Dave Reid

Streetcars and Trams Around the World

By - Feb 1st, 2010 10:55 am
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With the strong possibility that Milwaukee will be seeing streetcar service return to our streets in the coming years, we thought we should show some example systems from cities around the world.


Portland has led the way with transit infrastructure in the U.S.  For example, it was the first U.S. city to bring modern streetcars to it’s streets.


The 2.6 mile Seattle South Lake Union Streetcar line started service in December 2007, and exceeded its first year ridership estimates three months ahead of schedule.


Vancouver is currently running these Bombardier Flexity streetcars as a demonstration project.


Reportedly, the largest tram network in the world, consisting of 152 miles of track, at least 500 trams, 28 routes, and 1,800 transit stops.


Amsterdam runs a variety of trams including the 100% low-floor Siemens Combino trams.


This isn’t the everyday service in Prague, but it sure looks like a fun way to ride the streetcar.

These are just a handful of the numerous systems operating around the world, hopefully soon Milwaukee will be added to this list.

More about the Milwaukee Streetcar

For more project details, including the project timeline, financing, route and possible extensions, see our extensive past coverage.


5 thoughts on “Streetcars and Trams Around the World”

  1. I’ll have to check out Seattle and Vancouver on the same trip. I get to Australia next year.

    Portland’s is great, but I liked Amsterdam’s the most out of the line up. The blue colors were really well done, and we had such an easy time getting around the city. I don’t know if I tried Prague’s streetcar…does look like a party, which does sound like Prague!

  2. Kevin Muhs says:

    Bombardier has a pretty slick website offering their new Flexity 2 Streetcar/Tram vehicles. In the literature, they noted that the vehicles can operate entirely with a catenary wire, and that their propreitary (of course) system is especially useful for cities with a significant amount of snow and ice. I sure hope that the city and its consultants are considering this leading edge vehicle (I’m sure other manufacturers make something similar) when they are making decisions.

    Here’s the website: http://www.flexity2.bombardier.com/swf/index.html

    Thanks for the summary, guys!

  3. Dave Reid says:

    @Kevin I have my money on the skoda or the U.S. skoda knockoff:) But nothing has been selected to my knowledge yet… I do like those Flexity 2 Street/Tram vehicles as well.

  4. Matthew says:

    I’m a fan of Bombadier, a Canadian company they are currently building 400 new railcars for the CTA so they already have a strong developed presence in the US, and their designs look pretty good.

  5. Valerie Powell says:

    I like the streetcar section but you forgot the best: Freiburg: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=obKD-NJy0x8

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