It it is complete mistake to think of a Trondheim tram as just a tram. If you ever find yourself in Trondheim, and you have any interest in narrow-gauge railways, then you must travel on Trondheim tram!

There is only one route, and it is 8.8km long. The trams are fairly modern two-unit articulateds, and quite wide for the gauge, which is one metre. When you see them in the streets of Trondheim they give few clues as to what is to come.

The tracks are set in stone blocks, and tend to be on the sides of the streets rather than the centre, otherwise all is normal.

Once outside the city grid though, which is pretty soon, it becomes a fully fledged narrow-gauge railway, on it's own right-of-way, winding its way steadily up the side of a hill, with excellent long range views of Trondheim below.

There are station buildings with their own platforms and name boards, passing loops, colour light signals, and steel bridges.

In some parts the trees are so close that the tram seems to be passing through a tunnel of trees. The tramway reaches an elevation of over 200 metres.

The Sunday service is half-hourly, and with this frequency there is one crossing during the journey.

About two-thirds of the way along there is a tram museum, which has a number of old trams in it, by far the most interesting being the oldest, a four-wheeler of pre first world-war vintage.

Previously Trondheim had two other tram routes, which were more conventional in nature. They were closed in stages in 1968, 1983 and 1988.

Frank Stamford

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As soon as the tram leaves central Trondheim it takes up its own right-of-way and takes on the character of a narrow gauge railway, climbing steadily and steeply, with excellent views of the city on the left hand side.

Each stopping place has its own station, like Bygrensen seen above.

Another view out the front of the tram. In places the the trees close in on the trams, creating a natural tunnel effect.

Approaching a crossing place.

The two-unit articulated tram at the terminus, Lian. The gauge is one metre.

About two-thirds of the way along the route is the depot at Munkvoll. Shown above is an earlier tram which was standing outside the depot. Also at Munkvoll is a tram museum which has examples of the different types of tram used on the Trondheim tramway system.

On display in the tram museum is this drawing of one of the pre-world-war I trams used in Trondheim.


The most interesting exhibit in the tram museumGreat care has been taken with the interior of the station, which is open to the public, to retain the period atmosphere.

bridge pier

A side view of the same tram. Due to confined space, the exhibits in this museum are difficult to photograph.


Tram No.33 in the museum.

Tram No.33 and another tram in the museum.

Leading to bridge

A service vehicle in the museum.

Links:

Trondheim Tramway - Wikipedia entry - in English

Trondheim Trams - very well illustrated site - in English

GråkallBanen - in Norwegian and English


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All photographs Copyright Frank Stamford, 2010, who may be contacted by email at: frank.stamford@bigpond.com

Last updated: 31 December 2010