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Innsbruck: the hush before the storm 1.

As you may know, I had been here earlier, but I couldn't survey the local public transport system, due to some technical failure. So, here I go again. I don't forget to mention: the date is 6th-7th July 2003!

One of the trolleybus lines, route O (the letter o, not zero) is just in front of our hostel. After the title, this plays the role: the hush. And the storm: they are planning to cancel all trolleybus services (route O and R) and to build brand new tramway lines instead, in the next few years.

In addition, we haven't even travelled by trolley buses at all during our stay, route O has a mixed service of diesel and electric buses.

To see why I call Innsbruck a quiet, sleepy town, it's enough to take a look at one of the main streets in the city (Museumstrasse). A trolleybus, a car, there are only a few people on the street.

Something what we were not quite happy about either: during the summer holiday there had been a track reconstruction on tramway route 3. We're not here to shoot "stinky buses"! :-) Oh yes, I have to mention: tramway routes are designated by numbers, bus- and trolleybus routes are by letters, with two exceptions about which I'll write later.

We're waiting for a tram on route 1, we take it to the terminus at the Hungerburgbahn.

Here we are. Car no. 76 was built in 1966 by Lohner after the usual DÜWAG-licence, so this is a meter-gauge sister-type of the Vienna E1's. Note: there is a door closing warn signal on the Innsbruck tramcars, just like in Budapest.

There is an antenna-kind of thing underneath the pantograph's slides, facing up, I think this is used to the switch controls and to operate traffic lights, passenger information systems on the stations, or at least, this is what the operators usually use these things for. Well, the station displays which were supposed to inform us about the expected arrival of the vehicle, were not so exact, sometimes 2-3 minutes went by as the display counted only one.

The tramway line had been longer: this is where the Innsbruck-Hall local tramway (later tramway line 4) used to run, until 1974. It opened with steam traction in 1891. The tracks led on the bridge over the Inn river, with a curve in front of the multangular building you can see on the left (cyclorama of The Battle at Berg Isel). In this direction there are only buses...

...after these the line led Eastwards on a long-long road. You can see some old pictures about these lost rails on this site, even about these locations you can see above. Today the bus line with the identical number 4 takes to Hall (this is one of the exceptions in the numbering system: letters for buses, numbers for tramlines).

With the funicular to the Hungerburg

And if we are here, let's see the Hungerburgbahn itself. You may also buy its 1:87 scale model at the lower terminus (Talstation) of the funicular.

Right away it crosses the river Inn on a bridge.

Although it's only a funicular, the drivers have to supervise many things, they look after the passengers taking on and off, they open and close doors for example. And why not the station staff does this work?

Beacuse this funicular has a stop underway, too! As the passengers take off at Alpenzoo of the ascending car, the descending car waits on open track.

This is the upper junction of the by-pass in the middle of the line.

We're about to reach the top (Bergstation).

You can see the two small power collectors (pantographs) on the top of the car which was made by Lohner/Bombardier/Rotax in Vienna. This power is used to recharge the batteries, or to drive the air compressor which provides air to actuate the brakes, doors.

A view from the Hungerburg hill. Now, let's hit the city!

We're on Claudiaplatz. Car no. 42 is an original DÜWAG car made in 1957, it had been used in Bielefeld, Germany until 1983. We're going to catch it when it's coming back, we'll take it to the Stubaitalbahnhof.

This is where the depot of the IVB traffic company is located. You can see as the tramway- and trolleybus works are left over by the bus network: there are also designated night service cars for the night lines, with brand new coaches.

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Text and photos by András Báti, except where otherwise mentioned (C) 2003-2007

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