Silesian Interurbans

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Silesian Interurbans
Logo of Tramwaje Śląskie
Pesa Twist in Katowice
Pesa Twist in Katowice
LocaleUpper Silesia metropolitan area, Poland
Steam era: 1894 (1894)–1898 (1898)
Status Replaced by electric trams
Owner(s) Oberschlesische Dampfstraßenbahnen
Track gauge 785 mm (2 ft 6 2932 in)
Propulsion system(s) Steam
Depot(s) 2
18983.6 million
Electric trams era: 1898 (1898)–present
Status Operational
Routes 29 (2021)
Owner(s) Katowice City (34.1%)
Operator(s) Tramwaje Śląskie
Track gauge 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in)
Propulsion system(s) Electricity
Electrification 600 V DC overhead line
Depot(s) 4
Track length (single) 58.7 km
Track length (double) 119.65 km
Track length (total) 299.7 km (186.2 mi)
Route length 178 km (111 mi)
201199 million
Network Map Silesian Interurbans.svg (System map)

Silesian Interurbans (Polish: Tramwaje Konurbacji Śląskiej), one of the largest tram systems in the world, and has been in existence since 1894. The system is spread over more than 50 kilometres (east-west axis) and covers thirteen towns in the Upper Silesia metropolitan area (Southern Poland) and their suburbs (Katowice, the capital town of the region, Będzin, Bytom, Chorzów, Czeladź, Dąbrowa Górnicza, Gliwice, Mysłowice, Ruda Śląska, Siemianowice Śląskie, Sosnowiec, Świętochłowice, and Zabrze, until 2006 also in Piekary Śląskie and Wojkowice), which is densely industrialised (coal, coke, steel and other industries; though decreasing since the 1990s) and inhabited by more than two million people.

Basic information[edit]

  • Total track length: 299.7 route km (340.3 track km)[1]
  • Number of routes: 29[2]
  • Number of revenue vehicles: 336[3]
  • Number of vehicles on-duty daily (Mon-Fri): ca. 200
  • Number of depots: 5 (R-1 Będzin, R-2 Katowice-Zawodzie, R-3 Bytom-Stroszek, R-4 Gliwice, ZUR (Tram Repair Facility, ex. Chorzów-Batory Depot)
  • Longest route length: 22.45 km (Route 21)
  • Shortest route length: 1.34 km (Route 38)


The system was established by German Empire in 1894 as a unique 785 mm (2 ft 6 2932 in) narrow gauge steam interurban railway. The first line was 36.5 km long and connected Gliwice with Piekary Śląskie through Zabrze, Chebzie, Chorzów and Bytom, another connected Katowice and Siemianowice. After four years (in 1898) electrification started. In 1912 the first short 4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge line was built in Katowice. In 1913 a separate standard gauge system connecting Bytom with suburbs and villages west of the town was opened. After World War I and the Silesian Uprisings the region (and the tram network) was divided between newly independent Poland and Germany, and international services appeared (the last one ran until 1937). In 1928 another standard gauge system was established in Sosnowiec, Będzin and Dąbrowa Górnicza (the so-called Dabrowa Coal Basin - a region adjoining the Upper Silesian Coal Basin). Between 1928 and 1936 most of the original narrow gauge network was converted to standard (although the last narrow gauge line, Siemianowice Śląskie-Chorzów, remained till 1952), which allowed a connection with the new system in Sosnowiec (a service between Chorzow and Sosnowiec through Katowice was established in 1931).

View of Bytom in 1915

During World War II the German authorities decided to merge all the systems and administrations, and they have remained as one united network to the present day (though the old boundaries are still easily traceable). The new route numbering system introduced in 1940 to integrate the systems is still used. In 1951 the system was taken over by a state-owned company (WPK Katowice) and until the 1970s it was widely extended and partly modernised, reaching its maximum length at the end of the 1970s (ca. 235 km). Since the late 1960s, the classic rolling stock has been replaced by modern cars based on PCC streetcar technology. In the 1980s some of the non-modernised, rural lines were abandoned (the longest one from Bytom to Wieszowa with a branch to Stolarzowice).

Works tram towing scrapped pointwork from Alfred to Katowice, 10 September 2011

The end of the 1980s brought changes in Poland (the Round Table talks and the fall of communism), but unfortunately that did not improve the tramway service in the region – on the contrary, the condition of the tram company (Tramwaje Śląskie) had been steadily deteriorating since the middle of the 1990s. The last new line was built in 1980–1982 (between Sosnowiec and Zagórze). At the end of the 1990s the Bytom – Chorzów – Katowice line was to be upgraded to light-rail (LRT) standards. Due to a lack of funds, the investment was only partially carried out, but included the purchase of 17 new Alstom Citadis low-floor cars). The journey time on this highly overcrowded line did not change.

Present day[edit]

Logo of ZTM

Today, Tramwaje Śląskie and ZTM are slowly reversing the effects of the lack of long-term investment. There are many renovations, and new rolling stock has been bought. In 2012 the network operator bought 30 low-floor Pesa 2012N "Twist-Step" cars, and 12 partially low-floor Moderus Beta trams from Modertrans Poznań. They were paid for in part by the European Development Fund.


Line[4] Terminus Length Stops Cities Depot
1 Tramwaje Śląskie line 1.svg Gliwice Zajezdnia Chebzie Pętla 12.60 km 22 Gliwice, Zabrze, Ruda Śląska Gliwice
2 Tramwaje Śląskie line 2.svg Gliwice Zajezdnia Bytom Plac Sikorskiego 16.50 km 25 Gliwice, Zabrze Gliwice, Stroszek
3 Tramwaje Śląskie line 3.svg Mikulczyce Pętla Makoszowy Pętla 10.45 km 20 Zabrze Gliwice
4 Tramwaje Śląskie line 4.svg Gliwice Zajezdnia Zaborze Pętla 7.85 km 16 Gliwice, Zabrze Gliwice
5 Tramwaje Śląskie line 5.svg Bytom Plac Sikorskiego Zaborze Pętla 16.30 km 24 Zabrze, Bytom Gliwice, Stroszek
6 Tramwaje Śląskie line 6.svg Bytom Szkoła Medyczna Brynów Centrum Przesiadkowe 20.45 km 45 Bytom, Chorzów, Katowice Stroszek, Zawodzie
7 Tramwaje Śląskie line 7.svg Bytom Plac Sikorskiego Zawodzie Centrum Przesiadkowe 18.55 km 37 Bytom, Świętochłowice, Chorzów, Katowice Stroszek, Zawodzie
9 Tramwaje Śląskie line 9.svg Chebzie Pętla Chorzów Batory Zajezdnia 10.70 km 20 Ruda Śląska, Świętochłowice, Chorzów Gliwice
11 Tramwaje Śląskie line 11.svg Chorzów Metalowców Katowice Plac Miarki 18.50 km 16 Chorzów, Katowice Stroszek
13 Tramwaje Śląskie line 13.svg Siemianowice Plac Skargi Katowice Plac Wolności 6.45 km 12 Siemianowice Śląskie, Katowice Zawodzie
14 Tramwaje Śląskie line 14.svg Brynów Centrum Przesiadkowe Mysłowice Dworzec PKP 15.15 km 33 Katowice, Mysłowice Zawodzie
15 Tramwaje Śląskie line 15.svg Katowice Plac Wolności Zagórze Pętla 14.75 km 28 Katowice, Sosnowiec Zawodzie
16 Tramwaje Śląskie line 16.svg Wełnowiec Plac Alfreda Brynów Centrum Przesiadkowe 8.15 km 18 Katowice Zawodzie
17 Tramwaje Śląskie line 17.svg Lipiny Mijanka Chorzów Batory Zajezdnia 9.40 km 17 Świętochłowice, Bytom, Chorzów Gliwice, Stroszek
19 Tramwaje Śląskie line 19.svg Stroszek Zajezdnia Katowice Plac Wolności 21.75 km 43 Bytom, Chorzów, Katowice Stroszek, Zawodzie
20 Tramwaje Śląskie line 20.svg Chorzów Batory Zajezdnia Szopienice Pętla 12.35 km 25 Chorzów, Katowice Zawodzie
21 Tramwaje Śląskie line 21.svg Milowice Pętla Tworzeń Huta Katowice 22.55 km 42 Sosnowiec, Będzin, Dąbrowa Górnicza Będzin
22 Tramwaje Śląskie line 22.svg Czeladź Kombatantów Tworzeń Huta Katowice 15.80 km 26 Czeladź, Będzin, Dąbrowa Górnicza Będzin
23 Tramwaje Śląskie line 23.svg Chorzów Stadion Śląski Pętla Zachodnia Zawodzie Centrum Przesiadkowe 10.40 km 24 Chorzów, Katowice Zawodzie
24 Tramwaje Śląskie line 24.svg Sosnowiec Ostrogórska Konstantynów Okrzei 3.35 km 8 Sosnowiec Będzin
26 Tramwaje Śląskie line 26.svg Mysłowice Dworzec PKP Pogoń Akademiki 12.60 km 23 Mysłowice, Sosnowiec Będzin
27 Tramwaje Śląskie line 27.svg Kazimierz Górniczy Pętla Osiedle Zamkowe Pętla 18.20 km 36 Sosnowiec, Będzin Będzin
28 Tramwaje Śląskie line 28.svg Osiedle Zamkowe Pętla Tworzeń Huta Katowice 13.10 km 23 Będzin, Dąbrowa Górnicza Będzin
35 Tramwaje Śląskie line 35.svg Milowice Pętla Zagórze Pętla 8.90 km 16 Sosnowiec Będzin
36 Tramwaje Śląskie line 36.svg Szopienice Pętla Brynów Centrum Przesiadkowe 11.35 km 26 Katowice Zawodzie
38 Tramwaje Śląskie line 38.svg Bytom Powstańców Śląskich Bytom Kościół św. Trójcy 1.35 km 5 Bytom Stroszek
43 Tramwaje Śląskie line 43.svg Chorzów Batory Zajezdnia Koszutka Słoneczna Pętla 6.75 km 15 Chorzów, Katowice Gliwice
46 Tramwaje Śląskie line 46.svg Brynów Centrum Przesiadkowe Koszutka Słoneczna Pętla 5.65 km 16 Katowice Zawodzie
49 Tramwaje Śląskie line 49.svg Stroszek Zajezdnia Bytom Plac Sikorskiego 7.55 km 16 Bytom Stroszek

Rolling stock[edit]

N-type-based snow plough
Series Units Seats Low floor Manufacturer
N 2 16 0% Konstal
105N 1 20 0% Konstal
105Na 89 20 0% Konstal
105N-2k 31 20 0% Konstal
105N-2k 20 0% Konstal
105N HF 11 AC 45 20 0% Konstal
105NF S 31
111N 6 20 0% Konstal
116Nd Citadis 17 46 73% Alstom Konstal
2012N Twist 30 77 73% Pesa
2012N-10 Twist 2 z 8 77 75% Pesa
2017N Twist 15 z 32 59 65,6% Pesa
E1 18 40 0% SGP / Lohner
Pt8 8 62 0% Düwag
Ptm 7 57 23% Düwag
MF 16 AC BD Beta 12 46 26% Modertrans Poznań
MF 10 AC Beta 13 ≥ 18 ≥ 20% Modertrans Poznań
MF 11 AC BD Beta 2 ≥ 18 ≥ 20% Modertrans Poznań

Museum cars[edit]

Series Nr Year Manufactuter
N 1100 1953 Konstal
4N 1167 1957 Konstal
4ND1 1263 1959 Konstal
13N 308 1967 Konstal
102N 8 1970 Konstal
102Na 183 1970 Konstal
105N 338 1975 Konstal
105N 546 1978 Konstal


  1. ^ "Infrastruktura techniczna" (in Polish). Tramwajów Śląskich. Retrieved 16 September 2020. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  2. ^ "KZK GOP" (in Polish). Komunikacyjny Związek Komunalny GOP. 27 September 2015. Retrieved 16 September 2020. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  3. ^ "Tramwajach Śląskich" (in Polish). Retrieved 16 September 2020. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  4. ^ "ZTM Schematy sieci i mapy". Retrieved 2021-02-15.

External links[edit]