Trams in Lisbon

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Lisbon tramway network
Tram 28, Lisbon, 20051011.jpg
Two Remodelado trams on line 28.
Locale Lisbon, Portugal
Horsecar era: 1873 (1873)–1902 (1902)
Track gauge 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in)
(to 1888)
900 mm (2 ft 11 716 in)
(from 1888)[1]
Propulsion system(s) Horses
Experimental steam
Electric tram era: since 1901 (1901)
Status Open
Routes 27 (maximum)
5 (present)
Operator(s) Carris
Track gauge 900 mm (2 ft 11 716 in)
Electrification 600 V DC overhead lines
Depot(s) Santo Amaro
Amoreiras (to 1981)
Arco de Cego (1902-1996)[2]
Route length 76 km (47 mi) (maximum))[1]
26 km (16 mi) (present)
Tram map Lisbon 2011.png
Website Carris (Portuguese) (English)

The Lisbon tramway network (Portuguese: Rede de eléctricos de Lisboa) serves the municipality of Lisbon, capital city of Portugal. In operation since 1873, it presently comprises five urban lines.


Map of Tram tracks in Lisbon (network of 2011 in red)

The first tramway in Lisbon entered service on 17 November 1873, as a horsecar line. On 30 August 1901, Lisbon's first electric tramway commenced operations. Within a year, all of the city's tramways had been converted to electric traction.

Up until 1959, the network of lines was further developed, and in that year it reached its greatest extent. At that time, there was a total of 27 tram lines in Lisbon, of which six operated as circle lines. As the circle lines operated in both clockwise and anticlockwise directions, each with its own route number, it is more correct to speak of a total of 24 tram routes, all of them running on 900 mm (2 ft 11 716 in) narrow gauge tram lines.

The construction of the Lisbon Metro and the expansion of the bus system began the slow decline of the network.

Current network[edit]

The current lines are:

The five remaining lines only operate in the southern centre and west of the city. Despite the relevant tourist attraction, those lines are still very important because of sections of the city's topography that can only be crossed by small trams. Tram 15 also connects the entire western river front of the city to the centre and allows a better flow of passengers with the bus system towards an area that still is not served by the metro.

Although reports prepared by both the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne and the Verkehrsbetriebe Zürich concluded that the network should be retained and even extended, the process of decline continued until 1997, with the closing of the Alto de São João branch and the Arco Cego depot. By that time, many trams were destroyed or sold to other companies. Since then,there was only 1 change to the system, with the shortening of Line 18 to Cais do Sodré.

In an apparent reversal of policy, the mayor (president of the city council) of Lisbon, Fernando Medina, announced in December 2016 that tram 24 would be restored to service in 2017 between Cais do Sodré and Campolide, saying that it was a mistake to reduce the city's network of electric trams and that work would be undertaken to reconstruct it. [3]


Rolling stock[edit]

Retired trams[edit]

Current fleet[edit]

Heritage fleet[edit]



Rolling stock[edit]

The vehicles used are:

  • 'Articulado' trams made by Siemens (Siemens/CAF nos 501-506 and Siemens/Sorefame nos 507-510). These articulated vehicles were introduced in 1995, and run only on route 15.
  • 'Remodelado' trams (nos 541-585) used on all five routes
  • Tourist trams used on some routes

See also[edit]



  1. ^ a b Luso pages, Lisbon Trams, Part Two: Trams of The Past.
  2. ^ Luso pages, Lisbon Trams, Part One: Trams of Today.
  3. ^ Cardoso, Margarida David. (2016-12-15) "Eléctrico 24 vai estar de volta às ruas de Lisboa e as obras já começaram." Retrieved 2016-12-18 (in Portuguese).



External links[edit]

This article is based upon a translation of the German language version as at March 2011.