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Gotha, Germany

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Overview

This meter gauge system, located in the former East German state of Thuringia, operates 3 regular service lines and one part-time route. While lines 1, 2 and 3 operate within the city limits, Line 4 is an extensive interurban route to the hamlets of Tabarz, Friedrichroda and Waltershausen which faces an uncertain future. Indeed, the area is economically depressed and the agency, named Thuringerwaldbahn und Straßenbahn Gotha GmbH (TWSB), is quite cash-strapped, and survives by acquiring good used meter-gauge trams from Erfurt, Mannheim and Bochum. In most cases (except Erfurt), Gotha retained the previous city's numbering on the purchased tramcars. All trams are built either by Tatra, reflecting the days of Communist rule, or Duewag, coming to Gotha after the unification and the end of Communism.

The agency rosters a small fleet of historic trams and trailers. 4-axle T7 motor car 56, built 1929 by Gotha Tram Works, 4-axle B2 trailer 82, also from 1929 by Gotha, and 1928-vintage freight boxcar ("gepäckwagen") 101, were used on a Good Friday charter over the entire system during my visit to Gotha in 2005. Another Gotha-built tram, six-axle 215, a G4-61 from 1967, is also available for tram chartering, as are two other 4-axle units.

The interurban line is quite scenic, running through farmland, thick forests and nicely-scrubbed suburbs, and makes this system well worth a visit. Of note is the shuttle operation between Gleisdreireck (literally, 3-track wye), a flat, desolate clearing in the woods, and Waltershausen, which requires double-end cars and sports a very frequent service, even on Sundays and holidays. However, despite a well-maintained trackway, lack of support from the towns served by the interurban threatens this 11km route.

Roster

NumbersYearsManufacturer/Model (notes)
301-3071981-1982Tatra KT4D
308-3121990Tatra KT4D
395, 408, 528
(and others)
1962-1969Duewag GT6/GT6M (ex-Mannheim, Bochum, Erfurt)


Photo Gallery

Five Random Images

Image 15801

(138k, 720x478)
Photo by: Peter Ehrlich
Location: Hauptbahnhof

Image 15987

(182k, 720x478)
Photo by: Peter Ehrlich
Location: Tabarz

Image 16202

(122k, 720x478)
Photo by: Peter Ehrlich
Location: Tabarz

Image 16212

(145k, 720x478)
Photo by: Peter Ehrlich
Location: Hauptbahnhof

Image 16240

(146k, 720x456)
Photo by: Peter Ehrlich
Location: Friedrichsroda
     


More Images: 1-37

Photos By Location

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Page Credits

By Peter Ehrlich.









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