pipes, aqueducts, power lines, or nearly any structure which permits either vehicular movement or flow of some commodity....

 in the world
World is a common name for the whole of human civilization, specifically human experience, history, or the human condition in general, worldwide, i.e. anywhere on Earth....

, consisting of about 340 kilometres of unduplicated track
Rail tracks
The track on a railway or railroad, also known as the permanent way, is the structure consisting of the rails, fasteners, sleepers and ballast , plus the underlying subgrade...

 in the late 1980s. However, since 1995 the tramway network has declined sharply in size as major portions of track were removed, particularly in the city centre. Saint Petersburg lost its record to Melbourne
Melbourne is the capital and most populous city in the state of Victoria, and the second most populous city in Australia. The Melbourne City Centre is the hub of the greater metropolitan area and the Census statistical division—of which "Melbourne" is the common name. As of June 2009, the greater...

, Australia
Australia , officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area...

. While it still had 285 km in 2001, the track extent in early 2007 was just over 220 km. The system is operated by Gorelektrotrans , a municipal
A municipality is essentially an urban administrative division having corporate status and usually powers of self-government. It can also be used to mean the governing body of a municipality. A municipality is a general-purpose administrative subdivision, as opposed to a special-purpose district...

An organization is a social group which distributes tasks for a collective goal. The word itself is derived from the Greek word organon, itself derived from the better-known word ergon - as we know `organ` - and it means a compartment for a particular job.There are a variety of legal types of...

 that runs trams daily on 38 routes and also owns the trolleybus
A trolleybus is an electric bus that draws its electricity from overhead wires using spring-loaded trolley poles. Two wires and poles are required to complete the electrical circuit...


Early days

Saint Petersburg saw the arrival of street rail transport
Rail transport
Rail transport is a means of conveyance of passengers and goods by way of wheeled vehicles running on rail tracks. In contrast to road transport, where vehicles merely run on a prepared surface, rail vehicles are also directionally guided by the tracks they run on...

 during the 1860s in form of horse-drawn rail carriages. The first, freight-only street railway track was opened in 1854 to serve one of the industrial city suburb
The word suburb mostly refers to a residential area, either existing as part of a city or as a separate residential community within commuting distance of a city . Some suburbs have a degree of administrative autonomy, and most have lower population density than inner city neighborhoods...

s. In 1863, three passenger lines in the city centre came into operation. Several private companies were formed, and the horsecar network eventually expanded to 25 routes covering over 100 kilometres of track. Carrying over two million passengers a year, the street rail network in Saint Petersburg proved a successful commercial venture.

The first demonstration of an electric tram in Saint Petersburg occurred on August 22, 1880. Fyodor Pirotsky
Fyodor Pirotsky
Fyodor Apollonovich Pirotsky was a Ukrainian-born Russian engineer and inventor of the world's first railway electrification system and electric tram...

, an engineer
An engineer is a professional practitioner of engineering, concerned with applying scientific knowledge, mathematics and ingenuity to develop solutions for technical problems. Engineers design materials, structures, machines and systems while considering the limitations imposed by practicality,...

 who demonstrated the tram to the public, hoped that the Horsecar Stock Company, which possessed a monopoly
A monopoly exists when a specific person or enterprise is the only supplier of a particular commodity...

 on all rail transportation in the city, would consider replacing traditional horse-drawn rail carriages with electric-powered ones. Despite the fact that all tests were successful, Pirotsky's proposal was dismissed on the grounds that equipping existing tram tracks for electric traction and purchasing or building compatible tram vehicles would be too expensive.

In the winter of 1894, electric tramways came back to Saint Petersburg. This time, however, they ran on tracks over ice (during winter season) covering the Neva river. An electric public transit company was formed, and several routes crossing the river in various places began regular operation. Even though the Horsecar Stock Company still possessed absolute rights on city street railways, and hence filed a lawsuit
A lawsuit or "suit in law" is a civil action brought in a court of law in which a plaintiff, a party who claims to have incurred loss as a result of a defendant's actions, demands a legal or equitable remedy. The defendant is required to respond to the plaintiff's complaint...

 against the electric tram operators, it eventually lost the case because the judge
A judge is a person who presides over court proceedings, either alone or as part of a panel of judges. The powers, functions, method of appointment, discipline, and training of judges vary widely across different jurisdictions. The judge is supposed to conduct the trial impartially and in an open...

 claimed that the horsecar company's monopolizing agreement with the city did not cover laying tracks on ice.

Beginning of service

On September 3, 1902, the contract between the city administration and the horsecar company has expired, and the entire horsecar street rail system, including track, carriages, horses, maintenance buildings and other equipment, became property of the city of Saint Petersburg, on the condition that the city would pay for the takeover over the period of 12 years. Immediately following this, Saint Petersburg began planning out the future electric tramway network, which was due to replace the ageing horsecar one. A number of issues had to be resolved; in particular, the narrow-gauge horsecar tracks were to be replaced by the heavy rail-grade ones; the network had to be electrified, and new depots suitable for electric trams
Vasileostrovsky tram depot
Vasileostrovsky tram depot is the oldest tram depot in Saint Petersburg. It was built in 1906 - 1908 by Westinghouse Electric. Vasileostrovsky trampark is a shrine for citizens, because it is associated with the un-precedented feat of Leningrad during World War II against Nazi Germany...

 had to be constructed. The project was delegated to the American Westinghouse Electric Corporation
Westinghouse Electric (1886)
Westinghouse Electric was an American manufacturing company. It was founded in 1886 as Westinghouse Electric Company and later renamed Westinghouse Electric Corporation by George Westinghouse. The company purchased CBS in 1995 and became CBS Corporation in 1997...

. On September 29, 1907 electric tramway network has opened in Saint Petersburg.

Post-Soviet Era

Following the demise of the Soviet Union, the public transportation in Saint Petersburg has been continuously underfunded, resulting in poor maintenance and unreliable service. A lot of existing tramway track has been demolished, and this trend continues up until today, which upsets both passengers and public transit enthusiasts. There are currently no officially proclaimed plans to abandon the network completely, although mass track withdrawals, which started in 2001, still continue.

On the other hand, two new branch lines have been opened in 1999 to connect recent residential developments in the northwest (Dolgoe Ozero, Komendantsky Aerodrom, Lakhtinsky Razliv) to the newly opened Staraya Derevnya station on the Saint Petersburg Metro
Saint Petersburg Metro
The Saint Petersburg Metro is the underground railway system in Saint Petersburg and Leningrad Oblast, Russia. It has been open since November 15, 1955.Formerly known as the V.I...

. Following a change in 'Gorelectrotrans' management in September 2005, more than 20 additional km of unduplicated tracks had been withdrawn, including not only centrally located lines, but also a 3 km section in a suburban residential area. This withdrawal seriously affected the system's logistical capabilitues. There is a strong lobby for more withdrawals from the road construction administration, which believes that decreasing tram traffic will give more freedom to automobile traffic.

Current State

Currently, 38 tramway routes operate in Saint Petersburg, 34 of which doing so on a daily basis; the others operate on working days only. About one third of the tracks is operated on regular basis with frequencies of 10 minutes and lower. Other sections are operated with frequencies of up to 30 minutes. The remaining lines through the city center have been more or less abandoned, carrying no passengers at all. Also, the fleet is still decreasing in size; by the autumn of 2006 there were about 950 cars, operating from 5 depots, most of which of the older four-axle type. About half of the fleet is quite out-of-date, with the influx of new cars limited to 30 per year.

Rolling stock

All of the tramway vehicles currently in use on the network were built locally by the PTMF. Tram vehicles of the following series are currently in operation:
  • LM-68M (ЛМ-68М) — four-axle, three-door single cars, manufactured 1973 through 1988 by PTMF.
  • LVS-86
    LVS-86 is a model of tramcar developed at the Leningrad Tram Manufacturing Plant in the former Soviet Union. LVS stands for "Leningrad-made articulated tram" in Russian, and 86 refers to the model year. The design was based on the LVS-80 tramcar. 473 LVS-86s were built from 1987 until 1997. LVS-86s...

    and LVS-86M — six-axle, four-door articulated cars, manufactured 1987–1997 by PTMF. M designates the refurbished, modernized LVS-86 cars in use since 2003.
  • LVS-97
    LVS-97 is a Russian-made six axle tram. LVS denotes «Ленинградский Вагон Сочленёный» which is an articulated tramcar, made in St. Petersburg. It was produced at the Petersburg Tram Mechanical Factory from 1997 through to 2004.LVS-97 tramcars operate in St...

    — six-axle articulated cars, manufactured by PTMF since 1997.
  • LM-99 (ЛМ-99) — four-axle single cars, manufactured by PTMF since 1999.
  • LVS-2005 (ЛВС-2005) — six-axle articulated cars, manufactured by PTMF since 2005.
  • LM-2008 (ЛМ-2008) — four-axle cars, manufactured by PTMF since 2008.

The KTM-5M3 series, which was produced in the town of Ust-Katav
Ust-Katav is a town in Chelyabinsk Oblast, Russia, located on the Yuryuzan River. Population: -Transport:Ust-Katav is situated near the Transsiberian Railway, as well as the M5 "Ural" motorway.-Industry:...

 in Chelyabinsk Oblast
Chelyabinsk Oblast
-External links:*...

, Russia, was used in Saint Petersburg until 18 September 2007.

Between in 1907 and late 1960s, the Saint Petersburg tramway network operated British
Great Britain
Great Britain or Britain is an island situated to the northwest of Continental Europe. It is the ninth largest island in the world, and the largest European island, as well as the largest of the British Isles...

-built Brush
Brush Traction
This article is about a British rail-locomotive maker. For the Detroit auto-maker, see Brush Motor Car CompanyBrush Traction is a manufacturer and maintainer of railway locomotives, part of the FKI group , based at Loughborough in Leicestershire, England situated alongside the Midland Main Line.-...

 tram engines. Several cars of this series, as well as other model types built by PTMF but no longer in operation, are kept in working condition in a museum; all types of cars that ever operated in Saint Petersburg were demonstrated during a parade
A parade is a procession of people, usually organized along a street, often in costume, and often accompanied by marching bands, floats or sometimes large balloons. Parades are held for a wide range of reasons, but are usually celebrations of some kind...

 in 1997, on the occasion of the 90th anniversary
An anniversary is a day that commemorates or celebrates a past event that occurred on the same day of the year as the initial event. For example, the first event is the initial occurrence or, if planned, the inaugural of the event. One year later would be the first anniversary of that event...

 of the tramway network. In 2006, a tram route number 0
Tram route 0, Saint Petersburg
Tram route 0 was a tram route in Saint Petersburg, Russia.On the route cars from the museum of electric transport of model of Brush#1028 and picking up of cars MS-4#2424 MSP-3#2384 worked....

 was operated with museumcars by Retro Tram. The historical rolling stock was stored in the former Depot No. 2 on Vasilyevsky island; however, this depot was closed for passenger services on January, 2007.

See also

  • LM-49
    The LM-49 is the Soviet motor four-axle tramcar. The first prototype of this vehicle was built in 1949 at the Leningrad Wagon Repair Plant . "LM" means Leningrad Motor tramcar...

     and LM-57
    The LM-57 is the Soviet motor four-axle tramcar. First prototype of this vehicle was built in 1957 at the Leningrad Wagon Repair Plant . "LM" means Leningrad Motor tramcar...

     — trams used to operate in Saint Petersburg in 1960s–1970s
  • List of town tramway systems
  • List of cities with trolleybuses
  • Saint Petersburg Metro
    Saint Petersburg Metro
    The Saint Petersburg Metro is the underground railway system in Saint Petersburg and Leningrad Oblast, Russia. It has been open since November 15, 1955.Formerly known as the V.I...

  • Trams in Europe
    Trams in Europe
    Europe has an extensive number of tramway networks. Some of these networks have been upgraded to light rail standards, called Stadtbahn in Germany, premetros in Belgium, sneltram in the Netherlands, and fast trams in some other countries.- Overview :...

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.