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Turin, Italy

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title_world_it_turin.jpg

Turin Type 3100 (Fiat, 1958) 3203 at Piazza Castello. Photo by Richard Panse, March 2008.

Overview

Turin (Torino), a city of over 1 million people, is located in northwest Italy, and is the capital of the country's Piemonte (Piedmont) region. It was the host city for the 2006 Winter Olympics, and is the gateway to the southern Italian Alps. It is best known as the home of Fiat, the famous Italian car manufacturer, and its handsome arcaded sidewalks and splendid architecture.

Tram Roster

Turin has a relatively large tramway system, which started operations in 1872, one of the first in Italy. Electrification came in the 1890s. Over the years, the system has shrunk, like many Italian systems, but there are still seven tramway routes in service. The most recent abandonments are Line 1, which was abandoned in May 2001 and replaced in part by brand-new Metro Line 1, and Lines 5 and 9. The city's premier route is Line 4, an extremely long north-south route using brand-new Fiat CityWay 100% low-floor double-ended trams. It has been extended on both ends of the line since 2003. Other routes are Line 3, an east-west route designed as light rail; Line 10, another north-south route; Lines 13, 15 and 18; and circle line 16 (clockwise and counter-clockwise loops). Most tram routes operate on headways of 6 to 10 minutes apart on weekdays. Operation takes place on both broad boulevards and narrow streets, alongside Turin's storied arcaded sidewalks. In some cases, trams run along the curbs, and motorists have to park in the center of the street. Depots (Depositi) are located at Veneria, in north Turin; San Paolo, on the west side; and Nizza, near lines 4 and 10 south of the central district. The workshops are located at Tortorna, just northeast of downtown.

An unusual aspect of operation of Line 4 is left-hand operation, which occurs south of Corso Stati Uniti. Here the line operates on a reservation on the west side of busy Corso Unione Sovietica. A portion of Line 10 also uses this trackage.

There is a new and energetic vintage tram sub-group, partly supported by Gruppo Trasporti Torinesi (GTT) and its employees, and Turin has a significant collection of historic trams. So far, four trams make up the vintage fleet: #2595, a Peter Witt from 1934; #3501, a modern PCC-styled car from 1949; and two 1958-vintage 4-axle cars #3203 and #3279, in the two-tone green livery. The vintage fleet also includes 6-axle tram #2841, which has been converted to a Restaurant Tram. Two other six-axle cars in the 2800-series will undergo conversion to special-service vehicles this year. Another Peter Witt, #2592, also awaits restoration. A tram currently at the Sassi terminal of the Superga Rack Railway, number #116 from 1911, will be restored for historic car service.

The 6-axle streamlined 2800-series trams were built in two groups in the late 1940s, totaling over 100 trams. The group beginning with tram 2851 is slightly longer than the low-numbered 2800s. Most of them are still in daily service. Despite their streamlined appearance, they have spur gears and make all the "right" traction noises associated with such technology. They run on lines 13, 15, 16 and 18, and extras operate on line 10.

The 54 6-axle, 70% low-floor 5000-series trams were built between 1988 and 1989. They run on lines 10 and 18, with some also appearing on line 16.

The 7000-series trams, built by Fiat in 1986, are assigned exclusively to Line 3, which was upgraded as a light rail line in the 1980s. They are six-axle trams, with 6 doors per side. Because Line 9 was never rebuilt similarly, but has been suspended as a tram route, nearly half of these cars have been scrapped or stored awaiting scrapping. 26 of the original 51 cars remain.

The 100% low-floor CityWay 6000s began arriving in 2002. They provide all service on Line 4, Turin's premier tramway route. They have also been spotted on Line 10. The first five of the CityWay 6000s are single-ended; the rest are double-ended.

The last 4-axle trams, the 3100-series, were retired with the arrival of the 6000-series CityWays, but many are stored at an unused depot.

Metro Line 1

Turin opened the first segment of Metro Line 1 in February 2006, just in time for the Winter Olympics. It is an automated VAL-type rubber-tired system similar to Lille and Toulouse, and its Austrian-built Siemens cars are coupled in 2-car sets. Like Paris's Line M14 and many new people-movers, each station has glass platform screens, whose doors open only when a train is in the station. Currently the route runs westward from Piazza XVIII Diciembre (Stazione Porta Susa) to Fermi on the west side, with 11 stations. Operations into central Turin will begin later in 2006, and will be extended southward. Service is very frequent, with trains running about 5 minutes apart. Each station platform contains art on the walls.

The Superga Rack Railway

This rack railway is located in northeast Turin, across the Po River. Originally a cable tramway which opened in 1884, the route between Sassi and Superga, which is 3100 meters long and rises to 650 meters above sea level, was converted to electric traction and rack railway operation in 1934. Its cars have recently been completely rebuilt. On summer weekends, the cars pull original trailers from 1884. At the top of the mountain is the Superga Basilica, designed by Filippo Juvarra, and great views of Turin and the Italian Alps can be had.

Service is hourly on the hour except on Sundays, when cars run half-hourly. When climbing or descending, third-rail current collection is used. However, when the cars need to be moved around the Sassi yard, a small pantograph-equipped steeple cab locomotive is employed.

Fares

Day passes for EUR3.00 can be had from the tobacco shop at Stazione Porta Susa (Piazza XVIII Diciembre), which is the best place to begin exploring the Turin system. The ticket vending machines in the Metro stations sell only tickets which are valid for about 1.5 hours. Fares on the Superga rack railway are separate.

Photo Gallery


Image 48609
(200k, 864x574)
Photo by: Peter Ehrlich
Location: Piazza Castello

Image 48632
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Photo by: Peter Ehrlich
Location: Piazza Statuto

Image 48659
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Photo by: Peter Ehrlich
Location: Piazza Carlo Emanuele

Image 48684
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Photo by: Peter Ehrlich
Location: Porta Nuova

Image 48686
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Photo by: Peter Ehrlich
Location: Secchi/Stati Uniti

Image 48688
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Photo by: Peter Ehrlich
Location: Porta Nuova

Image 48719
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Photo by: Marco Gallo
Location: Massaua

Image 48727
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Photo by: Marco Gallo
Location: Racconigi

Image 83605
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Photo by: Peter Ehrlich
Location: Giardino Reale

Image 83606
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Photo by: Peter Ehrlich
Location: Corso San Martino

Image 83639
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Photo by: Peter Ehrlich
Location: Vittorio Emanuele/Mediterraneo

Image 96850
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Photo by: Richard Panse
Location: Corso Stati Uniti / Corso Re Umberto

Image 96940
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Photo by: Richard Panse
Location: Gran Madre di Dio

Image 96958
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Photo by: Richard Panse
Location: La Vallette Terminal

Image 98373
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Photo by: Richard Panse
Location: Turin Metro Shops/Yard

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Links

Museo virtuale dei Tram di Torino. A fan site about trams in Turin, rosters, photographs, news, and more.

Page Credits

By Peter Ehrlich.









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