Ultra Swank - Retro Adventures

The Last Day of the Trams – A Transportation Mode of the Past

Written by Christopher Alm • April 21st, 2006
The Last Day of the Trams – A Transportation Mode of the Past

Another scene from Gustav Adolf’s square

Trams are a thing of the past. Nowadays, they have been replaced by buses, subways or cars. There’ something about trams that invokes our imagination (and perhaps a more romantic side as well).

Sweden have had its share of trams. At least five of the major cities that had them. Stockholm was one of them, but the Stockholm transport authority decided to remove them when Sweden switched from left side, to right side traffic in 1967. The cost of replacing cars and what not would have been too big.

Malmö (third biggest city in Sweden) on the other hand, decided to convert their remaining stock to right side traffic, which prolonged the tram service until 1973, when it was decided that too few people used the remaining lines and cars.

The transport authority felt that buses were cheaper and easier to maintain. I have been lucky enough get hold of some photos taken on the last day of the tram service in Malmö, April 27, 1973. I’ve always felt that a tram service in a city makes it more alive and more pleasant. But I guess, it really is a thing of the past.

Above, a video showing the trams in Malmö, Sweden between 1964 and 1973.

Above: Interior view from one of the cars

Above: A tram passing by a now defunct Domus store

Christopher Alm

Christopher founded Ultra Swank in 2005. Has a crush on mid-century graphic design, defunct airlines, Disneyland and the Century 21 Exposition. Is a collector of easy listening music from the 60s and 70s and a Swedish expat living in Barcelona, Spain.

Find out more about Christopher Alm

  • mrdantefontana

    Whoa! My town. I didn’t grow up in Malmö so I can’t say I remember how it was back then. Great photos. I moved to Malmö in beginning of the ’90s. But I have been to “Malmö Spårvagns Museum” (the Tram Museum of Malmö). Back then that museum was run more or less on private initiative by a couple of nice elderly gentlemen (formerly tram drivers as I remember it).

    Trams were (and are) a nice ingredient in the architectue of the city. But I still have problems coming to cities where they still have trams. I am alway close to be hit by one of them. They are rather unpredictable… ;-)

  • P-E Fronning

    Get glasses mr DF! Unpredictable?! rams run on tracks! ;)

  • P-E Fronning

    Trams det är vad det är! Trams!!!

  • mrdantefontana

    Fronning – I already have glasses than you. Trams are still unpredictable. Cool but dangerous vehicles.

  • P-E Fronning

    Bigger glasses, MrDF, bigger glasses!

  • Muse

    Thanks for these shots!
    Once upon a time here in the midwest were “interurbans” and I’ve run across some old slides of those.
    Am putting time aside to get them up on my other blog.
    Thanks & Cheers from the US!

  • scamps

    Boston, Massachusetts still has trams. Our subway system has four lines, and the Green Line is actually a tram system. There’s a few newer cars, so I don’t think it’ll be going anywhere anytime soon.

  • Anonymous

    I would just like to point out that Gothenburg (Göteborg), Sweden still has trams.

  • mai

    Go to Tallinn (Estonia). There are also trams :)

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