Trams in Luxembourg

The first generation of trams in Luxembourg ran from 1875 to 1964, before being withdrawn from service and the tramways removed. A second generation of trams began operational service in December 2017, along a new route that will, by 2023, run from Luxembourg Airport to the Cloche d'Or business district, in Gasperich, serving the new national stadium. Additional lines are planned for the network both within Luxembourg City, and extending to Strassen and Esch-sur-Alzette.

An Urbos3 tram, operational since Dec. 2017, at Luxexpo stop.

Contemporary and future usage

Planned route of the new tramline (in French)


Luxembourg is in the process of reintroducing trams to its transport infrastructure. Construction work begun on a new tram depot on the edge of the Grünewald Forest and the Kirchberg quarter of Luxembourg City in January 2015,[1] with the first tracks of the T1 tramline being laid in July 2016.[2] The tramline, when fully operational, will have 24 stations connected by 16 km of tracks and have a capacity of 10,000 passengers per hour in each direction.[3] Trams provided by the Spanish company CAF[4] began trials on the first phase of the route in July 2017.

The first phase of the new route opened in two stages, with it provisionally running, from 10 December 2017, from the depot, along the Avenue John F. Kennedy, past the European district, the location of many EU institutions, before terminating at the Grand Duchess Charlotte Bridge. Here, a new funicular railway was opened on the same date allowing passengers to descend to Pfaffenthal-Kirchberg railway station for access to national and international heavy rail services running through the Pfaffenthal valley.[5][6][7] The second stage of the first phase opened on 27 July 2018, and extended tram services across the Grand Duchess Charlotte Bridge to Place de l'Étoile in the Limpertsberg quarter.[8][9]

In operation as of 13 December 2020, the second phase sees trams extend into the historical Ville Haute quarter, across the Adolphe Bridge, along Avenue de la Liberté, before terminating at Luxembourg railway station for interchanges between national and international heavy rail services.[10] Work to widen and re-enforce the Adolphe Bridge, first opened in 1903, to accommodate the tramway was completed in July 2017, with a new cycle and pedestrian lane suspended beneath the existing bridge.[11]

The third and final phase of the route, will, by 2022, extend eastwards from the tram depot in the Kirchberg district to Senningerberg before terminating at Luxembourg Airport. Concurrently, by 2023, it will extend southwestwards from Luxembourg station, onto Bonnevoie and Howald, before terminating at the new business district in Cloche d'Or, Gasperich, where it will serve Luxembourg's new national stadium.[12][13]

Future lines

In October 2020, the Minister for Sustainable Development and Infrastructure, François Bausch, presented detailed plans, of an initiative first announced in June 2018, for a future tramline, extending off the T1 line, alongside the A4 motorway to the north of Luxembourg's second most populous city, Esch-sur-Alzette, by 2028, and to the Belval quarter of the city, including the University of Luxembourg Belval campus, by 2035.[14][15][16] Trams would be expected to reach speeds of up to 100 km/h when traveling through rural sections of the route.[14] In conjunction, plans were announced to expand the network, with the creation of additional lines connected to T1 within, and in proximity to, Luxembourg City, serving amongst other areas, the planned Laangfur residential district in Kirchberg, via Boulevard Konrad Adenauer, as well as, via a revamped Place de l'Etoile interchange and Route d'Arlon, Strassen.[14][17][18]

Rolling stock

Twenty-one CAF Urbos trams were delivered in 2017,[19] with a further twelve ordered in 2018.[20] They are 45 m (148 ft) long, 2.65 m (8 ft 8 in) wide, 3.6 m (12 ft) high, with 75 seats[19] and able to carry up to 422 passengers at a top speed of 70 km/h (43 mph). To cope with a 3.6 km (2.2 mi) gap in the 750v DC catenary between "Rout Bréck - Pafendall" tram stop in Kirchberg (about 160 m (520 ft) east of Grand Duchess Charlotte Bridge) and the central railway station, the trams use CAF's ACR system.[21]

Historical usage and museum

The last of the first generation of tramways in Luxembourg, seen here in 1964.

Luxembourg's first horse-drawn tram line began operations in 1875 running through Luxembourg City along a 10 km line. Electrification followed in 1908. The original track followed a route from Luxembourg railway station through the city centre to Limpertsberg. It was extended to various parts of the city until 1930 when the network covered 31 km. Several lines were closed at the beginning of the 1960s as buses replaced the trams. The last tram ran on the line to Beggen on 5 September 1964.[22] The country's other tram network designated Tramways Intercommunaux du Canton d'Esch served Esch-sur-Alzette and its surroundings from 1927 to 1956.[23]

A number of historic trams can be seen at Luxembourg City's tram and bus museum located on Rue de Bouillon in Hollerich. In particular, the museum exhibits two electric trams, two tram coaches, and a replica of a horse tram. There are also numerous models and photographs.[24]

Further reading

  • Association des modélistes ferroviaires de Luxembourg (Walferdange): Les tramways de la ville de Luxembourg: T.V.L., Walferdange : A.M.F.L., 1986, 156p., Collection: Les chemins de fer luxembourgeois, Vol. 5.
  • Bohnert, Paul; Dhur, Raymond; Eck, Jules; Rauen, Prosper: De Minettstram: die Geschichte der interkommunalen Trambahnen im Kanton Esch, Düdelingen : Stadtverwaltung und Kulturkommission, 1985, 325p.
  • Hoffmann Jean-Paul, Dhur Raymond, Clesse René, Balthasar Marcel: Tramway Municipaux - De Stater Tram: die Geschichte des öffentlichen Personen-Nahverkehrs in der Stadt Luxemburg 1875-1993, Administration municipale, 1993, 259p.

See also


  1. Hinger, Paul (16 January 2015). "Luxembourg City: Work begins on new tram depot". Retrieved 4 August 2017.
  2. "Kirchberg: Luxembourg City's first tram tracks laid". 21 July 2016. Retrieved 4 August 2017.
  3. "24 stations: Luxembourg's new tramway in figures". 10 April 2015. Retrieved 4 August 2017.
  4. "Delivery in February: Take a first look at Luxembourg's new tram". 18 January 2017. Retrieved 10 December 2017.
  5. "Pfaffentahl-Kirchberg route: Luxembourg's first funicular carriage arrives". 22 March 2017. Retrieved 4 August 2017.
  6. Paulsberg, Linda (5 February 2017). " - Linda Paulsberg: the New Funicular Railway - a Railway First in Luxembourg". Retrieved 4 August 2017.
  7. "Next Wednesday: Luxembourg trams start running next week in test phase". 6 July 2017. Retrieved 4 August 2017.
  8. Lambert, Frédéric (4 June 2018). "Le tram arrivera place de l Étoile, le 27 juillet". L'essentiel (in French). Retrieved 3 February 2019.
  9. Lecorsais, Diane; Tasch, Barbara (28 July 2018). "Three new tram stations". Retrieved 27 January 2019.
  10. "Tram to Central Station: Final tests between Place de l'Étoile and station". 27 November 2020. Retrieved 13 December 2020.
  11. "September 17: Luxembourg City to open cycle bridge in 'world first'". 18 July 2017. Retrieved 4 August 2017.
  12. Schwartz, Nadine (31 January 2019). "En tramway jusqu'à l'aéroport" [By tram to the airport]. (in French). Translated by Wiessler, Sophie. Retrieved 13 December 2020.
  13. Hennebert, Jean-Michel (27 November 2018). "Le tram ne desservira pas la Cloche d'Or «avant 2023»" [The tram will not serve Cloche d'Or "before 2023"]. Retrieved 13 December 2020.
  14. "Le tram rapide et son contexte multimodal entre Luxembourg-Ville et la Region Sud" [The rapid tram and its multimodal context between Luxembourg City and the South Region] (PDF) (Press release) (in French). Ministry of Mobility and Public Works, Luxembourg Government. 21 October 2020. Retrieved 13 December 2020.
  15. Théry, Patrick (11 June 2018). "Un tram jusqu à 100 km/h entre Esch et la capitale". L'essentiel (in French). Retrieved 3 February 2019.
  16. Elsen, Frank (31 January 2019). "Committee for sustainable development: Improving the quality of life and public transport links in Luxembourg". Retrieved 3 February 2019.
  17. Ewen, Luc (27 November 2020). "Nicht jede Region erhält ihre Tram" [Not every region gets its tram]. (in German). Retrieved 13 December 2020.
  18. Dimitrova, Aseniya (19 September 2020). "Luxembourg unveils plans for Place de l'Étoile". Retrieved 13 December 2020.
  19. "CAF delivers first Luxembourg tram". Metro Report. DVV Media International Ltd. 10 February 2017. Retrieved 30 March 2019.
  20. "CAF Supplies Catenary-Free Trams for New Line in Luxembourg City". Railway News. 7 June 2018. Retrieved 30 March 2019.
  21. "Luxembourg tram". Retrieved 30 March 2019.
  22. "TVL - Tramways de la Ville de Luxembourg (1875-1908-1964)" [Tramways of the City of Luxembourg (1875-1908-1964)]. Retrieved 3 March 2009.
  23. "TICE - Tramways Intercommunaux du Canton d'Esch (1927-1956)". Retrieved 3 March 2009.
  24. "TVL - Musée des Tramways et de Bus de la Ville de Luxembourg" [Tramways and Bus Museum of the City of Luxembourg]. Retrieved 3 March 2009.