[as of 2019 ]
Population: 193 666 (2017)
Norway's third most populated city.
Operator: Gråkallbanen by Boreal Bane
Gauge: 1000 mm
Track length: 11,0 km. (one-way)
Number of passenger vehicles: 6
The Trondheim tramway is the northernmost tram operation in the world. The syetm acquired this status since 21.07.2004 when the Arkhangelsk, Russia tramway system was closed. It is also the 2nd northernmost electric transport operation following the trolleybus system in Murmansk, Russia.
The horse coach (omnibus) service operated in Trondheim since 1893, however, horsecars never operated in the city. The city electric tramway opened on 02.12.1901. The private suburban Gråkallbanen line to Lian was opened in stages: to Munkvoll on 18.07.1924; to Ugla on 30.05.1925; and to Lian in 28.10.1933. The Gråkallbanen line was bought by the city in 1966, and merged with the city tram operation in 1972. During its heyday the Trondheim city tramway boasted 3 services operated within the city (1-3), and the suburban service to Lian (6). The system was gradually downsized in stages with cutbacks in 1968 and 1983.
In 1987 the Trondheim city council decided to close the tramway system entirely. The last tram operated on 12.06.1988. All tracks within the city core were either removed from the streets or paved over, however the line to Lian which was entirely on a reservation was preserved with an eye on potential heritage operation. With a change in political landscape in 1989, however, operation of a segment of the former network between the city center and the suburban Lian with a small portion running down the streets was secured. The new private company AS Gråkallbanen was established, owned by 1400 local enthusiasts and activists who favored trams’ preservation. The service between St. Olavs gate and Lian was reopened on 18.08.1990. The operation, however, was difficult to sustain under such ownership structure, so in 2005 the company was taken over by Veolia Transport Norge. The Gråkallbanen is currently operated by Boreal Bane, a subsidiary of Boreal Norge.
The 1000 mm gauge tramway line between St. Olavs gate and Lian is 8,8 km-long, and is mostly single-track. Considering some double-track segments, the total track length is 11 km. The segment within the city core between St. Olavs gate and Ila is double-track via city streets in mixed traffic. The rest of the line is single-track on the reservation through rugged terrain. The 800 meter-long segment between Breidablikk – Nordre Hoem is also double-track, a leftover from infrastructure expansion attempts from the 1940s. This segment now essentially acts as an extended passing point. Three other passing points are at Bygrensen, Munkvoll and Ugla. The St. Olavs gate Terminal was built as a loop in 1946, the Lian Terminal received a loop in 1947. There is a gradual 220-meter climb toward Lian providing for dramatic city views. The system’s most notable (and photographed) attraction is the Hoemsbrua (Hoem Viaduct) between the Nordre Hoem and Søndre Hoem Stops. The 90 m. long and 25 m. high steel structure used to serve as the Funna railroad viaduct in the Meråker area some 90 km. away. It was transferred and reassembled in Hoem in 1923, rebuilt in 1951.
Trams operate between 6:00-24:00 Monday – Thursday; 6:00-3:00 Friday; 7:00-3:00 Saturday; 9:00-24:00 Sunday. The total one-way runtime is 21 minutes. Trams operate every 15 min. on weekdays, and daytime on Saturdays between August and June. This service requires 4 cars. Trams operate every 30 min. on weekday evenings, Saturday mornings and evenings, and Sundays all day between August and June. Trams operate every 30 min. all day every day in July. This service requires 2 cars. Trams operate late until 3:00 o’clock in the morning on Friday and Saturday night (into Saturday and Sunday morning respectively) every 60 min. This operation is maintained with a single car.
Since the tramway operation was for a while essentially ran by tram enthusiasts, the Trondheim system in the 1990s and early 2000s was known for a special subculture opened toward trams. The Gråkallbanen company maintained an impressive collection of about 18 old trams, while only 11 modern trams were on the operating roster. A historic tram charter became a popular local attraction, with trams chartered for all kinds of occasions from school trips to parties and weddings. Visiting enthusiasts were treated warmly and were granted access to all the facilities, including the tramway museum regardless of operating hours. Unfortunately with ‘big-name’ out-of-town professional operators taking over in 2005, the enthusiasm has faded away. While Trondheim system and tramway museum remain a must-do tramway destination, nowadays some operating personnel might consider tramway fans a nuisance.
LHB GT6 Braunschweig Type
6 cars 93 - 97, 99 (of original batch of 11)
Formerly used cars:
11 motor cars, 4 trailers (1901)
Skabo/Siemens 11 motor cars (1913-1917)
Skabo/HaWa 12 motor cars, 10 trailers (1922)
Skabo/Siemens 5 motor cars (1924)
Strømmen 6 motor cars, 5 trailers (1938,1942,1943)
(?) 4-axle trailer 53 (1930)
Strømmen 10 motor cars (1948)
Strømmen 31 motor cars (1955-1957)
The Trondheim tramway was known for being one of the first in Europe to do away with 2-axle trams in the 1950s. The history of the tramway, however, was marked by the 1956 depot fire, which destroyed 26 motor cars and 16 trailers. Only a single motor+trailer set survived at the paint shop. Luckily all older trams were stored at a separate location, and reentered service. 28 new motor cars and 15 trailers were purchased following the fire, which essentially constituted the city’s tramway fleet until the closure of the city system in 1988.
A total of 11 1984-built LHB GT6 Type Braunschweig high-floor cars were acquired second hand in 1990 with resurrection of service via the Lian Line. Due to maintenance issues and persistent accidents the fleet is now reduced to only 6 cars + 1 there is one partly disassembled car in storage. At the same time there are up to 18 historic cars in the tramway museum collection, most of them operable and available for charters. The Trondheim tramway is also unique for using 2,6 meter-wide cars in combination with the 1000 mm gauge.
Photos on map
© 2002 Author: Yury Maller - Usage of material found herein for public display is possible with authors' permission only.