Europe

Gråkallbanen: Ride the Trondheim tram

This is the story of the Trondheim tram, the northernmost tram line in the world.

If you’ve been to Trondheim, you may have seen the white tram that connects the city center to the Lian recreation area. But why is there only one line in the whole city?

The Trondheim tram at the end of the city center. Photo: OnkelKrischan / Shutterstock.com.

To answer that question, we need to look at the history of Trondheim tramways, how they came to include five lines at peak times, and how they shrank to their present state.

In the meantime, consider plans to revive the tram system. Trondheim future. But first, let’s explain why it’s worth the trip.

Why travel by Trondheim tram?

Journey Gråkallbanen Trams not only provide you with stunning views of the city, but also give you the bragging rights associated with riding the northernmost tram in the world.

The title was not necessarily that of Trondheim. Until 2004, it belonged to the town of Arkhangelsk in Russia. Arkhangelsk dismantled the tram network that year.

The last stop on the tram is Bimarca outdoor areaIt features an extensive network of hiking and cross-country skiing trails. It is advisable to take a walk on the local lake, Lianvatnet.

Lake Liam in Trondheim.
Lianvatnet, a lake at the end of the Trondheim tram line.

The trails are very easy, well maintained and an accessible way to enjoy the legendary Norwegian outdoor life. The historic restaurant is also near the tram stop, but sadly closed due to a pandemic.

Ride a tram in Trondheim

If you come to Trondheim and want to catch a tram, it’s as easy as buying a regular bus ticket. These can be purchased at AtB apps, SMS, specific Coops, Narvesen, Seven-Eleven locations, and ticket machines at various stops.

At the time of writing, the ticket price is 42 Norwegian kroner for 90 minutes and 126 Norwegian kroner for one day. People over the age of 67 will receive a 50% refund.

Special chartered trams also operate when cruise ships are in town-these tickets can be purchased at the cruise line excursion office-but be prepared to pay more for them. please.

Trondheim tram in Skansen. Photo: tufo / Shutterstock.com.
Trondheim tram in Skansen. Photo: tufo / Shutterstock.com.

History of the Trondheim tram

The first line of the Trondheim tram opened in 1901 and one line crosses the town, connecting the Ira region in the west and the Bran region in the east.

read more: History of Trondheim

With no private cars and few other public transports, its popularity grew rapidly and attracted 1.6 million passengers in the first year.

This result is particularly striking, given that the city had a population of about 38,000 at the time (compared to a population of just over 200,000 in 2020).

Expansion year

Services grew steadily in the first half of the 20th century, new routes were established, and passenger numbers increased rapidly. In the first 15 years, the number of passengers has quadrupled.

The 1982 Lian line tram. Photo: Kurt Rasmussen / Wikipedia.
The 1982 Lian line tram. Photo: Kurt Rasmussen / Wikipedia..

At peak times, there were five lines in the network.The Raid lineThe first to be established, the central square of the town was built in the Rade district and finally linked.

The Iraline We have linked the central square to a stop near Ira Park. Ergesetter line Connected the Darsenget area (corresponding to today’s Hestergen bus stop) to Central Station.

The Shinsaker line We have linked the Rosenborg area to the Ergeseta line (the connection point at the Studentersamfundet). At the end, Gråkall line – The only one that is still open – connects the central St. Olav Street with the Lian Recreation Area.

The beginning of the end

In 1972, the two companies behind the tramway line in Trondheim, Gråkallbanen and Trondheim Sporvei, merged with the municipal bus company Trondheim Trafikkselskap. Since then, there has been a lot of political pressure to dismantle the tram network in favor of buses.

After several years of intense debate, the municipality decided in 1988 to shut down all trams. This decision was so controversial that the politicians behind it forced most of the network to be removed or paved with asphalt for the next few days. The tram was gone forever.

Former Trondheim tram depot. Photo: Antony McAulay / Shutterstock.com
Former Trondheim tram depot in Darsenget. Photo: Antony McAulay / Shutterstock.com

However, the line between the city center and Lian was intact. And two years later, a group of enthusiasts managed to get it back on track.

Attempts by the municipality to sell 11 unused trams failed and the group was allowed to rent them for a symbolic amount. Tram lines have been in operation since then and are now an integral part of the city’s public transport network.

Record the number of passengers

Trams have grown in popularity over the last few years as they pass through the very popular residential area of ​​Bjosen. Despite the ongoing pandemic, ridership set a new record in 2021.

Expansion plan

Trams have enthusiastic fans and many want to extend their network once again beyond the golden age. A feasibility study was conducted in 2010 and concluded that the number of passengers was not enough to justify the investment.

Super bus

Based on this survey, the city decided to renovate the entire bus system and introduce new ones to meet the growing demand for public transport. Subway bus like a tram use.

New metro bus in Trondheim, Norway
A metro bus like Trondheim’s new tram.

In parallel, the fleet is gradually being replaced by eco-friendly buses, and the number of electric buses is steadily increasing.

Zero Growth Commitment

The city of Trondheim is constantly expanding and is working on a zero growth strategy for motor vehicle traffic as part of its strategy to combat global warming.

This means that car traffic needs to be stable (or declining) in absolute numbers until 2050, regardless of population growth.

To achieve this goal, the city needs to make it more attractive for people to commute by foot, bicycle or public transport.

This means that even if rejected in 2010, the resurgence of the tram network may be at the table at some point in the future.

Tell me what you are thinking

Have you ever taken a tramway in Trondheim? If not, why not give it a try? Do you have a light rail infrastructure in your hometown or are you working on increasing car traffic?Please tell me in the comments

https://www.lifeinnorway.net/trondheim-tram/ Gråkallbanen: Ride the Trondheim tram

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