[as of 02.2007]
The city is situated in the Sverdlovskiy Region of Russia, 2085 km east of Moscow, and 432 km north of Ekaterinburg, the Sverdlovskiy region's capital. The original settlement Tur'inskie Rudniki was established in 1758. The city of Krasnotur'insk was recognized in 1944. The city's population is 62 000 people.
Formerly known as Tur'inskie Rudniki, and later as Tur'insk (the modern post-Soviet name translates as 'The Red Tur'insk'), the town has a long history as a small mining settlement. The city experienced significant growth beginning from the 1950s, as an extension to the huge Bogoslovskiy Aluminieviy Zavod [the Bogoslovskiy Aluminum Factory]. The growth, however, was rather relative, as the city still conveys an aura and charm of a remote small town. The growth has stopped upon the collapse of the planned economy in the 1990s, but owing to steady and inelastic demand for the BAZ's product, the city was able to sustain adequate livability. As the economy started to show signs of stabilization, the city has recently received some facelift and gained certain attractiveness.
The city is famous for being a birthplace of the inventor of the radio, Aleksandr Popov, who was born here in 1859. There is a memorial house museum devoted to his legacy.
HISTORY OF NETWORK'S DEVELOPMENT
15.01.1954 - From 22-y Kvartal [the Depot] to Reka Tur'ya via Popova Ul.
1957 - From the Depot to BAZ via Popova Ul., Metallurgov Ul.; and from the Depot to Bol'nichniy Gorodok via Frunze Ul. and Chkalova Ul.
1959 - From the Depot to Zh.D. Depot (6-ya Seriya), via Frunze Ul. and the eastern boundary of BAZ territory.
There was no further development since 1959.
The tramway system was built and owned by the BAZ combine. It was municipalized in 1999 and fell under control of the municipal power authority. Nevertheless, the BAZ continues to define tramway's existence.
Due to short distances traveled, the small town setting, and single-track lines, local tramway seems to be an oddity, but this consequently spells heaven for tramfans.
The East - West line is the most popular and carries the bulk of riders. Even though it was built for the purpose of delivering workers to the BAZ combine, after the economic priorities changed, it still maintains reasonable ridership. The line starts at the combine, but goes almost entirely through residential areas and serves most passenger generating points in the city. Thus, it caters to both combine workers and 'civilian' populace.
The South - North Line is not as popular, since it covers very short distances within the city itself, goes to the huge industrial park, and is still primarily used to deliver workers to their jobs. The three-stop long section within the city usually sees less than half of seated load of passengers. Except for trips coinciding with shift changes at the BAZ, the overall ridership on most runs is barely more than half of seated load.
There is only negligible competition from buses or minibuses along the East - West Line, and no competion whatsoever along the South - North Line.
The Depot is thought to be the most basic facility of this type anywhere in the former Soviet Union. Opened in 1954, it occupies the corner of the busiest intersection of the city. A single shed containing the repair shop can accommodate one car only. There is one additional administrative building. Half of the management is housed in the basement of the apartment building near by.
The East - West Line (known as Line 1): Reka Tur'ya (Naberezhnaya) - BAZ
The South - North Line (known as Line 2): Bol'nichniy Gorodok (Central'naya Gorodskaya Bol'nica, TsGB) - Zh.D. Depot (6-ya Seriya), (OZhDTs)
Route numbers exist on the books, but are not used in the field.
Map as of 02.2007
Trams operate from 6:00 until 2:00 o'clock in the morning, owing to shift changes at the BAZ combine.
The East - West Line (known as Line 1) is operated on weekdays with 2 cars on the consecutive headway of 14, 28, 14, 28 min. with meets alternating between Trampark and Rossiya passing points; on weekends with 3 cars on the 14 min. headway with meets at every passing point. Weekends are considered 'market' (shopping) days that generate additional ridership. The running time via the entire line is 19 min. each way. Layovers at terminals are 2 min. each.
The South - North Line (known as Line 2) is operated with 2 cars on the 23 min. headway meeting at the ZhBIK passing point, with occasional mishaps in service that result in meets at the Internat passing point and consecutive 18, 28, 18, 28 min. headway. The running time is 18 min. northbound, and 19 min. southbound. The difference is due to a severe downhill slope in the industrial area in the southbound direction. A layover at the Bol'nichniy Gorodok Terminal is 3 min.; at the Zh.D. Depot Terminal - 6 min.
All stops are dutifully made regardless of presence of entering and exiting passengers.
The service is remarkably reliable and predictable. The schedule adherence is reasonable, waits at passing points generally are not exceeding 1-2 minutes. Since traffic in the streets is virtually nonexistent, there are no sources for delays whatsoever.
All trams, whether old or new, operate the front and the middle doors only. The reason for this is not immediately clear, but most probably this is done to help the conductor to keep an eye on passenger circulation.
1970s: KTM+KTP-1; KTM-5
1980s: KTM-5; KTM-5M3
1995: KTM-5M3 5, 7, 8 (all 1979), 1, 2, 3, 4, 11 (all 1985), 6 (1990)
03.2003: KTM-5M3 1, 2, 3, 4, 11 (all 1985), 6 (1990); Spektr 71-402 5, 9 (both 2002)
02.2007: KTM-5M3 1, 2, 4, 11 (all 1985), 6 (1990); Spektr 71-402 5, 9 (both 2002), 3, 7 (both 2004).
Local undertaking does have a history of rather shabby cosmetic maintenance. Older KTM-5M3 cars seem to be in tolerable condition on the outside, but cars' interior feels rather worn out. This is mostly due to hard wooden seating, cracked windows and excessive noise.
Careless aesthetics practices also visibly began to affect newly delivered Spektr 71-402 cars.
Due to heavy reliance on electronics and troublesome maintenance, Spektr 71-402 trams are less ikely to be found in service than the older more reliable KTM-5M3 cars.
The entire length of tracks is 10,2 km, all lines are single track with passing points. The East - West line used to have 3 passing points, now only 2 remain. The South - North Line used to have 4 passing points, only 3 remain.
The only connecting track between two lines allows for the South - East (or vise versa) move only. Depot access track leads to the East only, prompting complicated backup moves during pull outs and pull ins, as well as forcing trams to run the entire length of the East - West Line for a turn-around.
The Eastern Line via Popova Ul. used to be a 100% segregated right-of-way, laid amid lush greenery. The recent reconstruction of almost entire Popova Ul. resulted in the Eastern Line evolving into a mixed right-of-way along 80% of the line, with all greenery gone. The Trampark and Rossiya passing points were shortened significantly and now barely fit a single tram in each direction. The Eastern Line boasts some considerable sloping, but trams overtake grades at daring speeds either uphill or downhill.
The Western Line is laid on the reservation 80% of its length, except for the western end of the above mentioned Popova Ul. Tracks split a little prior to the BAZ loop, thus technically forming the only short 30 meter long double-tracked section in the city.
The Southern Line is 60% segregated right-of-way, down the wide median on Frunze Ul., and 40% mixed running, along Chkalova Ul.
The entire Northern Line is 100% on the reservation. A significant section of the line is laid through the ragged terrain along the outer edges of the BAZ combine.
Track condition is anywhere from fair to good, and even partly excellent, as much of trackage seems to be rehabbed, supposedly during massive street reconstruction and a recent process of conversion of reserved right-of-ways into mixed street running.
There were no developments since 1959, and there will not be any in the foreseeable future. The East - West line stays popular, but the feasibility of the South - North line is scarily questionable due to low ridership. A recent radical reconstruction of city's main arteries, which project included a complete redesign of the tramway network, as well as aggressive purchasing of new trams, mean that despite posing certain financial burden, trams are taken seriously, play important role in city's livelihood, and are here to stay.