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Heritage tram service on the Ramleh line in Alexandria

© Dirk Budach

The only surviving first-generation tramway on the African continent is the network in the Egyptian port city of Alexandria, which consists of a city network and several suburban lines of the so-called Ramleh lines.

The fleet is composed quite differently by various new and second-hand purchases. On the Ramleh lines, only Japanese-made three-car trainsets from the 1980s and 1990s have been used in scheduled services for a long time, and additionally some of the Ukrainian new trams built by Tatra-Yug, which have been procured since 2018. However, on the instructions of the city administration, the transport authority rather lavishly restored one of the few remaining older tramcars of the Ramleh lines as a heritage car for tourist excursions. This four-axle car no. 602 was rebuilt out of the 501-517 series, which the Swiss machine factory Oerlikon had delivered to Egypt in 1925. It survived the end of scheduled service in the early 1980s as a shunting car in the depot.

Terminus near Place Saad Zaghloul, left: heritage service with tram 601, right: new Tatra-Yug on line 36 which operates on the city network on continues over the Ramleh line tracks | © Dirk Budach

This special service started on 6 October 2020. The tramcar runs daily from about 1pm to 9pm on the line 2, with departures approximately every 90 minutes from the central Place Saad Zaghloul on the edge of the old town centre. For a ride normal fare is charged – an experience not only for all visitors to the city, who should also not shy away from a round trip in one of the ex-Copenhagen Düwag trams still in use on the city network.

More about Alexandria’s tramway system here:

© Dirk Budach