A tram (English tramway, from tram - a carriage, a bogie and way - a way) is a means of urban land transport, a motor car (or motor car with trailer cars), which receives electricity from an overhead wire, moving along a rail track.
Trams appeared in the first half of the 19th century, electric trams at the end of the 19th century. After the heyday, the era of which fell on the period between the world wars, the decline of trams began, however, since the end of the 20th century, there has been a significant increase in the popularity of trams.
Most trams use electric current drawn through an overhead contact network using pantographs or rods, but there are also trams powered by a third rail and battery trams.
The tram is an outdated form of transport. No, the oldest type of electric transport is the metro, followed by a tram, and a year later - a trolleybus. An attempt to replace a tram with a bus, as a rule, ended in failure, and at the end of the last century, the tram experienced a real renaissance (which still takes place today). In many cities of the world, new networks are opening, the existing structures of tram lines are expanding several times (and we are talking about developed capitalist countries, the reduction of lines is more typical for developing countries).
The tram is an extremely non-maneuverable form of transport. Yes it is. But it should be noted that the rails can be laid where any other type of transport cannot move (for example, in pedestrian, forest park, suburban areas, etc.). A convenient route network, sometimes covering the entire city (as, for example, in Amsterdam, Budapest, Munich or Prague) makes it easy to get from one point of the city to another with a minimum of transfers. Some countries also have a well-developed intercity tram network (interurban), which is integrated with rail and subway networks.
The tram travels very slowly. The average operating speed of a tram (even equipped with old rolling stock and moving along tracks that have not been repaired for a long time) is only 10% less than the speed of a trolleybus or bus. In many countries, this difference is much less, and in some countries the speed of a street tram even exceeds the speed of a car allowed within the city.
Tram is the main cause of traffic jams. The reasons for traffic jams are different: the increased number of cars (which are often driven by inept drivers who violate traffic rules), violation of the order of parking, poor condition of the road surface, etc.
The construction of tram lines is extremely expensive. Indeed, tram cars are more expensive than buses and trolleybuses, but they can last much longer. For example, the service life of a trolleybus is on average 15 years, a tram car (the cost of which is two and a half times higher) can operate for more than 40 years. And its capacity is larger, and the service is cheaper. In addition, it should be borne in mind that the laying of bus and, especially, trolleybus lines requires serious capital (and, of course, expensive) road repairs, which will subsequently have to be repeated every 3-5 years. A tramway bed and a contact network cost about the same, and it is enough to change the rails once every 15-25 years.
The tram is the noisiest transport. The noise generated by trams is in no way larger than the sound effects generated by cars. And in European countries, a tram moving along well-paved tracks is almost silent.
The business center of the city does not need a tram. It should be noted that the tram increases traffic on the streets along which it passes, which is of great importance for commerce. And tram lines passing by business and office centers provide convenient communication between them, eliminating the problem of parking. And the employees' time is saved.
The tram is dangerous. A completely unfounded statement. According to statistics, the accident rate of the tram is less than that of any other type of transport. After all, tram cars are equipped with four braking systems, a powerful engine, which gives an advantage in servicing steep slopes on any road. In addition, tram maneuvers are easily predictable, since they depend on the laid rails.
Trams don't belong in the city center. It was the perception of the tram as a transport transport that contributed to a sharp increase in the load on the metro, which led to a considerable number of unpleasant situations. In many developed countries, buses and trolleybuses take passengers exactly to the tram lines, while the metro plays the role of an alternative means of transport focused on direct communication. And in cities where numerous pedestrian zones have been created in the central part or the Park Rclasse system has been introduced (providing for a paid entry), the tram on narrow central streets is generally the only means of transport.
The tram can be easily replaced with another mode of transport. As the experience of many countries around the world shows, such a replacement is never equal. After all, tram cars have a large capacity, and the interval of movement of a two-car train is 6 minutes. An equivalent number of trolleybuses or buses would have to be purchased for an equivalent replacement, and this, as a rule, is not profitable for the city budget. As a result, the "equivalent" does not cope with the flow of passengers, people are transferred to personal cars, thereby increasing the number of traffic jams and accidents on the roads.
Removing the tram rails improves the road conditions. In theory, it would seem that it should be so. But in practice, the effect is completely opposite. If the rails were on the carriageway, their disappearance only disorganized drivers, as a result of which congestion at traffic lights increased. The roadbed, freed from tram lines, attracted drivers from parallel tracks to a new, wider one. This resulted in congestion on the main road.
The trams of Europe and America are completely different from ours, and they have the same role - to remind of the past. Almost all tram systems in the world are the same as ours - the same rails in the middle or at the edge of the carriageway, four-axle cars, the same conductor in the cabin collecting money for travel. The role of the tram in the infrastructure of western cities is different. In some localities, this is the main mode of transport funded by the budget, in other megacities there are commercial lines with semi-antique cars in business districts.
Trams have a devastating effect on ancient monuments. No, if the tram rails are laid using modern technologies. For example, to protect against stray currents (which have a vibration effect on surrounding objects and especially dangerous for bridges), the APS (Alimentation Par Sol) pavement system has been created in France, and the technology of laying tracks with rubber pads minimizes vibration from the tram. In Prague, the tram has been running for many years not only in the immediate vicinity (1m) of buildings, but also through arches. At the same time, no damage is done to the buildings.
The tram is unhealthy. No, doctors say the opposite. It turns out that in the cities, from the streets of which the tram disappeared, the number of pulmonary and heart diseases increased. Air pollution has also increased, and frequent taxi rides have caused spinal problems for many passengers.