Trams in Luxembourg
The first generation of trams in Luxembourg ran from 1875 to 1964, before being withdrawn from service and the tramways removed. A second generation of trams began operational service in December 2017, along a new route that will, by 2021, run from Luxembourg Airport to the Cloche d'Or business district.
Contemporary and future usage
Luxembourg is in the process of reintroducing trams to its transport infrastructure. Construction work begun on a new tram depot on the edge of the Grünewald Forest and the Kirchberg quarter of Luxembourg City in January 2015, with the first tracks being laid in July 2016. The tramline, when fully operational, will have 24 stations connected by 16 km of tracks and have a capacity of 10,000 passengers per hour in each direction. Trams provided by the Spanish company CAF began trials on the first phase of the route in July 2017.
Opened on 10 December 2017, the first phase of the route saw trams run from the depot, along Avenue John F. Kennedy, past the European district, the location of many EU institutions, before terminating at the Grand Duchess Charlotte Bridge. Here, a new funicular railway was opened on the same date allowing passengers to descend to Pfaffenthal-Kirchberg railway station for access to national and international heavy rail services running through the Pfaffenthal valley.
The third phase, to be completed between 2019 and 2020, will see trams extend into the historical Ville Haute quarter, across the Adolphe Bridge and on to Luxembourg railway station for interchanges between national and international heavy rail services, before terminating in Bonnevoie. Work to widen and re-enforce the Adolphe Bridge, first opened in 1903, to accommodate the tramway was completed in July 2017, with a new cycle and pedestrian lane suspended beneath the existing bridge.
The fourth and final stage of the route, due to be completed in 2021, will see tram services extend southwestwards from Bonnevoie to Howald, terminating at the new business district in Cloche d'Or. Concurrently, the tramline will also extend eastwards from the tram depot in the Kirchberg district to Senningerberg before terminating at Luxembourg Airport.
In June 2018, the Minister for Sustainable Development and Infrastructure, François Bausch, announced that exploratory work had been undertaken for a possible future extension of the tramline alongside the A4 motorway to Foetz by 2028, and onto Luxembourg's second most populous city, Esch-sur-Alzette, by 2035. Trams would be expected to reach speeds of up to 100 km/h when traveling through rural sections of the route in a similar fashion to most light rail lines.
Twenty-one CAF Urbos trams were delivered in 2017, with a further twelve ordered in 2018. They are 45 m (148 ft) long, 2.65 m (8 ft 8 in) wide, 3.6 m (12 ft) high, with 75 seats and able to carry up to 422 passengers at a top speed of 70 km/h (43 mph). To cope with a 3.6 km (2.2 mi) gap in the 750v DC catenary between "Rout Bréck" tram stop in Kirchberg (about 160 m (520 ft) east of Grand Duchess Charlotte Bridge) and the central railway station, the trams use CAF’s Greentech Freedrive.
Historical usage and museum
Luxembourg's first horse-drawn tram line began operations in 1875 running through Luxembourg City along a 10 km line. Electrification followed in 1908. The original track followed a route from Luxembourg railway station through the city centre to Limpertsberg. It was extended to various parts of the city until 1930 when the network covered 31 km. Several lines were closed at the beginning of the 1960s as buses replaced the trams. The last tram ran on the line to Beggen on 5 September 1964. The country's other tram network designated Tramways Intercommunaux du Canton d'Esch served Esch-sur-Alzette and its surroundings from 1927 to 1956.
A number of historic trams can be seen at Luxembourg City's tram and bus museum located on Rue de Bouillon in Hollerich. In particular, the museum exhibits two electric trams, two tram coaches, and a replica of a horse tram. There are also numerous models and photographs.
- Association des modélistes ferroviaires de Luxembourg (Walferdange): Les tramways de la ville de Luxembourg: T.V.L., Walferdange : A.M.F.L., 1986, 156p., Collection: Les chemins de fer luxembourgeois, Vol. 5.
- Bohnert, Paul; Dhur, Raymond; Eck, Jules; Rauen, Prosper: De Minettstram: die Geschichte der interkommunalen Trambahnen im Kanton Esch, Düdelingen : Stadtverwaltung und Kulturkommission, 1985, 325p.
- Hoffmann Jean-Paul, Dhur Raymond, Clesse René, Balthasar Marcel: Tramway Municipaux - De Stater Tram: die Geschichte des öffentlichen Personen-Nahverkehrs in der Stadt Luxemburg 1875-1993, Administration municipale, 1993, 259p.
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- Paulsberg, Linda (5 February 2017). "Chronicle.lu - Linda Paulsberg: the New Funicular Railway - a Railway First in Luxembourg". Retrieved 4 August 2017.
- "Next Wednesday: Luxembourg trams start running next week in test phase". Wort.lu. 6 July 2017. Retrieved 4 August 2017.
- Lambert, Frédéric (4 June 2018). "Le tram arrivera place de l Étoile, le 27 juillet". L'essentiel (in French). Retrieved 3 February 2019.
- Lecorsais, Diane; Tasch, Barbara (28 July 2018). "Three new tram stations". luxtimes.lu. Retrieved 27 January 2019.
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- "September 17: Luxembourg City to open cycle bridge in 'world first'". Wort.lu. 18 July 2017. Retrieved 4 August 2017.
- Théry, Patrick (11 June 2018). "Un tram jusqu à 100 km/h entre Esch et la capitale". L'essentiel (in French). Retrieved 3 February 2019.
- Elsen, Frank (31 January 2019). "Committee for sustainable development: Improving the quality of life and public transport links in Luxembourg". today.rtl.lu. Retrieved 3 February 2019.
- "CAF delivers first Luxembourg tram". Metro Report. DVV Media International Ltd. 10 February 2017. Retrieved 30 March 2019.
- "CAF Supplies Catenary-Free Trams for New Line in Luxembourg City". Railway News. 7 June 2018. Retrieved 30 March 2019.
- "Luxembourg tram". caf.net. Retrieved 30 March 2019.
- "TVL - Tramways de la Ville de Luxembourg (1875-1908-1964)" [Tramways of the City of Luxembourg (1875-1908-1964)]. rail.lu. Retrieved 3 March 2009.
- "TICE - Tramways Intercommunaux du Canton d'Esch (1927-1956)". rail.lu. Retrieved 3 March 2009.
- "TVL - Musée des Tramways et de Bus de la Ville de Luxembourg" [Tramways and Bus Museum of the City of Luxembourg]. rail.lu. Retrieved 3 March 2009.