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It was in Germany that some of the earliest pioneering efforts to operate electric tramways occurred, with the Lichterfelde line in Berlin dating back to 1881. This line was engineered by Werner von Siemens, whose name was to become synonymous with making of the most important innovations in the use of electric traction.


From these small beginnings the tramcar – as elsewhere in Europe – came to be the dominant form of urban transport in many German towns and cities during the early decades of the 20th century. The devastation wrought by World War 2 saw many systems seriously damaged or destroyed but, unlike Britain and France, many of the surviving German systems were rebuilt and restored with new vehicles replacing the old.


As a result – in both East and West Germany – the tramcar continued to play a pivotal role through the 1950s and 1960s; indeed, many systems still thrive, although a number – such as Flensburg, Hamburg and Kiel – all disappeared.


Drawing upon the extensive collections held by the Online Transport Archive, the vast bulk of which have never been previously published, German Trams in Colour: 1955 - 1975 is a colourful exploration of the many tramway systems, both in the West and East, that operated through to the mid-1970s.


Incorporating some 220 images, the book recalls the great variety of German tramcar that operated during this period. Alongside the trams, the streetscapes portrayed record two nations – following very different paths – in transition following the traumas of defeat in 1945.

German Trams In Colour 1955 - 1975 by Peter Waller


    Binding : Hardback - 160 pages
    Dimensions : 265mm x 230mm portrait
    ISBN : 978 0 9957493 1 3
    Words : 20,000
    Illustrations : 220 colour
    Publication : October 2017


    Author Peter Waller has been involved, since leaving university, in transport publishing and writing for more than 30 years. He is the author of a number of books on transport subjects and, prior to going freelance, was Publisher (Books) at Ian Allan Publishing. He is a Director and Secretary of Online Transport Archive.


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