Trams in Graz

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Graz tramway network
Tramway graz23.jpg
A Cityrunner tram in Jakominiplatz, 2007.
Locale Graz, Styria, Austria
Status Operational
Lines 6[1]
Operator(s) Holding Graz (since 2007 (2007))
Track gauge 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in)
standard gauge
Electrification 600 V DC
Stock 86[2]
Route length 67.2 km (41.8 mi)[2]
Passengers (2012) 53.56 million[2]
Horse tram era: 1878–1899
Propulsion system(s) Horses
Electric tram era: since 1899 (1899)
Status Still running
Operator(s) Holding Graz (since 2007 (2007))
Track gauge 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in)
standard gauge
Propulsion system(s) Electricity
Electrification (?)
Map of the Graz tram network, 2012.
Website Holding Graz Linien (in German)

The Graz tramway network is a network of tramways forming an important part of the public transport system in Graz, which is both the capital city of the federal state of Styria, Austria, and the second largest city in Austria.

In operation since 1878, the network presently has six daytime lines, and five evening and Sunday lines. As of 2012, the Graz tram network ran on an almost 60 kilometres (37 mi) of route, and served 53.56 million passengers.[2] It is operated by the Graz Linien division of Holding Graz, the city owned utility company who also operate the city's bus network and the Schlossbergbahn funicular railway. The trams form part of the styrian integrated fare system which covers all modes of public transport in Graz and Styria.

The Tramway Museum Graz, at the terminus of line 1 in Mariatrost, holds many exhibits relating to the system.[3]


The first electric tram in 1899

The first trams to run in Graz were horse trams in private ownership, with service commencing in 1878. The lines were electrified from 1899. In 1939, the tram network was acquired by the city.[3]

In 1941, the narrow gauge electric railway that had linked Graz with the suburb of Mariatrost since 1898, was converted to standard gauge and became part of the tram network. The resulting long outer section of tram route 1 still retains many light railway features, with its off-street routing and long stretches of single track.[3][4]

Graz trams in 1977
Subsurface tramstop at Graz main railway station from 2012

The Graz tram network reached a peak in 1950. Growing car ownership, and the growth of residential areas in outer reaches of the city not served by the trams, lead to a fall in tram usage and eventually, after 1950, the closure of several tram routes. The city introduced trolleybuses in 1941 to serve the outer areas of the city, but these were replaced by motor buses by 1967.[3]

In the 1990s, with the city's narrow central streets proving ill-suited to large quantities of private car traffic, the city adopted a policy of improving and expanding public transport, with modernisation and extension of the tramway. The area around Jakominiplatz was developed as the main tram and city bus interchange from 1995, whilst extensions to Puntigam, Liebenau Murpark and St Paul followed in 2006 and 2007.[3]

In 2001, Graz was the launch customer for the Bombardier Transportation's Cityrunner design, with the acquisition of 18 27 m (89 ft) long five-section trams. These were the city's first 100% low-floor trams, although the concept was introduced in 1999 by the fitting of new low-floor centre sections to 12 existing trams.[3]

In 2007, Graz ordered 45 Stadler Variobahn trams for delivery between 2009 and 2015. These vehicles proved controversial, with complaints over noise and vibration levels. Initially confined to the north-south axis lines 4 and 5, the trams started operating on the east-west axis in 2013, after modifications and imposition of a speed limit.[3][5]

In 2012, new tram tunnels were built to serve the city's main railway station (Graz Hauptbahnhof), which was previously the terminus of two tram lines and some distance from the main westbound tram route. Trams on the main line now stop in a new subsurface tram station in the station forecourt area. This allows the station to be served by four of the city's six lines.[3]

In 2016 a new extension of line 7 in order to serve the new medical campus of the University of Graz in Stiftingtalstraße has been constructed and opened to the public on 11 September 2016. The line is being extended by one stop from the previous terminus at St. Leonhard.[6]


Route network[edit]

The following services operate during the day on Mondays to Saturdays:[1][7]

The following services operate in the evenings and on Sundays:[1][7]

  • Lines 1, 5 and 7: as above
  • Line 13: Krenngasse – Jakominiplatz – Liebenau/Murpark
  • Line 26: Jakominiplatz – St. Peter


Tram on the former light railway section of line 1

Graz's tram network is built to standard gauge and is electrified using overhead line at 600 V DC. The network is largely double track, with some 3.5 kilometres (2.2 mi) of single track on the northern, former light railway, section of line 1, and just over 1 kilometre (0.62 mi) towards the southern terminus of line 5. Most of the track is at grade, with the exception of the subsurface tram stop, with linking tunnels, at the main railway station, and a short tunnel just before the southern terminus of line 5.[3][7][8]

With the exception of the short tunnelled sections, and the former light railway section of line 1, all of the system is street based, with varying degrees of segregation. As the trams are single-ended, with doors on only one side, all terminal locations are equipped with turning loops, and all tram stops are to the nearside of the tram.[3][8]

Tram fleet[edit]

As of 2012, the Graz tramway network's fleet was:[9][10]

Nos. Image Manufacturer Built Length(mm) Axles Wheelbase(mm) Seated/Standing Notes
261–283 (23) Track grinding tram graz 02.jpg SGP/Lohner 1963–1965 19,560 6 6,000 40/75 Tw 262 rebuilt as work vehicle, some vehicles already withdrawn, complete withdrawal scheduled from 2009.
291–293 (3) Graz TW292.jpg SGP Wien 1966–1976 20,335 6 6,000 Acquired from Vienna, in scheduled service since 12 November 2007.
501–510 (10) Tram Graz 507 7 Esperantoplatz.jpg SGP Graz 1978 25,343 8 6,000 40/94
521–537 (17) Tram Graz 537 7 Jakominiplatz.jpg Duewag 1971–1973 25,900 8 6,000 59/88 Acquired from Duisburg, withdrawal scheduled from 2010.
581–584 (4) Tram Graz 582 3 Herz-Jesu-Kirche.jpg Locally built 1995–1997 26,220 8 6,000 58/97 Rebuilt from series 260, middle segment installed 1999, withdrawal scheduled from 2010.
601–612 (12) Tramway graz21.jpg SGP Graz 1986–1987 27,000 8 6,000 41/126 Low-floor middle segment installed 1999.
651–668 (18) Tramway graz30.jpg Bombardier Transportation 2000–2001 27,000 6 6,000 54/90 To Bombardier's standard, 100% low-floor, Cityrunner design.
201–245 (45) Tram Graz 205 4 Dr.Lister-Gasse.jpg Stadler Rail 2009–2015 27,000 6 6,000 54/90 To Stadler Rail's standard, 100% low-floor, Variobahn design.

Tickets and fares[edit]

The Graz tramway network is entirely within zone 101 of the Verbund Linie, an integrated tariff for public transport throughout Styria. Zone 101 tickets are valid on all trams, and all city buses with single or double digit route numbers. They are also valid on regional buses, which have three digit route numbers, and trains, but only within the boundary of the zone.[11]

Tickets are available for different periods of validity, including one hour, 24 hours, a week, a month or a year, and allow unlimited changes of vehicle within the validity period. Tickets can be purchased from ticket machines on board the trams or at the major stops, from tobacconists, or from a central office. They are also available by SMS text message or via a smartphone app.[11]

Aimed at visitors to the city, there is also a three-day ticket which allows unlimited travel within the city for three days, as well as giving reduced admission charges at selected attractions. The ticket is available at hotels and other accommodation, at the city tourist information office, at ticket sale counters at the Schloßbergbahn funicular, and at Graz Airport.[12]


With the introduction of the full set of Variobahn trams, many of Graz's older high-floor trams will be retired. It is also planned to lengthen the new Variobahn trams by adding 2 further sections to the trams.[3]

There are plans for a number of extensions to existing lines plus the building of 2 new lines.

Of these the planned extension of line 6 to the "Smart City Graz", a brownfield site undergoing urban renewal, have progressed the most so far. This extension of line 6 near the main railway station is scheduled for completion in September 2019.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "Liniennetzplan Graz" [Public Transport Network of Graz] (PDF). (via: (in German). Holding Graz. September 2013. Retrieved 2013-10-05.  External link in |website= (help)
  2. ^ a b c d "Dienstleister für Generationen - Geschäftsbericht der Holding Graz 2012" [Supplier for Generations - Business Report of Holding Graz 2012] (PDF). (via: (in German). Holding Graz. August 2013. p. 47. Retrieved 2013-10-05.  External link in |website= (help)
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Pulling, Neil (August 2013). "System Factfile 71: Graz, Austria". Tramways & Urban Transit. Ian Allan Ltd / Light Rail Transit Association. pp. 340–343. 
  4. ^ Wegenstein, Peter (1994). Bahn im Bild 94 - Die Straßenbahn von Graz (in German). Vienna: Verlag Pospischil. p. 6. 
  5. ^ "Probleme mit Variobahn offiziell für beendet erklärt" [Problems with Variobahn officially declared finished]. Kleine Zeitung (in German). 12 April 2013. Retrieved 31 July 2013. 
  6. ^ "Verlängerung der Linie 7" [Extension of line 7] (in German). Holding Graz. Retrieved 2003-07-30. 
  7. ^ a b c Schwandl, Robert (2010). Schwandl's Tram Atlas Schweiz & Österreich. Berlin: Robert Schwandl Verlag. ISBN 978 3 936573 27 5.  (in German) (in English)
  8. ^ a b "Graz - Straßenbahnnetzplan" [Graz - Tram track plan] (PDF). (in German). January 2011. Retrieved 30 July 2013.  External link in |work= (help)
  9. ^ Kaiser, Wolfgang (2004). Straßenbahnen in Österreich. München: GeraMond. pp. 126–127. ISBN 3765471984. 
  10. ^ Holding Graz Linien – Sekretariat Technische Services Straßenbahn.
  11. ^ a b "Tickets & Tarife" [Tickets & Fares] (in German). Holding Graz. Retrieved 2003-07-29. 
  12. ^ "Graz 3-Days Ticket". Verbund Linie. Retrieved 2003-07-29. 

External links[edit]