The Tatra trams from the former Czechoslovakia dominated the streets of the GDR. The robust railways made it as far as North Korea. In Dresden, several trains have been preserved as museum railways – which is currently proving to be a great advantage.

After the end of the GDR, East Germans quickly exchanged their Trabis and Wartburgs for VW Golfs and Opel Astras. Just get rid of the old stuff was the motto. In Saxony’s “Florence on the Elbe” Dresden, people are now happy that they have kept a piece of their own history to this day: the Tatra trams from the old GDR era, some of which were still in service after the reunification until 2010 and then rolled onto the museum track , must return to active duty. They were built between 1967 and 1984.

A total of four trains operate on lines 3 and 9 during the day. One remains in reserve and serves as a replacement vehicle. Depending on the availability of light rail, the use ends with the start of the holiday timetable, but in autumn at the latest, ”the Dresden public transport company announced on its website. The reason for the use is of course not joy in vintage technology or nostalgia: “The reason for the renaissance of the Tatras is the slightly higher vehicle requirement for our lines, as there are currently many construction sites. Added to this is the currently problematic spare parts situation. The manufacturers cannot supply some components, such as the required power converters, because the world market for electronic components is empty,” the transport company continued.

Alongside the Hungarian “Ikarus” buses, the Tatra trams formed the backbone of local public transport in the former GDR. They were built in Czechoslovakia (now the Czech Republic). The models built in the 70s and 80s with their striking angular shape and large windows were particularly popular. Some types were built until the 1990s. The Tatra models are considered to be robust and not prone to errors. Dresden’s trams were modernized in the mid-1990s. However, they are only suitable for modern local transport to a limited extent – mainly because they are not low-floor trains and wheelchair users cannot board directly from the edge of the platform.

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