Who says that a tram can’t serve small towns? There are many interesting towns and tram places with less than 50,000. You have towns serving them only or you’ve got trams connecting them to nearby bigger cities. Here are the 10 most interesting tram cities with 50,000 or less.
Have you been to one of these towns?
1. Gotha 45,928 in Germany
The tram network in Gotha is impressive and special. The network is 25.7km in size, with 5 lines running in the city. Most of the network uses old stocks so in this German town you can grasp some history rolling on its tracks. Also worth mentioning is that the tram lines in Gotha cross the border of the town. Line 6 never reaches the town even. It runs only outside of the town’s borders as an interurban line.
- Castle in the City can be reached by taking the tram line 1, 3 and 4 you can reach the Schloss Friedenstein Gotha castle at Myconiusplatz station or you can take lines 1, 2 and 4 to Orangerie station
2. Nordhausen 41,791 in Germany
This is a 3 lines network stretching beyond the borders of the town. The total length is 17,6km. Line 1 and 2 runs within the city borders, but Line 10 is a special one. It is a line running with DUO trains that are using both Diesel and Electricity. You could say that this is a real train-tram line.
- The city got many museums in the city center. Also, there is a park and many nice stores to do some nice shopping at. A beautiful city that got lots of nice architecture
- The location of the town is in-between Kassel and Leipzig which is also two big cities in Germany
3. Halberstadt 43,224 in Germany
This town got 2 lines that are serving 9.5km of tracks. The tram network uses a mix of old and new trains which is good-looking in contrast to the buildings.
- Klus is a branch of line 2 that is served only on weekends. Here you can see some very interesting rock formations that are worth visiting
- There is a Halberstadt Zoo that you can reach by taking line 2 to Herbingstrase on weekdays or taking line 2 to Kirschalle on the weekends. It is open from 09.00 (9 AM) to 16.30 (4.30 PM)
- The town is known by Germans as The Gateway to the Harz Mountains
- As a historic note, Halberstadt is known for its old town center that was greatly destroyed by Allied bombings in the late stages of World War II
4. Neuchâtel 32,819 in Switzerland
This is the western French-speaking part of Switzerland where they have an 8.9 km interurban tram line.
- This is one of the most interesting tram lines, but I couldn’t fit it into the top list. It is unique as you get to see amazing nature and the lake Lac de Neuchátel. On its route, you can find Neuchâtel Castle which is a Medieval Castle. You reach it from the Place Pury Littorail which is the end stop for Line 215
- If you go through the medieval castle straight north, you will reach the Neuchâtel, Boine train which is a funicular
- There is also a funicular at the university that runs up to the central train station in Neuchâtel
- Check out this epic walk-in Neuchâtel here
5. Rüdersdorf 15,484 in Germany
This village is located 25km outside of the Berlin city center. The village got Line 88 that connects with Berlin at S-Bahn station Friedrichshagen served by S-Bahn S3.
- Line 88 also links Schöneiche village with a population of 12,129 including Rüdersdorf to Berlin
- You can walk between Line 88 and Line 87 within one hour at both ends
- Modernized TATRA KT4D and two Skoda Arctic trams from Helsinki is a pleasant mix
- Rüdersdorf is noted for its open-cast limestone mine. Today, some parts of the mine are used as a museum Museumspark Rüdersdorf
- On a historical note. The buildings in Berlin such as the Brandenburg Gate and the Olympiastadium were built with limestone from Rüdersdorf where Line 88 goes to
6. Sóller 14,041 in Spain
One line, 5km in length. Mainly used for tourists but also used by locals. It is old as it was opened back in 1913. It runs to the Port de Sóller which is a nearby town too. Today living off tourists. The tram service is operating between 08.00 and 20.30 daily.
- The entire trip is awesome. You ride with one of the oldest tram-trains still operating in the world. The three motor trams numbered 1 to 3, and their trailers 5 and 6 are the originals, dating from 1912, ordered from Carde & Escoriaza in Zaragoza. The open ‘jardinera’ trailers were acquired from Palma trams in 1954.
- The Sóller tram was designed for the transport of passengers, but it was also used to transport merchandise down to the port. Fresh fish was carried from the Port to Sóller in a small isothermal car and coal was taken to the former military submarine base in the Port of Sóller and the “El Gas” factory on trailers; mines and torpedoes were also transported from the Caubet magazine.
7. Gmunden 13,195 in Austria
The tramway was opened on 13 August 1894. It is one of the most interesting rides and the network was part of a 2.3 km long route but today it is 18 km as it became an interurban tram line. In the city center of Gmunden, this tram line runs on a double track while on the other parts it’s mostly single track.
8. Schöneiche 12,129 in Germany
9. Woltersdorf 7,831 in Germany
This village is located outside of the Berlin city center. The village got Line 87 that connects Woltersdorf with Berlin at S-Bahn station Rahnsdorf S3 station.
- Since 1913 a tramway has run from the S-Bahn station of Rahnsdorf to Woltersdorf which is a recreation village
- You can walk between Line 87 and Line 88 within one hour at both ends
- The oldest trams are from 1959 but are still in good shape. Lots of historical feelings by taking Line 87. Only modernized Gotha trams run on Line 88 but they are not low-floor trams
- At the final stop Woltersdorf Schleuse on the route. You find a very nice lake with a unique bridge that you can walk over if there are boats crossing it
10. Esslingen 1752 in Switzerland is one of the most unique tram places on its Route
This is served by S18 which is a tram by standards, while it wants to be a local train? It serves a small town at the end. But that’s not all. It also serves a village underground on its way to Esslingen.
- This is a very interesting tram line that wants to be a train. That’s why it doesn’t stop at all tram stations within Zürich. S18 runs from Opernhaus in Zürich. It does not stop at Signaustrase, Hedwigsteig, Wetliststrase, Burgwies and at Friedhof Enzenbühl as the platforms are too small. Tram line 11 serves those
- S18 runs on the same tram tracks as Tram line 11 in Zürich, goes underground, and is a mostly single-track route with beautiful landscape on its route
- Once outside of Zürich, S18 goes through the village of Zumikon with a population of just 4,990. A 1.8 km tunnel with two underground stations links this village with all of the destinations that S18 reaches. The tunnel with the underground stations was opened in 1976 and then they got refurbished back in 2005-2006
Conclusion to 10 Most Interesting Tram Cities With Only 50,000
It is not easy making such a list. But the most important criterion is that these small towns do have a tram system. The main purpose of this article is to show that trams can be worthy to have even in smaller towns and villages.
What do you think of these cities? Is it possible for your city with 4,990 to have a tram connecting it? I think so Yes! Busses might be cheaper once you buy them, but trams keep on running on the streets for years. Trams from 1913, 1959, or 1981 are still in use today. Don’t underestimate the trams.
Every city in the world would breathe a lot better by replacing their biggest bus routes with trams. Just go to Woltersdorf and feel the silence making you feel a lot better. With just one or two cars driving there because the people having a tram service is a fantastic thing.