[as of 12.2008]

A city in the eastern part of Germany. At 102,494 inhabitants, it is the second largest city in the federal state of Thuringen, after Erfurt. The city is located in the valley enclosed by hills, on the banks of the Saale River.



A surprisingly sizeable system serving the city that is geographically stretched out, squeezed amid the surrounding hills, which setting provides for dispersed neighborhoods.

Lines within old neighborhoods are built up to standards of a traditional tramway running on semi-mixed right-of-way, while impressively lengthy new lines to modern outer neighborhoods are built up to high speed standards, bordering those of the light rail.

The system is famous for being a relatively major urban tramway network in Germany to operate DDR-era 2-axle Gotha trams in full line service up until as late as 10.2004.



06.04.1901 - Holzmarkt - Weimar - Geraer Bahnhof (Westbahnhof)

1901 (not in order) - Holzmarkt - Neuer Friedhof (Tierklinik) and Saalbahnhof; Holzmarkt - Schubertsburg Kahlaische Strasse / Mühlenstrasse; Camsdorfer Brucke - Saalstrasse - Johannisplatz - Muhtal; Engelplatz - Johannisplatz.

Late 1901 / early 1902 - Neuer Friedhof (Tierklinik) - Zwatzen

30.06.1908 - Schubertsburg - Winzerla

30.05.1914 - Camsdorfer Brucke - Jena-Ost (Geschwister-Scholl-Strasse)

Late 1914 - Jena-Ost (Geschwister-Scholl-Strasse) - Rosenstrasse; Rosenstrasse - Jenziweg; Jenziweg - An der Trebe

10.1922 - 05.1924 - System closed

1925 - Holzmarkt - Spittelplatz double-tracked

1931 - Muhtal line is transferred from Bachstrasse and Quergasse to Wagnergasse

Mid-1930s - An der Trebe - Jena-Ost

04.1935 - Winzerla - Lobeda

10.1943 - Engelplatz - Westbahnhof and Spittelplatz - Saalbahnhof temporary closed

04.1945 - 05.05.1945 - System closed

1960/61 - Tracks via Schillerstrasse and Engelplatz

1961/62 - Lobeda Line is double-tracked to Muhlenstrasse; Zwatzen Line is double-tracked to Schamhorststrasse

15.05.1963 - Engelplatz - Westbahnhof and Spittelplatz - Saalbahnhof closed

1964 - Small extension and loop installed at Zwatzen

1964 - Steinweg is double-tracked

1964 - Landmark route change: Line 1 Holzmarkt - Zwatzen; Line 2 Winzerla - Jena-Ost

1966 - Plan to abandon trams by 1985

16.06.1967 - Winzerla – Lobeda closed

23.06.1969 - Loop installed at Winzerla

30.05.1969 - Holzmarkt - Muhtal closed

1971 - Zwatzen line is double-tracked to Milchhof

1984 - Winzerla line is double-tracked to Winzerla

27.09.1987 - Landmark route change (old scheme reinstated): Line 1 Winzerla - Zwatzen; Line 2 Holzmarkt - Jena-Ost

16.12.1996 - Winzerla - Lobeda-West

05.10.1997 - Tracks via Neugasse are transferred to Am Volksbad; Ernst-Abbe-Platz Terminal opened

16.12.1997 - Paradiesbahnhof - Burgau via Oberaue; Platanen Strasse - Lobeda-Ost

Mid-2009 - Lobeda-West - Bahnhof Goschwitz

Near future - Burgau - Bahnhof Goschwitz



The track gauge is 1000 mm.

The system had seen a gradual growth in 1901-1935 with the length of lines reaching 18,33 km., followed by a decline in 1963-1969 that brought it down to 12,4 km. The system then almost doubled in size and the length of lines increased to 23,7 km between 1996-1997. Out of the above, 3,4 km. remain single track.

Initially designed for double-ended operation and equipped with stub-end terminals only, the system was partially redesigned in the 1960s in an attempt to adopt it for single-ended operation as loops in Zwatzen and Winzerla were installed. This trend was reversed in the 1990s when all new lines were again built with stub-ends terminals, and all new low-floor cars were ordered double-ended. On many lines intermittent cross-overs are installed to provide flexibility during constructions and service diversions.

The Zwatzen, Winzerla and Jena-Ost Lines are running in mixed traffic in areas bordering the city center, but turn into reserved right-of-ways toward outer ends. The single track sections are the outer section of the Zwatzen Line from Lobstadt to Zwatzen with one passing point, and the outer section of the Jena-Ost Line from Geschwister-Scholl-Strasse to Jena-Ost, also with one passing point. Both sections are built on the siding, mostly in mixed traffic, in both cases with inbound trams conflicting head-on with outbound motorized traffic. The section over the Camsdorfer Brucke is also a single track.

The new lines to Lobeda are built to the light rail standards on a total reservation. The lines feature dedicated tram bridges and flyovers. The high speed section that goes through the Oberaue Valley was built as a high speed alternative to the old line that follows city streets via Winzerla.

There are two separate tramway branches in the suburb of Lobeda, namely Lobeda-West and Lobeda-Ost, served by two separate services. The new extension between Lobeda-West and Bahnhof Goschwitz is to be opened in mid-2009. The new line is then to be extended from Goschwitz to Burgau, where it will connect with the high speed line between the city center and Lobeda via the Oberauer Valley. Thus, the new connection will effectively become the new access line between the city center and Lobeda via Goschwitz, allowing a one-shot through service from the city center to both Lobeda-West and Lobeda-Ost combined.

The track network within the city center was completely redesigned in 1997. The single track section via extremely narrow Neugasse was closed, and trams were relocated to paralleling Am Volksbad. In addition, the new stub-end terminal was opened in Ernst-Abbe-Platz, inside the enclosed yard of the Friedrich Schiller University. As a part of the project most of tram tracks in the city center that were previously laid in mixed traffic, now ended up on a reservation.



1 Zwatzen – Winzerla
3 Winzerla – Lobeda-West – Lobeda-Ost
4 Jena-Ost – Lobeda-West
5 Ernst-Abbe-Platz – Lobeda-Ost

Night services:

2 Ernst-Abbe-Platz – Jena-Ost
31 Zwatzen – Winzerla – Lobeda-West – Lobeda-Ost
35 Ernst-Abbe-Platz – Lobeda-West – Lobeda-Ost

Line 3, 31 and 35 serve Lobeda-West Terminal by way of diverting from their main routes, running up and down the short Lobeda-West branch, and changing ends at the stub-end Lobeda-West Terminal. Likewise, Line 31 serves Winzerla Loop by way of diverting from its main route and running up and down the short branch to the Winzerla Loop. Thus, Line 31 follows as many as two mid-route diversions.

Line 1 has always been the main south – north service, while Line 2 has always served the east – west corridor. These services were partially swapped in 1964 upon the opening of the Zwatzen Loop. Since there was also a loop available around Holzmarkt in the city center, Line 1 was cut to Holzmarkt – Zwatzen section only, confined between two loops. Line 2 was sent to Winzerla instead. This arrangement survived until 1987, when the original service scheme was restored.

Since 1996 Line 4 became the main service to Jena-Ost, served with low-floor 3-section trams. Since the final section of the Jena-Ost Line has low ridership, Line 4 went only as far as Geschwister-Scholl-Strasse, where a transfer was required to the shuttle Line 2 operated with small single Gotha cars. Some peak hour runs of Line 2, however, made it is far as Holzmarkt in the city center. This arrangement was operated until 2002, when Line 4 was finally extended all the way to Jena-Ost, despite the excess capacity of low-floor cars.



Approximate operating times and headways (minutes):


Lines 1, 4:
4:30-5:00: 30
5:00-6:00: 15
6:00-19:30: 10
19:30-20:30: 15/20

In addition, on schooldays headways are down to:
6:30-8:30; 15:00-17:30: 7/8

Line 5:
4:30-5:30: 15
5:30-19:30: 7/8
19:30-20:30: 10

In addition, on schooldays headways are down to:
6:30-8:30; 15:00-17:30: 6

Line 3:
5:00-17:30: 20
17:30-20:30: 30


Lines 1, 4, 5:
8:00-20:30: 20


Lines 1, 4, 5:
12:00-20:30: 20

In addition, on Saturdays and Sundays Line 3 is operated in two sections by way of trams from Line 1 continuing via Line 3 from Winzerla to Lobeda-West on the 20 min. headway; and trams from Line 4 continuing via Line 3 from Lobeda-West to Lobeda-Ost on the similar 20 min. headway. This arrangement includes a transfer at Lobeda-West between two parts of Line 3 served by different trams.

Nights, daily:

Lines 2, 35:
21:00-24:00: 30

Line 31:
21:00-24:00: 30
24:00-4:00: 40

In addition, there is 1 trip operated via Line 2 on weekday mornings around 4:00.

Saturday early morning:

Lines 2, 31, 35:
4:00-8:00: 30

Sunday early morning:

Lines 2, 31, 35:
4:00-12:00: 30

Line 31 is the only service operating overnight, making the Jena tram system a round-the-clock operation. Line 31 does cover all branches of the system except the Jena-Ost branch. Line 35 is essentially a faster option available between the city center and Lobeda, supplemental to Line 31. When both Lines 31 and 35 operate, the combined headway to Lobeda technically goes down to 15 min.



Line motor cars:

601-610 AEG GT6M-ZR (1995,1996)
611-619 Adtranz GT6M-ZR (1997)
620-633 Bombardier GT6M-ZR (2002,2003)
Low-floor double-ended car
( 04.06.1999 , Yury Maller )

There are 33 low-floor 3-section articulated double-ended cars available. As many as 28 trams are needed for service when the most extensive timetable is in effect. This leaves 5 spare trams. Cars of AEG, Adtranz and Bombardier types are practically identical.

Previously used cars:

Motor cars:

Gotha T57 (1958-1961+)
2-axle double-ended car
( 04.06.1999 , Yury Maller )
Raw Sw (Reko) TZ70/1 (1973,1974+)
2-axle double-ended car
( 29.04.1990 , Frank Hohmann )

Trailer cars:

Gotha B57 (1959-1961+)
2-axle double-ended car
( 16.08.2002 , Frank Hohmann )
Raw Sw (Reko) TZ70/1 (1973,1974+)
2-axle double-ended car
( 16.08.2002 , Frank Hohmann )

Historic cars:

Gotha / AEG "Thuringer Triebwagen" (1929)
2-axle double-ended car
( 16.08.2002 , Frank Hohmann )
Werdau (LOWA) ET 50 (1951)
2-axle double-ended car
( 16.08.2002 , Frank Hohmann )
101+155+156 [Not same trailers shown]
Gotha T57+B57+B57 (1959)
2-axle double-ended motor+trailer+trailer
( 31.07.1998 , Frank Hohmann )
134+187+189 [Not same train shown]
Raw Sw (Reko) TZ70/1+BZ70/1+BZ70/1 (1973,1970,1973)
2-axle double-ended motor+trailer+trailer
( 17.06.1990 , Frank Hohmann )
666 Party Tram
Duewag / SSW GTW 6A (1966) ex-Heidelberg, in Jena since 29.04.2003
High-floor double-ended
( JeNah )

The Jena system is considered unique, as due to a special set of circumstances it skipped one evolutional step by moving from operating old 2-axle DDR-era trams directly to ordering modern low-floor cars. There were never high-floor bogie trams operated in Jena. Moreover, the old 2-axle cars lasted well into the XXI century. The above mentioned special circumstances being the fact that after the collapse of the DDR, the city was left with old 2-axle trams operating a small tram network confined to traditionally developed areas of the city. At the same time, many new neighborhoods consisting of modern apartment blocks were being build in the suburbs, at a distance from the city center due to difficult terrain of the valley the city is confined to. The DDR had failed to fulfill its own plans to build tram lines to the new neighborhoods. This meant that the network had to be expanded two-fold within the short period of time in the 1990s. The new generation of low-floor trams was an obvious choice for the new car's order at-a-time. As the pace of delivery of new cars couldn't keep up with the sudden growth of the system, 2-axle cars and low-floor cars ended up running side-by-side for as many as 9 years between 1995-2004.

Old 2-axle Gotha trams operated on Line 1 until 03.2003, which was the last time 2-axle trailers were used in service. Gotha single motor cars continued to operate on Line 3 until 09.07.2003, which was thought to be the last day 2-axle Gotha cars were seeing in regular service. Single motor Gotha trams, however, briefly operated once again in April-October 2004 on the isolated shuttle Line 2 in Jena-Ost during the Camsdorfer Brucke rehab.

Reko TZ70/1 motor cars did not last in service as long as their Gotha T57 counterparts did, as toward the end of 2-axle trams' operation in Jena Reko BZ70/1 trailers only survived. The latter trailers were often coupled into mixed consists together with Gotha B57 trailers.

A number of ex-Jena 2-axle cars are now running in Istanbul, Turkey.