Trams have become a part of modern transportation systems while preserving the historic texture of cities. Today, many cities are diversifying urban transport and relieving traffic by relaunching tram lines. Combining the nostalgic touch of the past with the sustainable transport needs of the future, trams continue to add color to the character of cities.
So when did the tram first come to Turkey? Where was the first line used? If you’re wondering, this content is for you! Here comes the tram to Turkey…
What is the history of the tram?
The tram is a vehicle that originated in the 19th century with the consequences of the industrial revolution. It was first used in urban passenger service with a railroad that began operating in New York’s Harlem neighborhood in 1832. Only a few horses were used as the “motor” of the first trams. In Europe, the first horse-drawn tram line opened in Paris in 1853. During this period, the trams were driven by a pair of horses, which, thanks to the rails, could carry about thirty passengers at a speed of 10 km per hour.
But over time, problems arose with the harmonious operation of horses and iron rails. Therefore, different solutions were investigated. Methods such as cable traction, compressed air motor and brushless steam engine were tried. Especially in the United States, the cable pulling system has received a lot of attention. A steel cable was attached to the tram and slid through the canal between the tracks. This rope was connected to a wheel that was wound by a stationary steam engine and pulled the tram. This method later became a system used in ziplines.
The steam engine traction system created problems such as smoke and coal. To solve these problems, locomotives were developed that operated with hot water. Steam was obtained by boiling the water in a boiler on the ground, not in the boilers on the vehicle. For example, new boiling water was not needed for every expedition. At the Berlin Exhibition in 1879, an electric motor was exhibited that could pull three small wagons at a speed of 12 km per hour. However, one of the drawbacks of this engine was that it required a third rail to transfer the power, resulting in high costs and safety issues.
When did the first tram arrive in Turkey?
The arrival of the tramway to Turkey took place in Istanbul in 1869. With a contract called “Tramway and Facility Construction in Dersaadet”, it was decided to build a railway line for passenger and freight transportation on the streets of Istanbul. The exploitation of this project was given to “Dersaadet Tramway Company”, founded by Konstantin Krepano Efendi for 40 years.
The first horse-drawn tram, which was put into service in Istanbul in 1871, started running on the Azapkapı-Galata, Aksaray-Yedikule, Aksaray-Topkapı and Eminönü-Aksaray lines. Trams, in which 430 horses were used in the first year of operation, transported 4.5 million passengers and generated a turnover of 53,000 TL. Later lines like Kabristan Street-Tepebaşı-Taksim-Pangaltı-Şişli, Beyazıt-Şehzadebaşı, Fatih-Edirnekapı-Galatasaray-Tünel, Eminönü-Bahçekapı were opened from Voyvoda.
The tram network was not limited to Istanbul alone. Tram lines were built in other major cities of the Ottoman Empire. Trams were first used in Thessaloniki and then tram lines were put into service in cities such as Damascus, Baghdad, Izmir and Konya.
Where was the tram first used in Turkey?
Istanbul was the first city to start tram service in Turkey. The horse tram trade, which started in 1871, played an important role in urban transport. The first lines opened in Istanbul included the Azapkapı-Galata, Aksaray-Yedikule, Aksaray-Topkapı and Eminönü-Aksaray routes.
These lines facilitated the daily life of Istanbulites and became an important option for urban transportation. Trams have contributed to the growth and development of the city by transporting people faster and more comfortably to their desired destination.
When was the electric tram used in Turkey?
Trams played an important role in Turkey’s modernization process. In Istanbul, electric trams replaced horse-drawn trams in 1914. Electric trams provided a faster, quieter and more environmentally friendly transport option. The tram network in Istanbul expanded and spread to different parts of the city. Lines such as Sirkeci-Aksaray-Topkapı, Topkapı-Zeytinburnu and Sirkeci-Eminönü were commissioned.
However, over time, with the widespread use of cars and the preference of buses for passenger transport, trams faded into the background. In the 1960s, tram operation in Istanbul came to an end and the lines were discontinued. However, the Tünel-Taksim tram line, which has historical and touristic value, was put back into service in the late 1990s and is still running.
Trams in Turkey have made an important contribution to the history and transport infrastructure of cities. It attracts both tourists and locals as it creates a nostalgic atmosphere and relieves traffic. Today, the Zeytinburnu-Kabataş tram line runs in Istanbul and modern tram lines in some other cities. Trams are considered an important alternative for efficient, environmentally friendly and sustainable urban transport.
When did the first tram come to Turkey?
The first tram to Turkey came to Istanbul in 1869.
Where was the tram first used in Turkey?
For the first time in Turkey, the tram was used on the Azapkapı-Galata, Aksaray-Yedikule, Aksaray-Topkapı and Eminönü-Aksaray lines in Istanbul.
Why have trams become popular?
Trams have become popular because they allow people to move around the city quickly, comfortably and safely.
When were trams electrified?
Trams in Istanbul replaced horse-drawn trams with the introduction of electric trams in 1914.
What is the oldest tram line in Turkey?
The oldest tram line in Turkey is the Tünel-Taksim line in Istanbul and opened in 1875.