The Anonymous Widower

The Latest Citylink Tram-Trains In Karlsruhe

These pictures show some of the latest batch of NET2012 Citylink Tram-Trains in dervice In Karlsruhe.

They are closely related to the Class 399 tram-trains for Sheffield, that I wrote about in My First Pictures Of A Class 399 tram-train.

They were good trams and rode well on the streets of Karlsruhe.

Note that the trams I photographed are only some of the latest batch of twenty-five tram-trains of this type in Karlsruhe. So the basis of the Class 399 tram-train, must surely be well-proven on the streets of a city about the same size as Sheffield.

Incidentally, all of the new tram-trains were running on tram routes, just as the first Class 399 tram-trains will in Sheffield, when they start running in a few months.

But their profile and nose section is slightly different between the two variants. Compare the pictures from Karlsruhe, with this visualisation of a Class 399 tram/train from the Stadler data sheet.

Class 399 Tram/Train Visualisation

Class 399 Tram/Train Visualisation

Note the lack of a coupling, as I don’t think Sheffield’s trams will work in pairs.

This second gallery was taken as I rode another of the new trams back to Karlsruhe station?

Note that the non-driving end of the tram converts into four seats with panoramic views to the rear of the tram.

Will we be seeing this feature in Sheffield?

I think it is too radical and although the design is common in Germany, I can’t see the Department of Transport allowing this passenger friendly feature.

But if it is possible and built into the tram-trains delivered to Sheffield, why shouldn’t it be used? Surely, as the tram-trains go there merry way around Sheffield and Rotherham, there must be some entertaining things to look at, out of the back of a tram!

Overall, I can see the Class 399 tram-train becoming a very popular vehicle in the UK.

  • It is a modern, low-floor tram.
  • It is a capable, electric multiple unit.
  • It has a comfortable, if rather crowded at times, ride.
  • The newer tram-trains are wheelchair-accessible.
  • The passengers I spoke too, seemed to like the tram-trains.
  • Longer trains can be created, by coupling units together.
  • It is not an unproven concept on the streets and tracks of several German cities.
  • Seventy-five tram-trains of this type and earlier variants, run in Karlsruhe alone.
  • The major difference is that the Germans use 15 kVAC overhead wires for their trains and we use a more-standard 25 kVAC.
  • Karlsruhe seems to have developed extensive solutions to make the train-platform transition an easy one for all passengers.

All it needs is for a successful trial between Sheffield and Rotherham.

May 14, 2016 - Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , ,


  1. They look very smart – much smarter than the ones in Manchester – although to be fair, I haven’t had much to do with Manchester’s, since I can’t take my scooter on them.

    Comment by nosnikrapzil | May 18, 2016 | Reply

  2. […] my recent trip to Karlsruhe, I rode the German version of the Class 399 tram-train and wrote The Latest Citylink Tram-Trains In Karlsruhe. I said […]

    Pingback by The Great Sheffield Tram-Train Mystery « The Anonymous Widower | April 25, 2017 | Reply

  3. […] went to Karlsruhe to see The Latest Citylink Tram-Trains In Karlsruhe, as they are similar to those being introduced in […]

    Pingback by Summing Up Karlsruhe’s Tram-Trains « The Anonymous Widower | June 2, 2017 | Reply

  4. […] connected at the two main stations. After all the Class 399 tram-trains, which are UK versions of The Latest Citylink Tram-Trains In Karlsruhe, will be running through the centre of […]

    Pingback by Building A Tram-Train Tunnel In Karlsruhe « The Anonymous Widower | January 10, 2022 | Reply

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