Trams in Lisbon
|Lisbon tramway network|
A Lisbon Tram stopped at Praça do Comércio
The first tramway in Lisbon entered service on 17 November 1873, as a horsecar line. On 30 August 1901, Lisbon's first electric tramway commenced operations. Within a year, all of the city's tramways had been converted to electric traction.
Until 1959, the network of lines continued to be developed, and in that year it reached its greatest extent. At that time, there were 27 tram lines in Lisbon, of which six operated as circle lines. As the circle lines operated in both clockwise and anticlockwise directions, each with its own route number, it is more correct to speak of a total of 24 tram routes, all of them running on 900 mm (2 ft 11 7⁄16 in) narrow gauge tram lines.
The current lines are:
- 12 - Praça da Figueira → Miradouro de Santa Luzia circular route (clockwise only)
- 15 - Praça da Figueira ↔ Belém ↔ Algés
- 18 - Cais do Sodré railway station ↔ Cemitério da Ajuda
- 24 - Praça Luís de Camões ↔ Campolide
- 25 - Rua Alfândega ↔ Campo de Ourique (Prazeres)
- 28 - Praça Martim Moniz ↔ Graça ↔ Estrela ↔ Campo de Ourique (Prazeres)
The six remaining lines operate in the southern centre and west of the city only. Aside from the obvious tourist attraction, those lines are still very important because sections of the city's topography can only be crossed by small trams. Tram 15 also connects the entire western riverfront of the city to the centre and allows a better link for passengers with the bus system towards an area that still is not served by the metro.
Although reports prepared by both the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne and the Verkehrsbetriebe Zürich concluded that the network should be retained and even extended, the process of decline continued until 1997, with the closing of the Alto de São João branch and the Arco Cego depot. By that time, many trams were destroyed or sold to other companies. In the following twenty years, there was only one change to the system, with the shortening of Line 18 to Cais do Sodré.
In an apparent reversal of policy, the mayor (president of the city council) of Lisbon, Fernando Medina, announced in December 2016 that tram 24 would be restored to service in 2017 between Cais do Sodré and Campolide, saying that it was a mistake to reduce the city's network of electric trams and that work would be undertaken to reconstruct it.
Carris originally said this was not a priority, but its 2018 Activity and Budget Plan provides for the purchase in 2020-2021 of:
- 10 more remodelados to augment the current historical fleet and reopen line 24 between Cais do Sodré and Campolide, at a cost of €8 million;
- 20 more articulated trams to extend line 15 eastwards to Santa Apolónia station and the Parque de Nações, at a cost of €50 million.
On 24 April 2018, Line 24 was reopened, albeit initially between Camões and Campolide only. Track connections to the rebuilt loop at Cais do Sodré and some other track issues between Camões and Cais do Sodré will need to be attended to before operation to Cais do Sodré is possible.
The tram fleet has fallen in size from 57 in 2012 to 48 in 2016. Vehicles used are:
- Luso pages, Lisbon Trams, Part Two: Trams of The Past.
- Luso pages, Lisbon Trams, Part One: Trams of Today.
- Cardoso, Margarida David. (2016-12-15) "Eléctrico 24 vai estar de volta às ruas de Lisboa e as obras já começaram." https://www.publico.pt/2016/12/15/local/noticia/electrico-24-vai-estar-de-volta-as-ruas-de-lisboa-e-as-obras-ja-comecaram-1754996. Retrieved 2016-12-18 (in Portuguese).
- Faria Moreira, Cristiana (24 April 2018). "Pedido pelos lisboetas, o 24 voltou e logo se encheu de turistas" [On request by the Lisboans, the 24 returned and it was soon filled with tourists]. Público (in Portuguese). Sonae SGPS, S.A. Retrieved 2018-04-28.
- Lisboa tram route reinstated after 23 years Metro Report International 27 April 2018