A long time tramming

Vienna has one of the best public transport systems in the world.  I live in one of the outer districts, and yet I can make it into downtown in under half an hour, including walking time.    Yesterday I got to find out more about the long history of trams and public buses in Vienna during an #instawalk with @igersvienna.  We were invited by Wiener Linien to visit the Traffic Museum Remise (Verkehrsmuseum Remise).

The old trams are still in operating condition and can be rented for special events.

Among other things, we saw the first horse-drawn tram from 1868 (!), the so-called “American” tram from the post-World War II years, and even a very infamous bus that had fallen into the Danube when the Reichsbrücke collapsed in 1976, was lifted out and then continued to be used for quite a number of years!   The first buses began transporting people through Vienna in 1907, by the way.

This one was originally designed to be drawn by horses. In 1902 it was adapted for electrical operation.



In addition to original vehicles (in mint condition) from various eras, numerous themed interactive displays provide interesting information about the Viennese public transport system, from trams and buses to the U-Bahn (underground).  One can walk into some of the original vehicles on display.


Today´s modern trams feature low floors (for easy stroller and wheelchair access),  panoramic windows, electronic controls, automatic door control, signal registration, and remote voice transmission to the control center.   Things were a bit less direct in the early days, but there was communication and control nevertheless.

Not an organ – rather an old-fashioned signal box for the city light rail, for the Nußorf Stadtbahn station.

Gone are the days of hard wooden benches, conductor booths, and wood-framed windows, at least on regular routes.  (You can rent an old-fashioned tram for special events though.)

There was once a South-East train station in Vienna, and a tram to take you there.

There are several interesting buses too, including one of my favourites, the double-decker buses I remember from my childhood (I used to ride the line 13a sometimes, which then was a double-decker bus, and I loved sitting on top).   Double-decker buses were discontinued after 1991.

Wait, who is driving that doubledecker bus?
Stairs leading up to the top floor in a double-decker bus

Too bad they don´t have those anymore, but of course they were not wheelchair accessible and not nearly as spacious as today´s fleet.

Isn´t it a beauty? Imagine going up the Kahlenberg mountain in one of these “Wiener Schnauze” buses from 1949.
Later bus models were rather less charming. “It swerves”, says the warning sign.


The tram museum, Ottakring edition

A tram museum has existed in Vienna since the 1970s.  The collection “Viennese Tramwaymuseum” opened in 1972 and was housed in two halls of the operating station Ottakring until 1986.  It contained a nearly complete collection of all important types Viennese means of transport, from sedan chair to horse-drawn tram, from steam-powered trams from the early 19th century, to the first Viennese articulated tramcar from 1957, and urban light rail (Stadtbahn) vehicles from 1925 and 1954, etc.  The museum quickly ran out of space though, and eventually moved to its current location in Erdberg.

There is something about railroad tracks that I find really appealing.

Visiting the Vienna transport museum

You can visit the Verkehrsmuseum in the historic tram parking in the Erdberg region (reachable of course by public transport) on Wednesdays from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and on Saturdays, Sundays, and public holidays, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

The Vienna Transport Museum Remise is located at Ludwig-Koessler-Platz, 1030 Vienna.

By the way, if you have a Niederösterreich Card or a Vienna Pass (for visitors) you can visit for free.

Thank you for the special tour, Igersvienna!

Instagrammers having fun at the Verkehrsmuseum Remise.
Some of us tend to like the view from close to the ground 😉




Website of the Wienerlinien

Website of the Wiener Tramwaymuseum

Busverkehr in Wien (Wikipedia)


(I have to say it, apparently: This blog post contains unpaid brand mentions.)

2 thoughts on “A long time tramming

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