Wide-gauge Tram Tested in Bratislava, But Not Likely to Be Used Again

Test tram wide train gauge to be put on opposite side tracks, as there are no 1,435 tracks intersections on the line (source: imhd.sk)

Bratislava, February 21 (TASR) – A specially adjusted tram with a wide wheel gauge has been given a test run over Bratislava’s newly reconstructed Old Bridge, but the wide gauge will probably never be used, and it’s very likely that the tram was there for the first and last time, stated public transport website imhd.sk, TASR learnt on Sunday.

The tram line from Sturova Street in the Old Town to Jungmannova Street in Petrzalka borough was built with a dual gauge – of 1,000 millimetres and 1,435 millimetres. When the project was being prepared, it was thought that so-called tram-trains would also run there, but this was dropped from the plan later, and trams will run on a narrow gauge.

The test runs were carried out on the night of February 17-18. The test had to be carried out for the sake of final construction approval of the whole project. “During construction this idea was dropped, as Bratislava didn’t prove to the European Commission [the project was cofinanced by European Funds – ed. note] the economic efficiency of either operating tram-trains or changing the gauge of Bratislava’s trams,” stated imhd.sk.

Tram transport in Bratislava began operating in 1895 with the narrow 1,000-millimetre gauge. According to imhd.sk, this was used due to the narrow streets and the fact that it was cheaper to build. In 1914, wide-gauge trams began running between Vienna-Bratislava. On the Slovak side they travelled from the current Ludovit Stur Square along Mostova Street, Jesenskeho Street, Sturova Street, the Old Bridge, Viedenska Road and through Kopcany borough to the Austrian border. “These trams ran until July 1935, when a readjustment of local trams began in order to unify operations with the city trams,” explained imhd.sk.