Night time snapshots from Graz

During a short holiday in September 2005, travelling in Austria by railway, one day I arrived at Graz. I didn't have too much time, only until my night train departed to the West, so I thought to use the remaining time to make some "everyday snapshots" about the trams.

We're on board a tram made by SGP in licence of the DÜWAG N-Stadtbahnwagen. It's raining, nothing can be seen through the clouded windows, only through the windscreen at front. There is just another tram in the opposite direction, a "Mannheim" type DÜWAG car.

I saw tramcars lengthened by a low-floor middle section here for the first time ever, just five years ago, when I first came here.

Of course, they develope the trams on and on, they mounted passenger information monitors on most of the vehicles in the past two years. These inform you - besides the payed advertisments - about recent traffic detours, tie-ups, or just the next stations.

Well, where else could I go to make tramway photos than the central transfer station, Jakominiplatz?

Because I didn't have the mood to carry it, I left my tripod stand in the left-luggage locker. That's right, then I had to improvise where to stand my camera to make good night time photos. So, here for example I put it on a shelf of a billboard. Anyway, these tramcars are really colorful!

On the picture there is no. 534., a "Mannheim" type DÜWAG articulated car, built in 1971, bought second-hand from Duisburg, Germany. It is on line 6, and is waiting for its connecting trams.

I was really astonished to see some of the old six-axle SGP/Siemens-Schuckert cars, built in 1963, still in service (they are very similar to the Vienna E/E1 type). I met no. 279. and I take it to the Eastern terminus of line 1, Mariatrost. Clouded windows, luggage-racks, only a few passengers, dark forest, wooden implated interior, I think it's really nice.

I nearly wrote "looking out rearwards", but of course nothing can be seen in the darkness of the park. :-)

I really liked that: a small bin for the used tickets at the doors.

Autumn night at terminus Mariatrost.

Jakominiplatz again, and the pride of the Grazer company, a Bombardier Cityrunner low floor tram (nowadays called Flexcity Outlook) posing on line 13.

Graz was the cultural capital in 2004, since then, the Cityrunners can't hide from the fullsize advertisments either.

I wouldn't stand between two trams around here, the tracks are very close to each other!

I was lucky to find some occasional fotostands, I made a good use of a pushbutton box of the pedestrian crossing here for example, this is how I managed this photo about another old six-axle car, no. 267.

Wait a second, I don't get it! How comes a pushbutton for a pedestrian crossing if there is no traffic light control?!? Oh, so the buttons are only for the blind person, and it does not give green light for the pedestrian, but a flashing yellow sign for the public transport vehicles to warn them!

It seems that the Volkswagen minibuses, same as in Vienna, also appeared in the Grazer livery.

Car no. 507. actually on line 5 is made in 1977 by SGP howewer it looks the same as the "Mannheim" type of DÜWAG. It can be seen that new digital route displays were built in some older cars recently. Note all of the doors are closed already, not to heat the open air, except the one at the driver. Maybe to show that it is still waiting for passengers until it departs.

So I catched it, and took it to see the reconstructed funicular, the Schlossbergbahn. The 24 hour ticket is valid so I tried it. Note that I purchased my ticket at the vending machine of the Austrian Federal Railways (ÖBB) so it didn't fit into the ticket-chopper machines of the Grazer public transport company (the ticket was valid from the time of purchase), the controller of the funicular gave me a free ticket (Zählkarte) by which I got admittance.

This is the brand new car made by Swoboda.

Unlike its predecessor, the new car has large panoramic windows everywhere, even the lower driver's cabin was changed to have passenger room instead. The roof is also made of glass.

We reach the castle in a few minutes. The blue fluorescent line on the top looks really cool in the dark, as a design element (looks the same as the frame of my homepage :-) ).

The machinery, as earlier, remained behind glassed walls so anyone can see.

Graz by night, with dark grey clouds...

The previous cars used to have tiny little pantographs on their top to recharge their batteries, and to power the air compressors. Now, due to the panoramic roof design, they are mounted on the bottom.

A look to the rocky side of the Schlossberg from a small street.

Just a few shots from the Main Square (Hauptplatz), with the city-hall in the background. I took a Cityrunner back to the Jakominiplatz on which a homeless figure with his wheelchair at the door decreased the "passenger-flow index" dramatically. :-)

A type which wanted to make fun of me tonight: the three-axle Citaro bus. Simply there was no chance for me to make a good photo of it: once someone walked into the picture, then the camera moved in, or there was no proper place to stand it, or I just simply missed the occasion. So I had to settle for a photo from the back.

From the front there is only a photo of a two-axle Citaro. Nevermind.

A car with the looks of an N-Stadtbahnwagen again, with low-floor middle section and digital route display.

At last, I met no. 584. which is one of the old six-axle SGP cars lenghtened by a middle section which were obtained from scrapped, eight-axle motor cars bought as used ones from Wuppertal. Those cars were called here Wuppertaler ones, however Wuppertal also purchased them as second-hand cars from Dortmund. So these are Dortmunder Wuppertaler Grazer tramcars. :-) Anyway, you can clearly see the different origin of the middle section, looking at the windows and the line of the roof.

And the same car from the front. Let's hit the railway station, Innsbruck is waiting... :-)

Text and photos by András Báti, except where otherwise mentioned (C) 2005

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