By linking its city-centre tram network with suburban railways, sleek, high-capacity trams are able to run from outlying suburbs directly into Karlsruhe city centre, where passengers have a wide choice of destination. On their journeys to and from the city, the trams share tracks with ordinary trains.
The formula has been extraordinarily successful. Since through tram services started in 1992, weekday traffic has grown by 400 per cent, with four out of 10 passengers forsaking their cars for the rails.
The Karlsruhe concept is being applied in Saarbrucken and may soon be copied elsewhere. It is safe, low-cost and environmentally sound. With the exception of Sheffield and Manchester, all that is missing in Britain are city-centre tram tracks and a government that recognises the need to invest in public transport.
Railway Gazette International
25 MarchReuse content