Gothenburg, Sweden

From nycsubway.org


Gothenburg ASEA M31 tram no. 310 at Centralstationen on rt. 9. Photo by Tim Deakin, July 2008.


Gothenburg is Sweden's second largest city and is situated in the south-west of the country. A maritime city, it has a large harbour and a network of canals. It is also home to the headquarters of the Volvo corporation.

Trams in Gothenburg have run since 1879 and are currently operated by Goteborgs Sparvagar AB. Track length is a credible 80km, although this should increase with planned extensions. Much of the more recently constructed sections of the network are built on their own rights-of-way, in a manner similar to the German 'Stadtbahn' concept, and thus average speed on these portions is relatively high. Of particular note is the line which runs north-east to Angered, which parallels the SJ (Swedish Railways) tracks for a few kilometres, which has high-speed running and considerable distances between stops.

Street track can still be seen, although much of the 'street' in the city centre is permitted for use only by trams, buses, taxis and delivery vehicles. Apart from its twelve tram lines, a handful of tram-esque bus lines are in operation, run with three-section articulated vehicles over dedicated busway with a proof-of-payment fare arrangement. All trams carry small ticket vending machines, although for day passes and such it is necessary to visit a Vasttraffik office.

The tram fleet, whilst not particularly modern, seems well looked-after and has three main varieties of tram. Oldest are the M28 and M29 cars. The M28s are numbered in the 7xx series and were built by ASJ between 1965 and 1967, whilst the M29s are Hagglund cars from between 1969 and 1972, and are numbered in the 8xx series. Although the M28s should, eventually, be replaced by new AnsaldoBreda low-floor cars, the future of the M29s appears safe for now. These trams have a very robust feel to them and are to a traditional design, with a strong resemblance to the American PCC design. Operating universally in two-car formations, they can appear on several routes, but seem to be most common on lines 3, 5 and 10 - although several may be seen elsewhere. They do not appear to operate over the high speed light rail line to Angered, though.

Backbone of the Gothenburg tram fleet appears to be the ASEA-built M31 articulated cars, constructed between 1984 and 1992. Again, these are very 'chunky' vehicles, and number 80 in total. All have received a low-floor centre section, which is wheelchair accessible. Of the M28, M29 and M31 cars, most carry Goteborgs Sparvagnar's attractive blue and white livery, but a handful remain in older three-tone blue colours.

Newest members of the tram fleet is a batch of AnsaldoBreda-built low floor articulated cars. These have been given the designation M32. 40 in total have been ordered, although it almost goes without saying that these cars, in common with other low-floor types, have been beset by problems and are not yet in squadron service. These are to an unusual design, although they look well in Gothenburg's latest livery.

Apart from these, a number of ancient museum cars are operated on a circular service during the summer by the volunteer Sparvagssallskapet Ringlinien - Ringlinien Tramway Society. During 'high season', services depart frequently from outside the main station and use a collection of very well restored Gothnburg cars of yesteryear. A ride comes highly recommended!

As mentioned, the tram network consists of twelve lines. Of these, eleven pass through the bustling Brunnsparken junction in the city centre, which is a hive of activity as it's also served by many of Gothenburg's bus lines. Line 11, and line 9 during the summer, run out to Saltholmen, which is the ferry terminal for services to the plethora of islands to the south-west of Gothenburg. For the last couple of kilometres before reaching Saltholmen the trams share street track with other vehicles. Tramway operation is concentrated to the south of the river Gota Alv, with only three of the twelve lines venturing to the north. These are 5, 6 and 10, which cross the river via the spectacular Gota Alv bridge.

Photo Gallery

Five Random Images

Image 91798

(127k, 720x540)
Photo by: Tim Deakin
Location: Brunnsparken

Image 91802

(113k, 720x540)
Photo by: Tim Deakin
Location: Centralstationen

Image 91818

(100k, 720x540)
Photo by: Tim Deakin
Location: Brunnsparken

Image 91823

(125k, 720x540)
Photo by: Tim Deakin
Location: Kungsportsplatsen

Image 152126

(446k, 1200x800)
Collection of: David Pirmann

More Images: 1-50 51-71

Page Credits

By Tim Deakin.

Copyright © 1995-2012 nycsubway.org.
nycsubway.org is not affiliated with any transit agency or provider.
Not mobile.