28 MAY | 150 years of trams in Antwerp

On 25 May 1873 the first horse-drawn tram ran in Antwerp from Meirbrug to St. Willibrord Church in Berchem, which back then was outside of Antwerp. On Sunday 28 May 2023, 150 years later, the Flemish Tram and Bus Museum or Vlaams Tram- en Autobusmuseum (VlaTAM) and heritage umbrella organisation META hold a Tramfest centered in ‘t Eilandje neighbourhood. 

The celebrations aim to attract tram enthusiasts but also the general public. There wil be an old trams parade between the Port House and the Amsterdamstraat and there will be rides

The participating trams are icons that have developed over the years and have helped determine the cityscape. Most historic trams rarely or never leave the museum, but an exception is made for the Antwerp tram festival. 

One of the historic trams will be a horse-drawn omnibus. 

From 1890, fourteen such omnibuses were deployed between the Draakplaats and the disappeared station ‘Land van Waes‘ on Sint-Michielskaai in the South area. Another eye-catcher is the so-called ‘200’. That is the very first electric tram from 1899. From 1901 it would run in Antwerp and serve for forty years.

From horse to electricity

The role of the horse-drawn tram was already played out at the beginning of the last century. To make the trams faster, cheaper and more reliable, electrically powered trams were chosen. World War I and World War II, as well as the rise of the car and bus, put the tram’s success under pressure for quite some time.

But the introduction of the PCC tram, named after the 1929 Presidents’ Conference Committee, gave tram usage a boost. Some of these trams are still running today.

Practical information

3 Comments Add yours

  1. elvira797mx says:

    Those are amazing, thank’s fr share Timothy.
    Have a nice weekend.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Timothy says:

      Yes they’re pretty. Have a lovely weekend, Elvira.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. elvira797mx says:

        Thank’s Timothy.
        You as well.

        Liked by 1 person

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