Halle an der Saale (HAVAG) Tramways No. 902

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Photo: Jim Dignan

In many ways tramcars were rather better suited to the planned economies of the former Soviet bloc, where they were much less susceptible to the vagaries and unpredictability associated with market economies in the west. There they were relatively economical to build and operate by large scale state-run enterprises; there was also a reasonably constant and predictable demand since huge numbers of people had to travel daily between their place of residence and work-place; and private car ownership was far too restricted to pose a serious challenge to their dominance, as it did in the West.

For many years after the second world war the largest tram producer in the world was CKD Tatra, which was based in Prague and exported its products throughout the Soviet bloc including Halle, which was an important city and economic centre in East Germany. It was also one of the first cities in the world to operate an electric tramway, having installed one as long ago as 1891.

Halle 902 was built in 1969 as a standard T4D, which was an Eastern European adaptation of a hugely successful design of tramcar known as the ‘PCC’ (standing for ‘President’s Conference Committee’), which originated in the United States during the 1930s. As such, it was the commonest type of tramcar behind the iron curtain. Indeed, some 17,622 Tatras of this type (T3/T4s) were built, which is more than any other type of tram anywhere in the world.

Specification

Type of tram
Single deck; all-enclosed bogie electric tramcar
Livery
Red and white
Seating capacity
26
Date built
1969
Manufacturer of body
CKD Tatra
Manufacturer of truck
PCC type inside frame design (ex-Leipzig)
Gauge
4’ 8½” (was originally one meter prior to its withdrawal in 2005)
Motor
TE 022B 4 x 40 kW
Controller
PCC accelerator
Current collector
Pantograph
Modification

One of only two examples of this once very numerous class of vehicle to have been converted from single-ended to double-ended status, which took place in 1984.
Subsequently, the original metre gauge bogies were replaced with standard gauge ones in Leipzig in 2005 and the original pantograph has also been replaced

Withdrawn from service

2005

Subsequent history

Acquired by the Tramway Museum Society for use as a possible second access tram and brought to Crich in 2005.

Restoration history

No attempt has been made at restoration.

Current status
Currently housed in depots in unrestored non-operational condition
Date started operating at Crich
2005 for 2 years
Total mileage covered at Crich
277
Current location
Depots
Future plans

Uncertain

Timeline
  • 1969 – 2005Operational on original tramway
  • 2005 – 2007Operational at Crich
  • 2007 –On display at Crich

Crich Tramway Village is a brand name for the National Tramway Museum (Accredited with Arts Council England), solely owned and operated by The Tramway Museum Society, incorporated in England with liability by guarantee (no. 744229). Registered charity number 313615. Our ICO number is Z6700136.