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News of Ekaterinburg

Tram movement of Ekaterinburg is 80 years old

6 ноября 2009 22:30

The Ekaterinburg tram and trolleybus department is celebrating the 80th anniversary. The first trams began running along the streets of Sverdlovsk on November, 7th, 1929, it was dated for the 22nd anniversary of the October revolution.

In 1929 newspaper «Uralsky rabochiy» informed: «In the morning on November, 7th, the meeting devoted to start of Sverdlovsk tram was held on the Gipsy square near the tram depot in the semiring of tram-cars. Engineer Egorov managing construction of the tram, informed about main indexes of construction... After meeting the chairman of the Executive Committee of the City Soviet of People's Deputies comrade Bychkova cut the red ribbon blocking tram's way, and one after another to the strains of the wind band 10 tram-cars started running along the streets of the city, welcomed by the demonstrators...»

During the trip sincere exultation was meeting the tram. The pioneers were full dressed. They also participated in construction of the tram: they had gathered so much scrap metal that it was enough to found rails and metal bearing for the whole stage from Kuibyshev Street to Dekabristov Street.
The day of open of tram running is considered to be birth date of Municipal enterprise «Tram and trolleybus department».

How all began

Start of electric urban transport in Ekaterinburg was first discussed in the city Duma in 1896. However the Revolution corrected this plan. In April, 1927 the question about tram construction was put at the session of the new power - Sverdlovsk executive committee. Reaction of deputies was ambiguous, and favorable decision was reached by majority of votes. In August, 1928 the final draft of specifications on building of a tram was confirmed.

In spring of 1929 top-priority project started. The hundreds of daily and seasonal workers, the peasants who had come to earn started to dig foundation ditches along the streets. Carts brought sand and rubble - workers dug foundation pits for sleepers and rails. They worked mainly by hand. Crow-bar and shovel were their main instruments.

In April, 1929 newspaper «Uralsky rabochiy» informs: «according to the plan the first line Railway Station - the Gipsy square (6692 metres of twofold way and 1405 metres of depot line) is being built. Tram-cars will run on direct current. For this purpose special substation with two ignitrons on 300 watt each one in the building of former electric power station «Luch» also is being equipped.

Building of tram depot started at the same time. The leaders of the city and the oblast secured building, the enterprises of oblast and the city also helped building. According to old residents pioneers and members of Young Communist League actively joined in scrap metal gathering for founding of rails and metal bearing.

The problem of provision the future tram with staff was also solved. Initially tram-drivers were enlisted in the cities where the tram had already been constructed. So specialists from Moscow, Voronezh, Nizhniy Novgorod appeared in Sverdlovsk. They trained local personnel, As a rule youth of the list of builders took these courses. Having worked for 10 hours, in the evenings, they mastered unprecedented professions.
In day of the 20th anniversary of the October revolution the meeting devoted to opening of the Sverdlovsk tram was held in the semiring of tram-cars. By opening of the first line 10 motor cars arrived from Mytischinsky factory. Decorated with flags and portraits to the strains of military orchestra eight new trams started their first run from the Gipsy square (nowadays it is the territory of Southern tram depot) to railway station. The first tram was driven by the chief of building Nikolay Aleksandrovich Egorov.

Extension of the first route made 11,6 kilometers, n five years 34 kilometers of tram ways were built, 93 tram-cars served 8 routes.

The Great Patriotic War

In the days of the War the office of cargo transportation was organised at traffic department. The apportioned trams transported flour from mills to bakeries, military production from factories and carried wounded fighters hospitals. About 20 dead-end lines were built for this purpose.

The mechanical factory №2 which had been evacuated from Moscow was located in the territory of car-repair shops of the tram depot. It began producing shells for antitank missiles. About 500 tram workers went to the front. Men were replaced by women and teenagers.

In October, 1942 the factory of chemical mechanical engineering which had been evacuated from Kiev started working in the southern outskirt of the city. The distance to the centre was over 10 kilometers. Transport didn't run. On the basis of the decision of the State committee of Defense, the Sverdlovsk City Council made the decision build trolleybus line. The first turn of a trolleybus line started rapidly - in half a year. On October, 17th, 1943 solemn opening took place. Extension of the first trolleybus route made 9,9 kilometers, and then it began going up - from Frunze Street to Lenin prospectus, then - to Railway station.

Peace time

In post-war years municipal electric transport workers restored impaired management. Collectives were replenished by demobilised soldiers; tram and trolleybus movement began developing promptly.

For today «Tram and trolleybus department» is the largest enterprise of Ekaterinburg numbering about 6000 workers. Extension of a tram ways makes 182 kilometers, trolleybus ways - 160 kilometers. There are 29 tram and 19 trolleybus routes in the city. Daily over half-million of the dwellers - 63 percent of total number of city passengers use electric transport.

And today, as well as 80 years ago, a tram is considered to be democratic, convenient and available to all transport.

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