T3 in Prague
Interior of T3D
|Train length||14,000 mm (45 ft 11 in)|
|Width||2,500 mm (8 ft 2 in)|
|Height||3,050 mm (10 ft 0 in)|
|Track gauge||1,435 mm (4 ft 8 1⁄2 in), 1,000 mm (3 ft 3 3⁄8 in), 1,524 mm (5 ft)|
The T3 is a famous type of tramcar produced by Tatra. During its period of production, between 1960 and 1999, 13,991 powered units and 122 unpowered trailers were sold worldwide, mostly in Central and Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union. Well maintained tramcars of this type are very reliable, a late 2000s survey conducted in Prague tram system has shown 98.9% reliability, best of the Prague tram system fleet.
The design of the T3 had to meet difficult specifications. The car should have the same capacity as its predecessor (the Tatra T2), but be easier to build. In order to achieve this goal for example the vehicle walls were thinner and were fitted with laminate seats instead of cushioned leatherrette seats the T2 used. The T3 was delivered to all tramway companies in the former Czechoslovakia. It was most numerous in Prague, where over 1,000 vehicles were delivered. The T3 still forms (mostly in various modernised versions) the backbone of the Czech tram fleet.
(SU for Soviet Union)
As with the T2SU the first T3SU was delivered with the modification of removing the middle door and replacing it with seats. Later cars, however, were delivered with the third door in place. Again the vehicles had a closed operator's compartment and were adapted for the harsh climatic conditions. Altogether 11 368 T3SU were delivered, making it world-wide the largest production of a single type of streetcar. The disadvantage of this, however, was the fact that by producing so many of one type of unit the replacement by more modern cars was slow.
The T3SU was delivered from 1963, first to Moscow and later to 33 further Soviet cities.
(SUCS for Soviet Union-modified Czechoslovakia)
Originally the production of the T3 was stopped 1976 and production was concentrated on newer vehicles. The Slovak city Košice, however, ordered two motor coaches, as an exception. Starting from 1985 the production of the replacement type KT8D5 should start, however this was by then obsolete. Further production of T3 would have been too expensive, so instead vehicles of the type T3SU were re-imported and adapted. The closed operator's cab was maintained, the vehicles had all three doors in place and differed from the original T3 only in few details. Traction formation with this vehicles is possible and is sometimes practiced.
Looking at T3SU trams manufactured in different times, one can notice minor changes both in exterior appearance and interior design.
- Narrow passenger windows - disappeared before the year of 1966
- The narrow window route designators - disappeared about 1969
- The illumination of the number of route on top - began in 1980s
- Oval turn indicator at the front became two rectangular lights. The same lamps began to be fitted to the rear - 1985???
- Small grid in the forward section of the tram from the left side appeared on all T3SU trams manufactured in 1983 and later.
- Two small red lamps near the tramcar-to-tramcar "control circuit port" both from the front and from behind - 1985???
- Additional red horizontal lamps from behind
- sofa-style seats - from the early 1960s until the early 1970s.
- "toilet"-like seats - from the early 1970s until the middle of the 1980s.
- Cream colour of saloon ~ with 1977-1978 (now nevertheless all yellow-dark-blue)
In Germany (and/or in the former GDR) the first three T3D cars operated started operation in 1964 and 1965 in Dresden. The cars were used in part due to their width of 2.50 m (8 ft 2 in). They operated as single cars or as multiple units (Motor+Motor, Motor+Motor+Trailer) and/or as mini trams (Motor+Trailer). The use of trailer cars was due to the use of original Czech T3 electrical equipment, which had enough power to support trailer cars. However, due to reduced available power, the maximum speed of the streetcar reached only 55 km/h, instead of the usual 65 km/h (40 mph).
Only German and Yugoslav networks had trailer cars. The car was designated as B3D and had the same body as T3D. Today, only Chemnitz uses T3s in full service, having T3D-M (modified).
(YU for Yugoslavia)
From 1967 onwards, vehicles supplied to Yugoslavia differed from the standard type T3 by having different pantographs and trucks. In addition, trailer cars were used, as in the GDR. Beside two Czechoslovakian and one Soviet tram networks, the vehicles were the only narrow profile cars of the type.
(R for Romania)
At the end of the 1960s, Romania ordered RA cars as part of an agreement in the Comecon. The first vehicles came in 1970 to the city of Galaţi and differed from the Czechoslovak vehicles by having different electrical equipment, necessary for the network's 750 V DC voltage. Since the car boxes were built too wide for use elsewhere, the cars remain in Galaţi. Only 50 units were delivered.
Same name has type shortly manufactured in 1997.
4 Tatra T3RF were the very last T3 trams built. They were made for Samara and Izhevsk, but only Samara had bought 2 of them. In 2002 2 other trams were sold to Brno and modernized.
Modernized Tatra-T3 trams
In most Czech cities and in some foreign cities such as Bratislava, Moscow, Riga and Odessa, Tatra-T3 trams became very common pieces of equipment. As a result the service personnel and maintenance workers became very good with repairing and servicing the equipment. This served as one of the reasons (the other being the expense of buying new vehicles) for modifying the existing Tatra-T3 trams, rather they buying newer cars.
The modernization normally includes:
- Restoration of the car body
- Digital/Electronic destination sign installation
- Acoustic information system
- Installation of new traction motors
- Thyristor-Controlled traction system for the motors.
- Re-design of the interior, which varies by city and transit authority.
- Pantograph replacements (also depends on the transport authority)
More radical modernization includes insertion of a low floor section.
14,113 trams were produced and delivered to:
|Czech Republic||Brno||1963–1989, 2002 (Tatra T3RF trams built in 1998-1999 for Russia)||109||53||0||0||0||0||0||0||162|
|Germany||Karl-Marx-Stadt (today Chemnitz)||1966–1988||0||0||0||132||62||0||0||0||194|
Note: This is production list. Public transport companies may sell used trams to other companies, thus number of cities where are (or were) these trams may be higher.
- IHNED.cz - Nový model tramvají Porsche je nejporuchovější ze všech. Každá sedmá stojí
- "Tatra T3 deliveries". Strassenbahnen-Online. Retrieved 2007-12-09.
- Transfer from Prague during 2011-2012
- Yransfer from Prague in 2012
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