Tram (Trolley Car)


If there is any means of transport that has been emblematic in the course of history, without a doubt apart from the automobile it has been the railroad and the  tram , these have been present in movies, children’s programs , as scale toys, and especially as one of the elements of Christmas.


Information of interest

  • Type of vehicle:  Rail
  • Year: 1879
  • Inventor:  Werner von Siemens
  • Main uses:  Transport of people

What is the tram?

The tram is a means of passenger transport that moves on rails and across the surface of cities and urban areas. This undoubtedly makes it one of the most attractive means of transport, coupled with this that it is one of the transport with the lowest costs, a slightly comfortable travel system with its picturesque designs and also because it is one of the oldest methods it enjoys of a notoriety, for which for the population it is easy to recognize, not only in its physical figure, but they distinguish the sounds that it emits and various details that are characteristic of the trams.


The forms of mobilization of the human being throughout history have evolved with respect to the sociocultural environment that is emerging in certain regions, starting with the use of horses as a means of transport, they even reached automobiles . At the same time, along with them, other means of transport such as trains and trams have been born .

  • What is a tram for
  • Characteristics
  • Types
  • Story
  • Parts of a tram
  • How does it work
  • How are trains and trams different?
  • Trams of the world
  • Other trams
  • Curiosities
  • Importance

What is a tram for

According to the Royal Spanish Academy, trams are defined as a means of transport which provides society with high standards in terms of comfort, as it moves through urban areas within long distances , it also has a system that facilitates the mobilization of individuals by giving them the opportunity to pay a specific fee so that these users can move quickly from one place to another.


Trams have characteristics that differentiate them from other means of transport such as:


These, as mentioned before, move on roads in the form of ” Phoenix ” lanes that allow paving around the two lanes in order to maintain the space for cars between the roads of the cities in which they circulate.


There are different types of traction, but electric and cable traction are the most used in the world and at present, since it is intended that it has a minimal impact on the environment.


This method of transportation is currently taken in the world as one of the safest and most comfortable thanks to the introduction of new technologies .


In history there have been many types of trams but the most relevant are

  • Trams on wheels: As its name says, it is a tram that is driven by bearing. According to the promoters, this system is characterized by two main advantages. First, the investment cost is lower than that of classic trams.
  • Classic trams: it is a system that allows the same convoy to circulate on tram tracks in the center of the city and connect with stations located on the periphery, and even beyond, using the existing regional rail network .


The first trams appeared in 1807 in the town of Wales  and these were drawn by horses on rails and were hardly carriages that could only elucidate what are now trams.

Quickly this transport technique was transferred to many more countries and in this way the first lines were opened in New York in 1832, later in 1958 they were introduced in other main cities such as Havana, Santiago de Chile , Mexico City , Rio de Janeiro among other major cities in the world.

The Tram saw its heyday in the twentieth century between wartime with the innovation of electric traction, thus becoming the first urban transport mode of the century.

However, with the appearance of motorized cars , the disappearance of the tram was almost achieved, since the bus, as were other means such as the automobile, were even more agile than this, that is why the rulers decided to start investing in these modes of transport because they did not present the need for an infrastructure as ostentatious as the one needed by the tram and at the same time they did not require as much maintenance as the same.

In the United States, the disappearance of the tram was complete when companies such as General Motors bought all the most important roads in the cities to replace them with bus lines, since at that time these were considered a symbol of progress and modernity, in addition to not being modernized Nor were they maintained, they ended up looking archaic in the eyes of society and buses were imposed on this method of transport.

However, today trams have been prominent in cities such as San Francisco and have a strong recovery in Europe , after the oil crisis in 1973. The main objective of the tram is to guarantee urban transport in the most environmentally friendly conditions possible. environment. At the same time, it constitutes an interesting alternative for users and a decided commitment to public transport,

Parts of a tram

The parts that make up a tram are as follows.

The driver’s cab

As its name indicates, the driver is housed here, who constantly verifies the perfect operation of the tram, in addition to controlling also driving it. (make it slow down, speed up, and keep it in communication with the stations)

The entrances to the wagon

These are simply the doors that are interconnecting the sections of the tram.

The internal system for the journey

This is the conglomeration of elements that users enjoy when traveling, from the common cabins with chairs, tables and an upper luggage rack and the bathroom area. As well as the most luxurious cabins that have sofas, libraries, restaurant service and even private rooms with beds and desks.

The engines

This is a complete booth where so usually also travels a mechanic where are all the part that drives the train

The wheel system

This is the whole system that we do not see of the tram since it is usually covered by protectors. They are made up of 2 pairs of wheels at the beginning of each bum and 2 more pairs at the end for a total of 8 wheels per wagon , this resembles the lower part of a caterpillar.

Central guidance

It is the system that works as the steering axle of the wheels, allowing it to be handled correctly on the rail without it coming off.

How does it work

Within the branch of trams, almost all of these work in the same way and have the same systems, only that in some cases the way in which the traction is arranged or the way in which it is adapted to the city in which it is available may vary. is the same, for example, in San Francisc or they work with cables arranged on the streets to create the necessary traction, thus achieving movement, while other cities the cables are arranged on the roads and in this way are allows them to climb steep places.

How are trains and trams different?

Although it seems that these were the same, there are details in which they really differ. Some of the main ones are:

  • Its non- passenger capacity compared to trains is smaller.
  • With regard to trains, these make smaller trips that are usually between the vicinity of a city as a kind of immediate means of transport for users who travel within the city, unlike trains currently used for trips a slightly longer, such as between municipalities.
  • It allows better costs compared to trains.

Trams of the world

The most outstanding in the world can be taken as the following.


The Lacroze brothers brought the tram to Buenos Aires in 1888. It had an extension of 47 miles, was drawn by horses and connected the Argentine capital with the town of Pilar. Cities like La Plata, Avellaneda, Rosario, Quilmes, Cordoba or Bahía Blanca had electric trams.


Well, as mentioned before, one of the most important trams has been that of San Fracisco, since it has remained in operation over the years.


This was one of the first countries to open tram lines with animal traction, but towards the end of the 19th century the first attempts to electrify the tram lines began and finally ended up disappearing when trolleybuses took over this mode of transport.

Other trams

Throughout the world, other projects have been developed so that trams travel an entire nation such as Venezuela , which since 2008 started a railway project which was going to travel throughout its territory in 45 minutes, but for administrative, political and economic problems , this one has already changed owners three times and they are currently unemployed.


If there is something that has caused the aeronautical industry to be affected at a national level, especially in countries like China , it has been the trams that are presented as a faster way to move from one nation to another in a short period of time  assuming lower expenses.

While an interstate air ticket usually costs between 30 to 35 dollars for the change in yen. A tram ticket only costs 5 or 6 dollars , and while a flight during the entire process usually takes about 40 minutes , by tram it only takes about 15 minutes. (This on average, it all depends on the distance to travel)


Trams are currently a means of transport that is once again having a boom due to its comfort, ecology and its picturesque design , in this way it is not so difficult to elucidate how this method could revolutionize the world and the way of transporting since this being efficient and clean could mean a great advance in the new policies for the care of the environment.

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