Volchansk tram system
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Volchanka depot with a KTM-19 tram
|Termini||Lesnaya Volchanka (Volchansk)
|Opening||31 December 1951|
|Operator(s)||MUP «Volchansky Avtoelektrotransport»|
|Rolling stock||5 trams|
|Line length||7.6 km (4.7 mi)|
|No. of tracks||Single track|
|Track gauge||1,524 mm (5 ft)|
Volchansk Tram (Russian: Волчанский трамвай) is a main kind of transportation connecting southern and northern parts-townships of one town Volchansk (Sverdlovsk Oblast, Russia). These townships are called Volchanka and Lesnaya Volchanka (properly Volchansk) respectively. Town population is only about 10,000 people. Tram has been working since December 31, 1951. The system contains one line, the length is about 7—8 kilometers.
Tram service in Volchansk started on December 31, 1951. By that time Volchansk did not have the town status (it only became a town in 1956), but the population reached 30,000.
In the past the line continued from Volchanka depot to Opencast Colliery #5 (Razrez 5). The second one was closed in 1994 because of theft of trolley wire. Also there was an interurban tram line to neighbouring town Karpinsk, that had been working from 1953 till April 22, 1965. It was dismantled by reason of transfer of enormous walking excavator from Karpinsk to Volchansk along the road between these two towns.
Volchansk Tram System consists of one line connecting Volchanka with Lesnaya Volchanka. The length of the line is 7,6 kilometers. The line is single-track. Previously existed passing tracks have been dismantled. Tram road between townships passes through taiga and meadows.
Tram tracks need repair, but depot workers carry out track service as much as possible with available material, equipment and means: tracks transposition, replacement of sleepers, smoothing of track rails, mounting of shunts, etc. Derailments happen but they tend to decrease.
Tramway depot is situated in southern district Volchanka and is the southern terminus. The depot territory contains one-storeyed headquarters, a brick box for two tramcars, an area for tramcars parking, and a utility building.
There is only one route. Time length of running to Lesnaya Volchanka numbers about 28–29 minutes, backwards to Volchanka it numbers about 23–24 minutes. There is only one tramcar on line. Leaving the depot happens every hour from 7:05 a.m. till 10:05 p.m. Leaving end point in Lesnaya Volchanka happens every hour from 7:35 a.m. till 11:35 p.m. Thereby the tram enters the depot finally at 11:00 p.m.
Since May 2010 tram does not work from 10:00 a.m. till 4:00 p.m. It is caused by low passenger traffic in the daytime.
The rolling stock consists of two tramcars of model 71-605 (stock numbers #7 and #8), one tramcar 71-608KM (stock number #1), one tramcar 71-402 “SPECTR” (stock number #2) and one tramcar 71-619 (stock number #3). The last one came to the town in January, 2008. SPECTR had come a couple of years before. Thereby Volchansk has completely renewed all its rolling stock and unlike many similar towns in Russia it has enough tramcars to operate its transport system.
Passenger tramcars are equipped with bow collectors, that are suitable for operation on the existing catenary. It is planned to equip tramcars with modified pantographs adapted to work in local conditions.
Also the depot has non-working snow plough “GS-4” (probably, it has no stock number), that has been once plundered by vandals. However, Volchansk workers intend to restore the machine. At present a tractor is used to shovel snow off the track.
The depot disposes an old flatcar that was a tramcar of model KTM-1 many years ago. It is coupled with a passenger tramcar and used to transportation of materials and tools to the trackworks places.
A body of tramcar that is a model MTV-82 is used as warehouse.
Guinness World Record claim
According to local lore, Volchansk has been recorded in the Guinness World Records for being the smallest city in the world to have its own independent stand-alone tram system. This story has been told to visitors by the townspeople themselves. Thereby the tale became a popular tale both within and outside the town. Nowadays numerous stories about the town mention this “fact” by mistake.
Nevertheless, Volchansk townsmen have applied to the Russian Records Book in order to have an official confirmation of their town as being the smallest one in Russia with its own tram service.
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