Erfurt: Where have all KT4's gone...? 2.

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A Combino without ads and in the sunshine... at last. Perfect! :-)

This is what I waited for, because I watched it: the first 100 percent low floor tram of Erfurt. A description on it: Welcome to the first class! Well, I have already seen how a Combino behaves in curves, plus, the one with the DB ads was painted only as a second class coach! :-)

Of course, the "western technology" has broken here, too, the trams make connection with the central, with the junction setting equipment, with the station displays etc. through inductive cables like this (okay, the cables themselves are covered so it cannot be seen really).

Back to the Domplatz where I meet Mestska to participate on a sightseeing tram-tour. Yes, we had to make sure to travel on a Gothaer tramcar (an articulated one) so we booked in advance.

But how will this tram break through these columns???

"Of course" these can be lowered automatically as the tram comes towards them! The tramcar was originally built in 1965 for the Gotha Tramways and Thüringen Forest Railways no. 206, type G4-65, then it was bought in 1994 by Erfurt, renumbered to no. 178 as a historic coach. It seems Erfurt decided to have a nostalgic car like this pretty lately, because it is neccessary in the fleet, the type was developed just for them!

"B" end of the car.

The old people are gathering. Without a joke, the average age of the passengers was around 70. Some of them were sleeping in serenity through the journey :-)

The tram rattled along the sights of the city, slowly, sometimes more often in the same place. Of course, we saw the track-emery KT4 twice, but without a stop, we couldn't get out to make a photo about it. We met the "second class" Combino with the DB ads, too. I haven't seen any KT4's in normal service yet.

The journey took about one and a half or two hours and finished at the Futterstrasse.

You can see its "Wartburg-lights" at the back :-)

Let's take a walk back to Anger. If it cannot be seen: this is a bridge! :-)

Hmmmm, Firenze impressions with those buildings on the bridge. This is the Krämerbrücke from the side.

And Anger again. Our previous sightseeing tramcar searches its way back to its depot, it goes around here for a few times until we leave Erfurt.

And is it what I want? Oh no, this is not a passenger vehicle either, only a service car (Dienstfahrt). But you can see the passenger information system is reliable, the people in the stop don't take on the tram while the doors are wide open.

We see three section Combinos for the first time since yesterday, this time they are coupled! Now I see why Erfurt needed a new type of low floor trams after the MGT6-D's. Not only because a 100 percent low floor increases the low floor ratio of the rolling stock which 57 percent is quite nice to show in the statistics, but with the 14 three- and 7 five-section Combinos they can put together as long train as needed. While the KT4D's run in one-, two- and three car trains, these Combinos are able to form 20, 30, 40 or 50 metre long trains (the shorter is around 20 metres, the longer is around 30), longer is not possible because of the length of the platform in the stops. The 20 metre long Combinos (Bambinos) run alone in the night, this is more economical because it has only two motors instead of four in a five section Combino (not in Nordhausen though where the eight wheel Bambinos also have four motors, I think because of the steep hills).

Who said a Combino car has to be as long as the train? (It's a question, first of all, for those who ordered 53 metres long Combino cars for Budapest!)

A five section Combino is coming again from West.

And yeesssss! A coupled train of KT4D's in schedule on line 3 towards Europaplatz! At last! :-)

Even more to come, here is a tram like this at the end: some of the 16 MGT6-D trams are bi-directional with doors on both sides. This makes possible to change direction at traffic difficulties without using or building a loop. Now, it was our time to leave, another busy network is waiting for us, namely Dresden.

To Continue: Dresden: the long, the longer, the longest and the blue >>>

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

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