Independent transport videos welcome you to this, the 12th programme in our German Trams DVD series. In this programme we cover five tramway systems; Heidelberg, Frankfurt am Main, Mainz, Bonn and Köln. All but Bonn have been visited before on previous programmes, so this is an opportunity to update the scene, as this programme was filmed in July 2019. The trams in Heidelberg are operated by RNV (Rhein-Neckar-Verkehr GmbH) who also operate the trams in Mannheim and Ludwigshafen. A common livery of white, orange and dark blue is being introduced across the system. Some older Heidelberg Duewag trams are seen in their former white and pale blue livery. The rolling stock of the system is made up of various types of Duewag and Bombardier RNV6 and RNV8 Variobahn trams.
We begin in Heidelberg at the busy tram interchange at Bismarckplatz. Our cameras then travel to Hans-Thoma-Platz on board former Mannheim Bombardier RNV6 Variobahn 5761, returning to Bismarckplatz on similar, but former OEG 4129. Frankfurt am Main is our next location. The trams are operated by VGF (VerkehrsGesellschaft Frankfurt am Main) and the fleet consists of Duewag R types and Bombardier Flexity Swift trams. Filming begins at the busy Hauptbahnhof tram stop. We take tram rides to Willy-Brandt-Platz, Schweizer/Gartenstraße, Schwanthalerstraße and Lokalbahnhof. On our return to the Hauptbahnhof look out for 1977 built Duewag Pt trams, 128, 138 and 720, 727 in both the current aquamarine livery and the former orange, cream and brown colours! Mainz is our next location where the trams are operated by MVG (Mainzer Verkehrsgesellschaft). This small system operates a mix of Duewag, Adtranz/AEG and Stadler Variobahn trams. Unfortunately at the time of our visit, major track replacement was being undertaken at the Hauptbahnhof meaning that only half the system was operational with buses replacing trams on the other half. We commence filming at the Hauptbahnhof and then we take tram rides on Bombardier Flexity Classic, 202, 234 and 249 to Finthen (Romerquelle), Wilhelm-Raabe-Straße and Bismarckplatz with a return to the Hauptbahnhof. Some tram replacement buses are filmed at Schillerplatz and Schillerstraße. Bonn is our fourth location on this programme. Here the trams are operated by SWB (Stadtwerke Bonn GmbH)/SSB. The fleet is made up of Duewag type R1.1 which are low-floor trams and Duewag B type high-floor light rail trams that operate on both street and light rail – railway alignment routes, lines 16 & 18 operate through to Köln. Stops in the town consist of central platforms with both high and low profiles catering for both types of tramway operation. Filming begins at the busy Bertha-von-Suttner-Platz stop. Our cameras take rides on the Duewag low-floor trams to Bonn Hauptbahnhof, Ramersdorf, Beuel Bahnhof, Beuel Rathaus and Stadthaus. Filming concludes along the busy Oxfordstraße.
Our final destination on this DVD programme is Köln. Here the trams are operated by KVB (Kölner Verkehrs-Betriebe AG). Like Bonn the fleet is made up of both low-floor and high-floor trams and as mentioned above high-floor trams on lines 16 & 18 operate to Bonn. The low-floor fleet is made up of Bombardier Flexity Swift trams, the high-floor fleet are Duewag and Bombardier K5000 Flexity Swift trams. Our filming commences at the main line DB Hauptbahnhof before going underground to see a high-floor Flexity Swift arriving at Breslauer Platz platform. Filming continues at the busy Neumarkt tram stop as well as Hahnenstraße and Rudolfplatz. On the day of filming in Köln the temperature was 40 degrees centigrade so we see tram drivers having bottles of water passed to them. We conclude our filming at Neumarkt with a fine view of maintenance car 6405 a 1966 Duewag formed from cars 3865a and 3869a and is known as the ‘Alte Lady’ (Old Lady).
Produced by - Independent Transport Videos
Running time - 103 minutes
Format - 16:9 Widescreen
Release date - April 2020