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Erfurt: Where have all KT4's gone...? 1.

At the end of the second day of our tour we arrive at a 1250 year old town, Erfurt. We still haven't found any good weather for making photos so far, in addition strong winds started to blow (...us away :-) ). Tired, sleepy, cold, only one thing to be done: go to the hostel by the tram.

We took the night tram N5 to Steigerstrasse. This is a three-section Combino in a livery as just as the same that we saw in Nordhausen, only the colors are more greyish, I should say unfriendlier.

Next morning, reinvigorated, I started again making photos. First we have an MGT6-D, similar to which we saw earlier in Halle with a difference that this car is only one-directional with doors only on the right side. The picture was taken at the end station Steigerstrasse where the trams have a loop along the neighbouring streets.
Source: Strassenbahnen zu Ulbrichts Zeiten *
But this was not always, decades before, in the era of the two-axle cars, it used to be a head-station as seen above. The incoming train approached a trailer which was left on the tracks, coupled them together, then they pushed the new trailer towards the dead-end extraction track while the trailer of the incoming train was decoupled and left on the arriving track. The train departed back to the city with the new trailer which is now at the back (see left on the photo), the previous trailer which was pulled hither, waited for the next incoming train (on the right).

Now let's go back to the present. This is the interior of the DUEWAG/Siemens 70 percent low floor articulated tram seen before.

Being one-directional, there is a nice "club-room" at the back :-) with a good view in every direction. The wheel coverings are remarkable: they have an oblique shape regarding there is a turning bogie underneath.

Mestska and me separated: he wanted to see Weimar. I stayed here to "tram the town". Now I was wondering: where have all those KT4D trams gone which can be seen on most of the Erfurt photos? Just because I haven't seen anything else than low floor trams so far. Just as here, two more five-section Combino trams passing under the main railway station which is under heavy reconstruction.

And low floor trams furthermore: I went to the other end station of line 5 at Zoopark in hope of seeing something interesting.

And there is something! There, on the left, is an empty, abandoned block house again, just like in Gera previously, possibly waiting for demolishing. But let's take a closer look!

And what do I see? Unbelievable! There is a calendar on the wall of a room with a Gothaer tram on it!!!

Let's go back to the city, for a change, aboard a Combino, along bridges over railway lines...

...on roads together with the car traffic, on greened (grassed) closed tracks. Take a look at the right bottom of the rear windscreen: it was made by DUEWAG although the tram itself was built by Siemens which had bought the DUEWAG factory!

Back in the city centre, namely on station Anger which is the main junction of the tramway lines, in practice all of the lines meet here, I thought it might be a good idea to wait here for a KT4. First, this is a Combino running along the Main Post on the left, a shopping mall named Anger1 on the right and a demonstrating crowd in front of it - regarding it's the 1st May, there is a demonstration of the trade-union.

Going back behind Anger1 there is an interesting delta track connection: there was no room for a double track delta between the lines 1, 5 and 2, so they decided to build only the outer track and two pairs of points on the two end of this track. It makes possible - yes, on the wrong track, but - to use the delta on both directions.

Five section Combino's again, now with the smilier face, these are members of a younger bunch of Combinos just like in Nordhausen. And the wind doesn't want to blow all those clouds! Arrrghh...

In the crossing direction (we're talking about a junction, aren't we? :-) ) there is another Combino on line 3 towards the main railway station and a MGT6-D counterwards. No KT4's, still, we have a lot of trams with fullsize ads: there is an orange Jägermeister ad which always gets my attention mistaking that would be a service car, there is a Combino with the ads of the German railways (Die Bahn DB AG) painted to the colors of a second class railway waggon, etc.

And what do I see?!? Oh, no, it doesn't carry passengers either! At least I have seen a track-emery service car KT4D!

Let's go on with a tram on line 4. The network of Erfurt is mainly double track, I mean the the tracks are used in one direction always. This short section above is an exception, temporarily, the track towards the city is missing to make room for a road reconstruction. Of course, the overhead cables are still there, untouched, there were no reasons to dismount them. I came here by this cube-Combino (with the older look).

An MGT6-D comes up the hill with a fullsize advertisement of a mobile telecom company, I take it back to the next busier tram stop, Gothaer Platz.

* The photo is from the book entitled Strassenbahnen zu Ulbrichts Zeiten / Trams in der DDR: Die 60er Jahre in Farbe, published by GeraMond (C) 2002

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Text and photos by András Báti, except where otherwise mentioned (C) 2003

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