Trams in Rotterdam

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Rotterdam tramway network
A Citadis 302 tram outside Rotterdam CS, 2008.
Operation
Locale Rotterdam, Netherlands
Horsecar era: 1879 (1879)–1924/1925 (1924/1925)
Status Closed
Track gauge 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in)
1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in)
1,000 mm (3 ft 3 38 in)
Propulsion system(s) Horse
Electric tram era: since 1905 (1905)
Status Open
Lines 9 (+ 3 special lines)
Operator(s) Rotterdamse Elektrische Tram (RET) (since 1927)
Track gauge 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in)
Propulsion system(s) Electricity
Electrification 600 V DC Catenary
Stock 118[1]
Track length (single) 194 km (121 mi)[1]
Stops 322[1]
Website RET

The Rotterdam tramway network (Dutch: Rotterdams tramnet) is a key element of the overall public transport arrangements in Rotterdam, Netherlands.

Opened in 1879, the network currently has nine regular tramlines, and three special or seasonal tramlines. It has been operated since 1927 by Rotterdamse Elektrische Tram (RET). The tram network is the city's more extensive public transport system, while the rapid transit Rotterdam Metro is the more utilized system.

History[edit]

Old Rotterdam tram stop sign, at Oostmolen in Mijnsheerenland, 2008.

The RET has had two predecessor tramway companies, the RTM and the RETM, respectively. The RTM (Rotterdamsche Tramweg Maatschappij) was founded in 1878 to operate the first horse-drawn tramway in Rotterdam, which opened in 1879. From then until 1904, the RTM ran both horse trams and steam trams in and around the city, which was then much smaller than today.

Apart from the RTM, there were two other, smaller, companies operating tramway networks in and around Rotterdam in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. In 1882, the Schielandsche Tramweg-Maatschappij opened a horse tramway of 1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in) gauge from the Hofplein via Schiekade and Bergweg to Hillegersberg. Two decades later, in 1902, the Schiedamsche Tramweg-Maatschappij opened a horse-drawn tramway in Schiedam from the station via Koemarkt to the Hoofdplein. This tramway had a gauge of 1,000 mm (3 ft 3 38 in).

A new form of urban transport, the electric tram, arrived in Rotterdam in 1904, with the creation of the new RETM (Rotterdamsche Electrische Tramweg Maatschappij). On 18 September 1905, the RETM began operating the first electric tram line in Rotterdam, line 1 (Honingerdijk – Beurs – Park). The current to power the line was supplied from a temporary generator. On 15 October 1906, the municipality started to supply electricity from the new power station, and the 21-year operating concession began. By the end of that year, there were already five electric tram lines operating. In 1907 and 1908, more lines entered service, to bring the total to nine lines. The maximum extent of Rotterdam's tramway network was 25 lines, and this was reached in 1930.

The livery of the RETM trams was originally dark blue, and was later changed to cream. From the 1930s, it was yellow ochre.

After 27 March 1907, the horse tramline to Overschie was the only remaining non-electric line of the RETM. Although the horse trams to Hillegersberg and Schiedam were still operating, they were not part of RETM network. On 31 December 1917, the Schiedam horsecar line was closed and not replaced. In 1919, the line to Hillegersberg was taken over by the RETM. In 1922 and 1923, the RETM converted this line to a standard gauge electric tramway, and in 1924 and 1925, the horsecars on the line to Overschie were gradually replaced by trams with petrol engines. Finally, in 1928, the Overshie line was closed and replaced by a bus line.

During this period, the RTM continued to operate trams to and from the islands of South Holland and Zeeland.

Several years of negotiations in the 1920s culminated in the transfer of the RETM to the municipality of Rotterdam. On 4 April 1927, the council decided to approve the proposed transfer. On 15 October of that year, the RETM was transformed into a municipal transport company and renamed RET (Rotterdamse Elektrische Tram), with 1,903 employees.

Lines[edit]

The following nine tramlines are part of Rotterdam's regular transit system:

Line Termini Route Transport Company Details
 2  Groene Tuin - Charlois Station Lombardijen, Maashaven RET
 4  Molenlaan - Spangen Station Noord, Rotterdam Centraal, Eendrachtsplein, Delfshaven, Marconiplein RET
 7  Woudestein - Willemsplein Erasmus Universiteit, Voorschoterlaan, Oostplein, Rotterdam Centraal, Eendrachtsplein RET
 8  Kleiweg - Spangen Station Noord, Rotterdam Centraal, Beurs, Leuvehaven, Erasmus MC, Delfshaven, Marconiplein RET
 20  Lombardijen - Rotterdam Centraal Station Lombardijen, Wilhelminaplein, Eendrachtsplein RET Does not run at night after 20:00, or on Sundays.
 21  De Esch - Schiedam, Woudhoek Erasmus Universiteit, Oostplein, Station Blaak, Beurs, Rotterdam Centraal, Marconiplein, Station Schiedam Centrum, Station Nieuwland RET Does not run at night after 20:00, or on Sundays.
 23  Beverwaard - Marconiplein Stadion Feijenoord, Wilhelminaplein, Leuvehaven, Beurs, Rotterdam Centraal RET
 24  De Esch - Vlaardingen, Holy Erasmus Universiteit, Oostplein, Station Blaak, Beurs, Rotterdam Centraal, Marconiplein, Station Schiedam Centrum, Station Nieuwland RET
 25  Carnisselande - Schiebroek Maasstad Ziekenhuis-locatie Zuider, Wilhelminaplein, Leuvehaven, Beurs, Rotterdam Centraal, Sint Franciscus Gasthuis, Melanchthonweg RET

The following three tramlines are seasonal lines or special lines:

Line Termini Transport Company Details
 10  Citytour RoMeO Summer-only historical tourist tramline; after summer the tram is available for rent for parties or marriages. Driven with historic Rotterdam trams.
 12  Rotterdam Centraal - Stadion Feyenoord RET Soccer-tram: only operates during big events or big matches in De Kuip (Feyenoord Stadium).
 18  Rotterdam Centraal - Park RET Only operates during the annual Dunya Festival.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

Inline references[edit]

Bibliography[edit]

  • Duparc, H J A; Kaper, H P; Stigter, L (1968). Trammend naar de Metro [Trammend to the Metro] (in Dutch). Leiden: Brill. 
  • van Huijksloot, Jan (2005). Van Allan tot Citadis [From Allan to Citadis] (in Dutch). Rosmalen: Uquilair. ISBN 90-71513-53-X. 

External links[edit]

Media related to Trams in Rotterdam at Wikimedia Commons

Coordinates: 51°55′18″N 04°28′52″E / 51.92167°N 4.48111°E / 51.92167; 4.48111