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Zagreb, Croatia

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Zagreb Koncar TMK Type 2200 tram number 2211 at Glavni Kolodvor (Main Station) on route 2. Photo by Tim Deakin, October 2007.

Overview

Zagreb is the capital of Croatia, one of the seven independent states which formed the Yugoslav Republic, and has a population of about 800,000. It's one of two Croatian cities served by trams - the other being Osijek to the east of the country. The length of Zagreb's network is approximately 60km, and it is served by a surprising variety of rolling stock.

Tram operating authority ZET - Zagrebacki Elektricni Tramvaj - can trace its origins back to 1891, when horse trams began operation, whilst it took on its current identity in 1909. The current fleet consists of several types of tram, most numerous being the standard Eastern Bloc-issue, Czech-built Tatra T3 cars. 95 driving motor cars of this type were delivered, along with a similar number of trailers. Withdrawl of this type has commenced, in small numbers, although they are still widespread. Also in operation is a batch of around 50 articulated KT4 cars, which would appear to be used on less heavy routes, although a handful of T3 cars operate without trailers on very steep route 15 to Dolje, which doesn't reach the CBD.

Slightly more interesting is a collection of Yugoslav motor and trailer cars built by Duro Dakovic. Of the two types, the older is motor type 101, which first appeared in 1951. Amazingly enough, the original car - 101 - remained in regular service during late 2007, although it was planned to have all of this type out of use by 2008. As with the Tatra T3 cars, they operate in a motor and trailer formation, although trailers are shared with type 201.

Type 201 is newer, and larger, than type 101. Although similar in appearance, the type 201 cars run on trucks, compared to the type 101 which is a four-wheeled car. Unusually, the 201 type can be seen in operation as a motor car hauling two trailers on trunk lines, although several were scrapped during the early 1990s to enable their trucks to be used in new trams. Whilst the vast majority of type 101 and 201 cars were delivered new, a handful were acquired second-hand from other Yugoslav systems. A few of type 101 were received from Osijek, with a few type 201 trailers arriving from Belgrade.

Also built locally, in Koncar's workshops in Zagreb, was a batch of 16 TMK 2100 trams, some of the trucks beneath which are those recovered from scrapped type 201s. This is a three-section articulated tram constructed between 1997 and 2003, which is well-appointed inside and rides well. The latest chapter in the history of Croatian tram building is written by the impressive Crotram consortium-built TMK 2200 low-floor articulated car. This smart-looking vehicle made its debut during 2005, and delivery of the first batch of 70 was completed during 2007. A further batch of 70 was ordered, and ZET anticipates the completion of this second batch will lead to the fleet being rationalised to consist solely of Koncar TMK 2100, the new Crotram TMK 2200 and articulated Tatra KT4 cars. Sadly this will mean the end for the charismatic Duro Dakovic cars, along with the Tatra T3s.

Although no TMK 2200s have been sold to operators other than ZET, one of Zagreb's inital batch was transported to Helsinki, Finland during 2007 for demonstration there. Helsinki will shortly be in the market for a batch of this type of car, and has made no secret of its dissatisfaction with a batch of 40 Bombardier Variotrams already in operation.

Finally, and least numerous, is the classically styled Duwag GT6 type. Of a batch purchased second-hand from Mannheim during the 1990s, a handful remain in use; most are to the traditional Duwag style, but a handful are the slightly more angular 'type Mannheim' variant. It would seem that all those remaining in use carry some form of all-over advertising livery; The standard ZET application is now plain blue, which has superceded an attractive blue and cream colour scheme. The Duwags will also be replaced by new low-floor cars imminently.

Fifteen daytime tram lines are in operation, along with four night-time lines. The nominal daytime, weekday frequency on most routes is 5-10 minutes, although there is a great deal of duplication which leads to much more frequent service over common sections. The only parts of the network served by a single line are a three terminals along with the curious line 15, This connects with routes 8 and 14 at their northern terminal, Mihaljevac, and heads up the side of the mountain for four stops before terminating at the rural Dolje loop. Ridership is light and the line is operated by single Tatra T3 cars; what will happen following delivery of the second batch of TMK 2200 cars, and the Tatras' subsequent retirement, is unclear.

In addition to the tram and bus network in Zagreb, a small funicular ('uspinjaca' in Croatian) has been in operation since 1893. It operates between Tomiceva and the upper station at Strossmayerovo setaliste, and at an inclination of 52% is one of the steepest in the world. Two cars operate on adjacent tracks, completing the trip in 55 seconds.

Day passes, valid on trams, buses and the funicular, are widely available from kiosks around the city for 25Kn - about the equivalent of US$5.50. Tram routes are centred on the railway station, and the city's focal point at Jelacic Square - about a kilometre north. The city is well worth a visit and has an attractive central area, yet little of the poverty generally found in other parts of Eastern Europe.

Photo Gallery


Image 59185
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Photo by: Thierry Leleu

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Photo by: Thierry Leleu

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Photo by: Thierry Leleu

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Photo by: Thierry Leleu

Image 59201
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Photo by: Thierry Leleu

Image 90402
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Photo by: Tim Deakin
Location: Glavni Kolodvor (Main Station)

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Photo by: Tim Deakin
Location: Draskoviceva

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Photo by: Tim Deakin
Location: Zapadni Kolodvor

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Photo by: Tim Deakin
Location: Glavni Kolodvor (Main Station)

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Photo by: Tim Deakin
Location: Glavni Kolodvor (Main Station)

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Photo by: Tim Deakin
Location: Trg. Bana Jelacica

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Photo by: Tim Deakin
Location: Ljubljanica

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Photo by: Tim Deakin
Location: Dolje

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Photo by: Tim Deakin
Location: Autobusni Kolodvor

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Photo by: Tim Deakin
Location: Autobusni Kolodvor


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Page Credits

By Tim Deakin.









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