In 2022, the Naumburg tramway achieved its best result in regular service since it reopened in 2007: it carried around 217,600 passengers last year. This is a 94 percent increase over the previous year, although in 2021 the numbers were particularily low due to the pandemic. But the comparison with the previous record year of 2019 is also remarkable: The then ridership of 186,000 passengers is now exceeded by 17 percent. This results in an average of almost 600 passengers per day. The months of June, August and September were particularly intense in 2022: The 9-Euro ticket has given the tramway in Naumburg, as well as the entire public transport system throughout Germany, a noticeable boost. But the trend was already evident during spring 2022 and continued: many Naumburg residents and many guests to the city used the tram. The Naumburger Straßenbahn has thus established itself as a reliable connection between the main station and the city center and, with its historic vehicles and good service on board, encourages frequent use.
In other respects, too, a lot has happened at the Naumburg tramway since the end of 2021:
Everyone is talking about digitization, but now it has also found its way into the streetcar in Naumburg. What does that mean in concrete terms? Several measures were included, such as automatic location tracking of the streetcar: In real time, the punctuality is indicated on displays at stops, in the vehicle or on the smartphone. Passengers can thus quickly receive information on delays, cancellations and alternatives. A first sign, visible to passengers, was the installation of digital departure displays at Curt-Becker-Platz and the main train station. There, a system was used for the first time in Saxony-Anhalt that works independently of an expensive power connection via cable with battery operation. The company Axentia from Sweden and the German manufacturer of bus stop furniture MABEG are presenting a joint product here that is already running successfully in Dresden, for example, and is also interesting in design.
Other measures in the field of digitization include the electronic ticket, even though in Naumburg in particular there will still be a ticket with the hole of the conductor’s tongs for a long time. The smartphones that drivers carry with them can already check MDV chip cards. A next step is the HandyTicket, which is being prepared by Nahverkehrsservice Sachsen-Anhalt GmbH (NASA).
An assistance app for the visually and orientation impaired was developed as part of a nationwide project, and the Naumburg streetcar was one of the pilot users in Saxony-Anhalt.
„Ringschluss“: A new circular route
For the time being, however, the so-called „Ringschluss“ – the creation of a new circular route which implies new tracks of 1,5 – 2 km length – has to wait again: The Naumburg tram ran as a circular line until 1991, and such a routing was to be re-established in order to further increase passenger demand. Three variants were examined and presented in a report by the University of Braunschweig as possible future routes. However, the city of Naumburg declined its support in spring 2022 until further notice; there was no political majority in the municipal council for this. Financial considerations were a major factor in this decision. Here you can find more details about the project, which would significantly increase connectivity and attract more passengers to use the small tramway: https://ringbahn-naumburg.de/projekt-ringschluss/
The extension of the tram to the theatre, which was subsequently brought into the discussion, was declined as well. On the other hand, the construction of a passing loop at Jägerplatz should allow a 15-minute interval in the future. At both termini at Hauptbahnhof (main station) and Salztor, passing loops will be built, too, in order to facilitate trailer operation. At all three locations, the former Ringbahn already had passing loop. Funding has been applied for all of these measures, as well as for the renewal of individual track sections.
So the of Naumburg‘s tramway looks bright – ideas and concepts for future traffic management were explained once again at a press conference – and this definitely includes various options for network expansion. The pleasing passenger figures naturally support all these efforts.18.01.2023