Netherlands - Tram services over obscure routes
Some tram systems advertise their depot workings and enable one to ascertain the regular use by passenger-carrying services of junctions or sections of line that do not otherwise see public service. This occasional series lists such services that have come to notice. While the data for each system is current at the date stated, it is not the intention to endeavour to keep every entry up to date at every service change - the listing serves as a guide for travellers as to the sort of services they can look out for, enabling them to check current published timetable material at their time of travel.
To assist in tracing services, the route and/or timetable number for each journey is shown in parentheses, e.g. (1). Days of operation are in English notation (respectively: Su, M, T, W, Th, F, S) - plus "O" for only, "X" for excepted. Su (Sundays) usually includes public holidays in mainland Europe - but check locally.
Listings for other systems throughout the world - in the same format as shown below (please include date of timetable validity) - will always be welcomed.
Timetables dated 14 December 2008
Although various depot workings use lines and curves not in public service, none is advertised in the current timetables. On Koninginnedag (celebration of the Queen's birthday, a public holiday, 30 April) there are no trams in the inner area of the city, so amended and special services operate, including the use of curves not otherwise regularly used in public service. Details obtainable locally in April.
Den Haag: HTM
Timetables and maps dated 13 December 2015
Although various depot workings use lines and curves not in public service, none is advertised in the current timetables. Route 10 no longer operates. The westernmost of the two routes between Den Haag HS and Central stations is currently closed while a bridge is replaced. Re-opening is expected in May 2015 when some of the tram routes may resume running this way.
Den Haag City Tours
In 2016 The Haags Openbaar Vervoer Museum (HOVM - The Hague Public Transport Museum) operates City tours with historic trams on a Sunday at various times of the year. These usually take about 90 minutes and can cover a number of non-passenger curves with those going up to the coast connecting between Routes 1, 9 and 11. These "packages" usually include access to the HOVM museum with a snack and soft drink in the café there. Details and booking is via the HOVM website at the link "Arrangementen". Pre-booking is required and prices range from 13 to 15 Euro for basic tram tours up to about 23 Euro for longer [5 hours] or one including a boat trip.
From 2014 the more upmarket Hoftrammm has run a “culinary” tram 4-course dining trip around Den Haag and environs covering sections of lines 1, 9 & 11. This normally lasts more than two hours and costs about 75 Euro. This uses an upgraded HTM 3-section tram [#3035], which has had a “...professional kitchen and toilet...” added. The tram starts and finishes the trip at a special stop on a non-passenger loop adjacent and east of “Rond de Grote Kerk”. Pre- Booking is advised at the Hoftrammm website as the trips book up quickly. When not in use the tram is stored at the HOVM museum.
Timetables dated early 2016
Although various depot workings use lines and curves not in public service, short working trams just appear and disappear in the tables with no footnotes advising if in passenger service off route so it is assumed such workings are all "not in service". Rail replacement and other upgrade work at the east end of line 7 means the section from the triangle south of Boezemsingel to Erasmus Universiteit is closed and trams are diverted to terminate at Oostplein over a section normally without regular service; at least until the end of March 2017.
Sparse or rare sections of track can be covered on the following
Rotterdam City Tours
In 2015 on Wednesday to Sunday between 1 July & 30 August and from 1 September to 25 October on Friday to Sunday, Vintage Tram route 10 runs seven 65 minute one way round "circular" journeys which covered three sections of line and five curves not done by regular services. The fare is a "Hop on - Hop off" day ticket but is only valid on this Service. www.lijn10.nl.
The Brazzo Restaurant Snerttram runs as another circular tram tour apparently operating all year round, usually at weekends. The circa 90 minute trip starts and finishes at tram stop Boezemstraat on Route 7 outside the Brazzo Restaurant, costs 15 Euro and includes a hot snack. It covers a number of non-passenger curves, goes south of the river over the spectacular Erasmus bridge before using the Feyenoord Stadium turn back loop to return north to the start point. Booking can be made via the website.
Rotterdam Centraal clockwise loop
Route 20 running only Monday to Friday terminates here and from the current stop would use two rare curves on departure to regain line of route. It would run between approximately 07.15/09.15 & 14.15/18.30 on this section and note Route 12 running only before and after football matches at Feyenoord Stadium would also do a circuit here but trams were seen running non-stop and empty on the balancing to/from stadium workings.
Bachplein - Harreweg [Woudhoek]
Route 21 in the Western suburbs is not an all day service, and runs only until 18.45 all days and from 11.45 on Sundays on this section