Two Rooms and a Bath
Brief history of articulated trams with floating middle section


Budapest, BLVV 9605+06
Budapest, FVV 3720+21
Budapest, FVV 3722
The three prototypes form Budapest: Miss "Adél" (BLVV 24+25 -> 9605+06) from 1938, the unidirectional prototype (3720+21) from 1961, and the two-directional prototype tram nicknamed "Bengáli" (3722) from 1963.
The first articulated tram of Budapest was the tramcar nicknamed "Adél", which was converted from a "Lőrinc-twinset" in 1938 by the transport company BSzKRt ("Lőrinc" - later Pestszentlőrinc is a south-eastern suburb of Budapest, with an own tramway company). Apart from the modification of the front and inserting a floating middle section, the tram was fitted with several modern electrical equippment. The four-motor prototype had a multiple-unit control, where the non-driven car's controller was exactly copying the movement of the frontal car's handle by a servomotoric device. Its original motors were replaced by modern, more powerful Ganz-made TR 4,5/14 type ventillated motors. To help the conductors, it was also fitted with a complicated signalling system including a "asking lamp" on the front, which showed the policemen, that the tram is ready to leave the stop. Because of the war and the singular outfit of the tram, there was no series following it. In fact, after the war its complicated four-motor equippment was changed back to the usual two-motor electrical outfit of the twin-cars. Even later, during the '50s the floating middle section was also removed.

The first series of articulated trams appeared in Budapest only long after the war, in 1961, when the sitting-conductor service and the guided flow of passangers was introduced. The first such tram was the prototype articulated car, alias "Bengáli", which was built at the tramway company's own workshops. At this tramtype, only a long single-room tram was built, but there was not any kind of improvement introduced at the electrical equippment - the old two-motor direct regulation remained. Soon it was followed by the two-directional version, which was produced in great quantity until 1978, the latter series already in the workshops of Debrecen (east of Hungary). These trams are still in everyday use in the cities of Miskolc, Debrecen and Szeged. There was one more similar car in Budapest: the articulated UV, which existed between 1962 and 1966.

These articulated trams have the common point of the structure of the vehicle. The frontal and the rear section can stand on their four wheels by their own. However, the middle section is floating in between, it is hanged - or rather held in the air from below - on the two ends. The underframe of the front and the rear was lengthened under the articulation, and the middle section was leaning on these parts.

This solution is no local invention, already before the "Adél" there were several exemplars of trams with similar structure. This system was called "two-rooms-and-a-bath" type cars (or sometimes it was called "two rooms and a kitchen"). This page intends to explore the ancestors and followers of these articulated tramcars, with an interesting overview of the history of tram desingns from all over the world.

Today, looking back at the "Adél" it gives quite a mixed impression - the high-floor and the small windows resembling to the early look of the trams give a dissonant look with the long body and the "sort of streamlined" frontal construction. However, "Adél" is not alone with these anomalies in the international team. Naturally the mixing of the styles are because a tramcar produced in 1911 was converted into an articulated car at the time, when the streamlined forms were showing the technical advancement of the future. The later "Bengáli" shows a much more uniform style of the '50s, but it was constructed newly.

Budapest, FVV 3799
The articulated UV tram on an exhibition in 1962. This tram was an eight-axle construction, however the middle section was a floating part.

The first articulated trams in the United States

There is nothing surprising, that the invention of the "two-rooms-and-a-bath" trams comes from America. The first of its kind was running in Cleveland (Ohio). However, it is more spectecular, that the patent was registered in 1892, by the inventors named Brewer and Krehbiel. The local producer Kuhlman Car Company already made an experimental tram one year after, in 1893 for Cleveland.
Cleveland prototype
Street Railway Journal/Modern Tramway
The Brewer & Krehbiel-type articulated tram in Cleveland, from 1893.

The articulated tram was far much ahead of the requests of the time, the costly conversion of the four-wheel trams to articulated ones was not worth the investment. In these years getting workscraft was easy, thus it meant no problem to organize the service with smaller tramcars. The need of building bigger, longer trams was appearing when there was already harder to recruit people. This era began in America during the first world war, and even in the time of the economic growth of the previous years. For this reason, another four-axle articulated prototype was constructed in Boston (Massachusetts) in 1912, which was followed by a series of similar cars. In the following years, there was ten trams constructed in Richmond (Virginia), then there was a prototype vehicle in Portland (Oregon) in 1914, and in Brooklyn (New York) in 1916. The greatest amount of such streetcars was still in use in Boston, where in the years 1915-17 another 110 articulated trams were built. This second series had already eight axles (similarly to the Portland prototype), as eight-wheel bogie trams were used for the reconstruction, which were more common in the US.

The trams were made only for a temporary use, since these cars were considered old-fashioned even at the time of the construction. They were only in service until they were replaced by newer types. The tram company of Boston was buying central-entrance trams from the '20s, which were often used in multiple sets for the next three decades, until the arrival of the PCC era. So the articulated cars of the US were often scrapped after a decade of usage.

Collection Tony Tieuli
On this picture cut from the catalogue of the Laconia Car Company one can see the Lindall-type articulated cars,
with low-floor (!) middle section. These trams were in service in Boston.
Boston, 405
Collection O. R. Cummings
Boston, 4200
Collection Tony Tieuli
Four- and eight-axle versions of the "two-rooms-and-a-bath" type articulated tramcars in Boston, from 1912 and 1916. One can see, that the flexible cover of the articulation is not reaching the whole width of the trams, the articulation itself is more resembling to the passageway between railcoaches.

Articulated tramcars in Europe

Soon the three section tramcars appeared in the European countries, though before World War II in several cases only a prototype was constructed without a following series.

The first such reconstructions were in the scandinavian countries: in Göteborg (Sweden) a prototype was followed by a batch of ten cars in 1922-23. In Oslo (Norway), there was also a prototype tram constructed, which was introduced in 1924 to the general public.

The tramcars of Göteborg were assembled from ASEA-built trams made in 1908. These two-motored cars remained in service until 1949, their construction were far from being perfect, like their followers. The motorless axles was reportedly not very suitable to the hilly landscapes, the cars kept derailing. The Oslo car was similar type, in fact the middle section was made by the same company (Ljunggren), as for Göteborg. The two end were originally a motorcar made by Falkenried (1902) and Skabo (1906). After a few weeks of testruns, the articulated prototype was put aside, and finally in 1934 it was scrapped. This tram had actually a four-motor electrical equippment, however possibly the original controller was not able to regulate two times high current level. Because of the reorganization of the company in Oslo, there was no one to continue the experiment.

Göteborg, GS 194
Collection Göteborgs Sparvägar
Oslo, KES 140
Collection Roy Budmiger
The articulated tram of Göteborg made in 1922.
This is the prototype of Kristiania on a newspaper photo (the city was officially renamed to Oslo in 1924).

In Germany, two-rooms-and-a-bath articulated trams were built first in 1928-29: Dresden (made by Niesky/SSW, 1928) and Leipzig had each one prototype, and in Berlin there were two. Although, in other cities there were experiments with other articulated types (like in Duisburg, which had already in 1926 a six axle Jacobs-bogie tram), still it was not common to see in Germany articulated trams until the '50s.

Dresden 2502
Collection Roy Budmiger
The articulated tram of Dresden. At the time, several articulated construction was on try in the city.
Berlin, BVG 6211
J.-B. Proudhommeaux/Amtuir
Berlin, BVG 6211
Roy Budmiger
The 6211 articulated tram of Berlin, on a photo made already after the World War II, in 1959 in West-Berlin. This tram was finally scrapped in 1966. The second photo shows this car in 1994, at the depot Marzahn as a museum-tram.

It is interesting, that on the francolingual territory of Europe, where between the two wars still several cities had tram-service, there was only one place that held articulated cars in operation until the '60s (except a Jacobs-bogie articulated prototype from Marseille). This was not in mainland France, but in the colonial Alger. Here amongst the three tram-operators of the city, the Tramways Algériens ordered a prototype articulated tram from the company SATRAMO. The 19.16 meters long, 1099 mm gauge, four-motored (4x45 HP) car was able to carry 150 passangers, and was fitted with folding doors. As the prototype tram was considered to be succesful, further 35 cars followed it, which were still in operation after World War II. The tramway systen of Alger was closed in December 1959, when the civil war reached the capitol.

Algír, TA ?
J.-L. La Rosa/Amtuir
Algír, TA ?
J.-L. La Rosa/Amtuir
The two photos were made in Alger in 1959, on route "Yusuf", in the empty capitol, which was soon reached by the war. According to these pictures, the trams had a remarkably modern and harmonic look, and remained in good condition even at the end of their service. Until the '50s, these were the most advanced tramcars of France.


The introduction of the articulated trams in Italy was also ment to decrease the number of the personell of the tram companies. The first batch of two-rooms-and-a-bath trams was constructed in Milan, the prototype from 1932 was soon followed by a series. Here a motorcar was coupled to a trailer, so the motors remained on the frontal axles. the articulated trams were fitted with the usual trolley-collectors on the frontal section, otherwise it would have been impossible to operate the switches in time. Although it would have been easier to raise the current collector if it would have been in the end, but in this case the frontal part would have overrun the switch before the collector cold have reached the regulating section of the pole.
Milan, ATM 3001
Carlo Marzorati/Coll. Geoff Tribe
Milan, ATM 4033
Carlo Marzorati/Coll. Geoff Tribe
Two articulated trams of Milan: the 3001 was probably the prototype, and the 4033 was one of the serial cars. There is a difference of underframes of the two trams, the series had probably a better suspension on the frontal motored part. (On the second photo there is a trolleybus behind the tram.)

In the capitol Rome, in the years 1936-38 alltogether 50 motorcars and trailers were rebult as an articulated tram. The 19.8 meters long, 22.3 tons weight cars were fitted with 2x62 HP motors, in the frontal part within a C&T type underframe. This part was hauling a simpler trailer section with radial axes. The front of the cars were slightly modified. The reconstruction was done at the local company MATER, the electrical equippment was made at Compagnia Generale di Elettricita. Reportedly the maximum speed of the trams were around 30 km/h. These cars were in service until 1965, after some cars were ran by STEFER for a short time.

Rome, ATAG 5001
Rome, ATAC 5091
The prototype 5001 and the 5091 in Rome. The two prototypes (5001, 5003) had an automatic controllers, however the series had the usual direct-controllers. One can observe on the second image, that the middle section was pushing down the trailer part at the third axle.
The third city, which used two-rooms-and-a-bath type articulated trams was Torino. In this city, between 1950-59 there was 72 articulated vehicles produced on used underframes by SNAS (Soc. Naz. Off. di Savigliano). The frontal design of these cars were typical Italian, similar to the trams of Breda and Stanga. The length of these vehicles was 18.43 meters, with 23 tons of weight. The series were here also not succesful, the cars were noisy and slow. Extremly bad were the running conditions of these cars in curves, this is the reason, why on eight cars, the original underframe was redesigned in 1961-62. Peculiarly an extra supporting axle was fitted in the front and the rear section, which kept the car in balance though the axle distance was reduced to 1.8 meters. In the '70s these trams were in service only during peak hours, finally - apart from two vehicles - these trams were scrapped in 1981.
Torino, ATM 2700
Torino, six.axle 2700-series car
The first articulated tram of Torino in its original state.
Drawing of those eight trams, which were reconstructed in 1961-62. These trams were fitted with an extra supporting axle in the front and rear.
Torino, ATM 2700
Collection István Papp
Torino, ATM 2758
Stefano Paolini/Photorail
Car 2700 was also one of the reconstructed cars, which had six axles.
This "Ristotram" is used for sightseeing and as a restaurant in Torino, after 1988.

Articulated trams in the Federal Republic of Germany

The sitting consuctor service and the guided flow of passangers was generally introduced in West-Germany in the '50s. Thus several cities' companies decided to create articulated trams from existing two-axle cars. The used cars could be "Aufbauwagen" (reconstructed old trams). "Kriegstraßenbahnwagen" (unity trams produced during the war) or "Verbundswagen"(made after the war); all had boxy shaped steel body and two axles in common. Naturally, the dimensions of the original trams limited the size of the doors and number of windows, sometimes severeal sub-variants of these types existed at the same company. In the '70s, often a second reconstruction followed the building of these articulated cars, when the one-man operation was introduced. On many cars, the original telescopic doors were replaced by automatic folding doors, and the electric control was again changed. The first of the two-rooms-and-a-bath cars were constructed around 1953-55 in Kassel, Dortmund and Hamburg, often the production of the following series were placed to another company (Credé, Hansa, DWM). Similar reconstructed vehicles ran in Duisburg too, with unidirectional and bidirectional subvariants. For the cities of Hamburg and Dortmund the cars were produced newly, built on the underframe of scrapped two-axle cars. These trams were not in service for a long time in Hamburg, because of their high weight and bad running attributes. However, during their operation time, they often were pulling a trailer.
Kassel, KVG 260
Hamburg, HHB 3276
The Kassel 260 was built in 1955 by Credé from two "Verbundswagen". This prototype car was in service until 1981, its original telescopic doors were replaced in 1967.
After a prototype built by Falkenried in 1954, a series of 30 cars came in service in 1955-56, built by DWM. These trams were scrapped in 1965-67. The picture shows a tram from the series.
Dortmund, DSW 419
Dortmund, DSW 435
After a local reconstruction in 1953-54 in Dortmund, the company Hansa started to produce a series of articulated trams in 1956-57. There were alltogether 26 pieces of 20.5 meter long cars, fitted with two motors (2x102 HP). They remained in service until 1980.
After scrapping the car 435 in 1979, it was kept in service as a party-tram until 1996. After it was brought to Schwerte-museum, then in 2003 it went back to Dortmund.
Duisburg, DVG 1204
Duisburg, DVG 1167
Winfried Roth
The reconstruction of trams started in Duisburg in 1958. The car 1204 was built from two KSW (wartime unity type), the motorcar was made by Fuchs, the trailer by Uerdingen.
This photo shows the 1167 from Duisburg. The two section was built originally by Westwaggon in 1950-51. It was rebuilt in 1959 as the bidirectional version of the articulated trams. In 1971 the one-man operation was introduced, then in 1982 it was scrapped.
Duisburg, DVG 1160
Winfried Roth
Amsterdam 208
Car 1106 of Duisburg had even more peculiar look, as the frontal part was made from an Uerdingen-car from 1925, the rear from a Westwaggon Verbundswagen in 1950/51. The constrution of this articulated car (1959) kept the original windows.
The Party-tram in Amsterdam was originally from Duisburg (car 1208). This tram was made of two KSW originating from 1944, produced by Fuchs and Uerdingen.
Vestische Straßenbahn 396
Tram 396 of the Vestische Straßenbahn, which connected several towns in the Ruhr-area. The last tramline of the company was closed in 1982.
The first four-axle articulated tram of BOGESTRA (Bochum-Gelsenkirchen) was ready by 1955. This 22.85 meters long vehicle was fitted with two motors.
Bielefeld 206
Braunschweig 23
Car 206 from Bielfeld, in around 1964.
A four-axle articulated tram in Braunschweig.
The town of Kassel was traditionally buying its trams from Credé. Following the prototype of 1955, a series of 28 trams was built in 1956-58 from the post-war unity type ("Verbandstyp"). The frontal design of these cars were modified to more streamlined outfit, thus the boxy shape of the unity-trams disappeared. The normal gauge trams were 20.1 meters long, with 2x82 HP motors. As usual, the built in power was not enough, these articulated trams were slow, however they remained in sevice until 1991. The last of these trams were sold to Gorzów (Poland), where they ran until 2000 - their place were taken over by other used trams from Kassel.

Similar Credé trams were in service in Würzburg too.

Kassel, KVG 275
Gorzów, 208
Car 275 from Kassel in 1966 and the 208 from Gorzów in 1994, made by the company Credé. The traditional coloration of German trams was cream, the red livery of these trams was used to warn the passangers in time for the rear entrance. When the one-man operation was introduced, these trams were painted blue.
Würzburg, WSB 219
Würzburg, WSB 216
The Würzburg car 219 in 1972, and the car 216 are on these pictures. Not long before their scrapping were these trams repainted yellow-red. With the total length of 17.2 meters, these were the shortest of its kind in Germany. The first of these articulated cars were built in 1957 by Credé.
Even the most important tram-builder firm of Germany, the DÜWAG was also involved in the construction of two-rooms-and-a-bath type articulated trams. These trams came in service in the Rhein-Ruhr and Rhein-Sieg area: the cities of Wuppertal, Mülheim and Essen had all streamlined atriculated cars, rebuilt from old two-axle trams. These trams were also not an excellent constructions, this is the reason they got the nickname "Schüttelrutsche" ("shaking-slide" - which was actually a device used in coal-mining). This name was stuck also on the boxy articulated cars of Dortmund.
Further ex-Düwag cars were also involved in the production of articulated trams in Düsseldorf. In this city some four-axle cars made in the '50s were rebuilt as eight-axle articulated cars between 1963-66.
Wuppertal, WSW 3404
Ralph Dißinger
Essen, EVAG 705
The articulated car 3404 in Wuppertal, on a photo from 1984. The series of Wuppertal consisted of eight vehicles, four amongst them went to Graz (Austria) in 1985, but never reentered in service.
Car 705 in Essen in 1995, which have 1000 mm gauge. This tram was actually a rebuilding of two cars from 1912-15, made in 1959. It had four motors (4x60 HP) with a Kiepe automatic controller. It was scrapped in 1977, now it is a museum-car.
Düsseldorf, RGB 2263
Düsseldorf, RGB 2151
Car 2263 in Düsseldorf was a bidirectional tram. There was four such cars made in 1963-64. These four-motored (4x164 HP) trams were 30.55 meters long, and were in service until 1986.
This tram is called "Queen Mary", the Düsseldorf 2151.  The eight-axle tram was 27.77 meters long, fitted with two motors (2x119 HP). This unique car was preserved.

Two unique articualted trams started their operation in Munich. After a DÜWAG articulated prototype was not found to be suitable for the tight curves of the network and the price of the tram was expensive, the local operator together with the company Rathgeber planned a two-rooms-and-a-bath type of tram on the basis of the M type solo cars, which were produced in high number at the time. The M type had however a three-axle construction, where the middle axle was steering the frontal and the rear one. So the articulated tram, that consisted of a two motored frontal part and a trailer rear part, had alltogether six axles with a floating middle section. This construction ran even in the curves of 12 meter radius without problem. The P1.65 type (later MG type) trams had an electropneumatic Kiepe controller to regulate 2x136 HP, which also made possible to form multiple units from these trams. Apparently they were designed for underground-tram operation, which was never built.

In the end, the intention of decreasing the number of conductors was not fulfilled, as the complicated fare-structure needed two conductors on each car. This is the reason, why a series was not following the two prototypes, instead the local company ordered three-axle motor+trailer M/m units, later the P/p series of "Kurzgelenkwagen" (four axle articulated trams). The two six-axle prototypes were scrapped in 1976.

München, MVG 101
München, MVG 102
The six-axle car 101 in the '60s, and the 102 on a picture from 2003. The 102 was reconstructed in 2002, at the museum of Hannover-Wehmingen.

The city of Munich did not remain alone with the six-axle floating middle section trams. In 1959-61, Oberhausen was buying eight sush cars too. The first of them was made from two ex-Verbundswagen, the others were produced as new by Westwaggon. Five such cars were sold to Aachen in 1968, the others were scrapped in 1972. The length of these cars were 21,7 meters, with 4x71 HP motors.

Aachen, ASEAG 1110
Car 1110 in Aachen, which originally was made as a prototype for Oberhausen from two ex-Rheydt three axle cars. The tram was bought by Aachen in 1968, and was in service until 1974.
Oberhausen, STOAG 365
Aachen, ASEAG 1106
Car 365 in Oberhausen, which was made by Westwaggon in 1961. This car was also bought by Aachen in 1968.
The 1106 at the crossing of the Vennbahn. These ex-Oberhausen cars kept their creme-colors for a while in Aachen.  The tramway service of Aachen was closed in 1974.

The last time in West-Germany, the Esslingen Factory produced four-axle articulated trams with the reconstruction of the Stuttgart R700 type trams. The series of 35 new articulated cars were called DoT4, which were made in 1964-66. The 1000 mm gauge trams kept their particular streamlined frontal design of Esslingen. Because of the hills of the city, the trams were fitted with four motors (4x109 HP), becoming the most powerful tram of its time. Typically they were on the most gradient routes of Stuttgart, like on route 10, which was soon replaced by buses, later by the Stadbahn - but through tunnels.

Stuttgart, SSB 911
Stuttgart, SSB 2041
The car 911 in 1974, on route 10, and the SSB 2041 (ex-914) which is serving as a working car in Stuttgart. Demonstrating the power of this type, the latter tram is used to bring downhills the faulty GT4 trainsets.

The tramways of Germany are almost unexhaustable in vehicle construction, the trams with floating middle section were only one sub-type of the several articulated cars. It is not a surprise, that there existed two-room-and-a-bath type trailers too. Such cars were in service at the local railway Oberrheinische Eisenbahngesellschaft (OEG), which has several lines between Mannheim and Heidelberg. These trailers had eight axles, the frontal and rear section was standing on two bogies, similarly to the Düsseldorf and Boston constructions.

Austria, Vienna

For the capitol Vienna the company Gräf & Stift produced articulated four axle cars in 1957, these trams become the type D. The unidirectional, three-doors trams were as slow and heavy as the Hungarian "Bengális". Thus by the year 1976, all of them were scrapped.
Wien, WL 4311
Wien, WL 4310
Tim Boric
The first articulated tram of Vienna was the D type. The first photo shows the original scheme of livery.


There was also a prototype articulated tram in Switzerland, which however was not followed by a series. This tram was in service in Bern, woth the number 401.
Bern 401
The unique articulated tram 401 on a drawing and a picture from 1984.


In Belgium, the transportation company of Brussels was started a reconstruction program in 1963-66, to produce articulated four-axle trams from the former "Standard" motorcars. The operator intended to decrease the cost of the new vehicles, this was the reason for the rebuildings, although at this time were the first articulated PCC's coming to service too. Alltogether 43 trams were made, with a four-motor construction, that were nicknamed "Caroline" by the personell. The total length of the cars were 21,133 meters, the total output of the motors were 4x92 HP. The trams were fitted with rheostatic and Westinghouse-type pneumatic brake.

The drivers and the passangers were not totally satisfied with these trams - it is likely, that the people were demanding the comfort of the competitor PCC's. The drivers has also some problems with the original trolley-poles: to raise the current collector the driver needed to use two ropes and some virtuosity. These trams remained in service until 1982-84.

Brussels, STIB 4025
Brüsszel, STIB 4032
The tram 4025 of Brussels and the museum car 4032. The streamlined design of these trams were similar to the local PCC's. The pantographs appeared on these cars in the '70s.

The articulated Gothaer tramcars of the German Democratic Republic

In East-Germany, after the request of Erfurt and Dresden, the Gotha Factory started to produce newly built four-axle articulated trams in 1957-58, using the construction of the previously built two-axle cars. The production of the series G4-61 began in 1961 (alltogether 119 vehicles), then after 1965 the building of series continued by the type G4-65 until 1967 (200 trams). A smaller batch from Gothaer articulated cars went to the Sowiet Union: they ran in Lvow, Saratov and Tallin. The majority was put in service in the GDR: some were in Dresden and Magdeburg; but there were more in use in Erfurt, Gotha, Leipzig, Potsdam and Rostock. After exchanging of cars between the operators, some went also to Nordhausen.
Magdeburg, 491
Collection István Papp
Rostock, RSAG 715
The G4-61 type tram 491 of Magdeburg. In 1968, this car was moved to Leipzig with its pair (alltogether these two cars were in service in Magdeburg).
The car 715 of the G4-61 batch in Rostock, in 1995. After a year, here were the last of the Gothaer articulated trams pulled out of regular passanger service.
Lvow, 646+746
Hans Lehnhart
Potsdam, 177
Christoph Heuer/Gothawagen
The articulated G4-65 tram 646+746 in Lvow (the rear part had a different number). For the town's 1000 mm gauge system alltogether 50 cars were bought, which remained in service until 1988.
In Potsdam there were 20 articulated trams in service. This picture shows the G4.65 museum-car 177 from 1996.


For the city of Katowice, there was ten articulated trams supplied by the Chorzów-factory, as a reconstruction of ex-german wartime trams.
Katowice, WPK 703
Hans Lehnhart
The articulated car 703 on a photo from 1973.

Sowiet Union

Amongst the operators of Sowiet Union, I know only two, which had self-built four-axle articulated trams in service. One of them was in Riga, from 1947. The other was Tbilisi in the Kaukasus. Four such trams were constructed, probably in 1959-60. They were not long in service, until only the end of 1960.
Riga-artic car
Tbilisi 503
Coll. Uszty-Ktavszkij Factory/
The drawing of the articulated tram produced in Riga in 1947.
The articulated car 503+504+505. One can see, that several parts from autobuses were used for the construction.

At the end of the page, we can see, that the different operators decided to build four-axle articulated cars of similar reasons, independent of the countries. Often these trams were seen as a temporary solution, though in several places even were produced such cars newly. Almost all of these cars had bad attributes, as they had very unequal axle loads. The two-motored cars were often slow, and difficult to brake. The floating middle section was sometimes overloading the underframes of the axled parts, and the older four-wheeled constructions did not have good suspension. These problems were more present, as the length of the middle section was longer (in this sense the "best" solution was probably the short articulated cars of Szeged 701-704, which had only a very short middle section without a door). However, too short middle section meant also, that it made more swinging motion in curves, which is not too comfortable for passangers.

Remarkably, some of these problems were seized to exist, when the cars had a four-motor construction, like the example of Alger or Stuttgart (though their suspension was also not as good as the cars on bogies). The use of the four motor construction was however not very common, as it needed to modify the usual direct coupling of two motors, which required to change the controller.

Today (2004) the only place to find such trams in regular passanger service is Hungary*. Previously in 1996 the city of Rostock scrapped their last Gothaer articulated tram, and the city of Gorzów also pulled out of service the four-axle ex-Kassel cars. At some places, these trams are used as sightseeing cars (Erfurt, Stuttgart, Torino), and several of these trams became the part of museums' collections. In the towns of Miskolc (north-east-), Debrecen (east-) and Szeged (south-east Hungary) the "Bengális" are still in service, though this year Miskolc will pull out all of service except two reserve cars, and Szeged also launched a program to replace them in the following years. In Debrecen, the vehicles are generally in a better condition then the average, thus the replacement of these cars is not likely soon.

Finally, although the two-rooms-and-a-bath cars are disappearing, the principle of floating middle sections is still alive. Hundreds of low-floor trams were produced in the last decade, which consisted of the combination of floating and axled sections. Such trams are the most commonly sold 100 % low-floor types by the three great multinational companies: the Siemens Combino (and its predessors), the Alstom Citadis and the Bombardier Incentro and Flexity Outlook, but even the type Variobahn, the Fiat Cityway, the Ansaldo Sirio and the Skoda Astra, Vektra types have all similar construction. However almost all of them have already substantially different construction of the articulation, as the ratio of the length of the floating and the axled sections changed: nowdays the floating sections are long, and the four-wheeled parts are short. In the year of 2004, because of a constructional fault, the production of Combinos were stopped (which was previously the most commonly sold type), but it is still likely, that the majority of the future 100% low-floor trams will be similar constructions because they are relatively simple and cheap, although the running properties of these trams are still not as good as the ones with proper bogies.

* - I'm afraid, I need to revise this sentence. >> Continue! >>
Szeged, SzKT 802
Ghent, De Lijn 6312
The "Bengáli" 802 in Szeged, in 2004. The ten-doors outfit of the tram was unique, almost all other two-rooms-and-a-bath type trams had three doors on one side.
The low-floor car 6312 of Ghent produced by Siemens also in 2004. Although this tram has also two floating sections, the construction of the articulation is not the same as the old two-rooms-and-a-bath types had.
Dresden, DVB 2808
Apart from the massive selling of the modular trams seen above, some new "two rooms and a bath" trams appeared again, this time however with the full analogy of the construction. This is the NF12DD type tram produced for Dresden by Bombardier, which has three section standing on two bogie each, and two floating section. Similar trams were ordered by Leipzig.

Written by: Zoltán Ádám Németh (NZA)

I used several webpages found on the internet to collect photos and data. Any comment is welcomed.

Felhasznált irodalom:
  • Amtuir
  • Bahnhof-Mooskamp
  • Brigitte und Hans Männel
  • DSO
  • DVN, Potsdam
  • Eisenbahnfotograf
  • Eurotrams
  • Fahrzeuglisten
  • Jelentősebb külföldi csuklós villamoskocsi típusok, FVV 1962.
  • Gothawagen
  • MTUB
  • Mercurio
  • Peter's Transport Album
  • Photorail
  • Schwebebahn in Wuppertal
  • Stadtbahn-Würzburg
  • Straßenbahnbetriebe in Osteuropa I-II.
  • Trambilderbuch
  • Tram-Braunschweig
  • Tram di Torino
  • Tram-Dortmund
  • Tram-Duisburg
  • Tram-info
  • Tram.Munchenrom
  • Tramwaypics
  • T. R. Nielsen
  • Tramroma
  • Transiris
  • VHAG
  • Virtuelles Straßenbahn-Museum, Kassel
  • I would like to thank Stefan Baguette, Roy Budminger, István Papp, Tony Tieuli and Geoffrey Tribe