Worldwide Tram Market Review – 2014

The Cardinal posts hereAi??the schedule ofAi??Worldwide Tram orders as of March 2014, courtesy of Tramways & Urban Transit

Manufacturer City’s Orders Options Sub-Total Orders Pending
OrdersAi?? Options
Alstom Aubagne, Avignon, Bordeaux, Constantine, Cuenca, Dubai, Montpellier, Nottingham, Ottawa, Oran, Paris, Rio, SAi??tif, Sidi Bel AbbA?s, SNCF, Toulouse 374 214
AnsaldoBreda Genova, Firenza, Kayseri, Zhuhai 70 7
Astra Arad 24 51
Bombardier Antwerp, Basle, Berlin, Brussels, Essen, Frankfurt am Main, Ghent, Gold Coast, Halle, Karlsruhe, Krefeld, Linz, Manchester, Melbourne, Mexico City, Mulheim, Nanjing. Plauen, Rotterdam, Suzhou, Toronto, Waterloo-Kitchener, Vienna 802 128
Brookville Dallas 2 2
CAF Birmingham, BesanAi??on, Budapest, Cagliari, CuiabA?, Cincinnati, Debrecen, Freiburg, Houston, Kansas City, Kaohsiung, Stockholm, Sydney, Tallinn 257 144
CNR Dalian Manila 48 0
CSR Tangshan Samsun 5 0
CSR Zhuzhou Izmir, Guangzhou 37 0
Durmazlar Bursa 10 0
Inekon Almaty, Olomouc, Seattle, Tashkent 70 21
Kinkisharyo Los Angeles 175 97
PESA Gdansk, Katowice, Krakow, Moscow,Ai?? Pavlodar, Sofia, Torun,Ai?? Warsaw 383 6
Siemens Calgary, Charlotte,Ai?? Den Haag, Doha,Ai?? Minneapolis, Munich, Portland, San Diego, Vienna 282 0
Solaris Braunschweig, Jena, Olgztyn 38 0
Ai??koda Bratislava, Konya, Miskolc, Prague 153 30
Stadler Basel, Bergen, Bochum, Croydon, Potsdam, St Gallen, Stuttgart 102 0
Vossloh Chemnitz, Chengdu, Gmunden, Hannover, Karlsruhe, Leeds/Sheffield, Rostock, Santos, Wuppertal 240 98
Transtech Helsinki 40 95
United Streetcars Portland, Tuscon, Washington 12 0
3124 893 1619
Total Orders 5636

Memo to theAi?? infantile trollsAi??retained by Translink, please take note of the figures in the above table.

Fifteen months ago one of the twins said:

“Worldwide, I would expect the number of metros is closer to that of trams and LRT. What is for certain, is that the number of people who use metros far exceeds the number who use trams and LRT.”


…Ai??hardly correct to say that was it?


9 Responses to “Worldwide Tram Market Review – 2014”
  1. Rico says:

    Total annual ridership for all North American light rail and tram systems 974,661,800 (summed from Wiki)
    Total annual ridership for just the New York subway 1,655,000,000
    Beijing has 3,209,000,000. There are 154 metro systems listed in Wiki…..I think you get the picture. Feel free to apologize.
    Just for kicks Vancouver is #74 in annual ridership for metro systems on the list at 120,000,000.

    Zwei replies: TransLink and BC Transit have always fudged ridership numbers on its mini-metro systems upwards by as much as 20%. This is easy for them to do, unlike American and European transit operations are audited by the government to ensure accurate numbers. Not so for BC as the government welcomes higher numbers to justify the expenditure for SkyTrain and the and the Canada line.

  2. Rico says:

    Not much of an appology.

  3. Richard says:

    Metros have about 7 times the ridership of light rail and streetcars in the States.

    Probably similar in Canada. In Toronto, the subway has over a million riders per day while the streetcar has aronnd 300,000. The Montreal Metro has around a million riders per day. I don’t think they have any LRT or streetcar.

    In Europe too, metros typically have much higher ridership than streetcars then there is China.

    Zwei replies: Just about all the German transit specialists I have talked to have warned about the North American penchant for subways. Subways are built when ridership demands long trains and thus must be grade separated. The notion that subways automatically increases both capacity and ridership is dangerous fantasy and we must remember that SkyTrain was devised and the end of the streetcar era, to mitigate the high costs of subways in Toronto. Modern LRT made light metro obsolete over night.

  4. Rico says:

    You only list one reason for grade seperation. I am sure an ‘expert’ like yourself is aware of other reasons for grade seperation and how they impact ridership….little things like reliability (dependant on corridor), ability to have frequent headways at higher speeds (not possible if you are crossing lots of at grade intersections), and for busy automated metros lower operating costs per rider.

    Zwei replies: Rico, that argument is so 1970’s it smells. Grade separation does not improve ridership, rather it deters it because of widely spaced stations. Modern LRT runs very reliably and automatic operation costs a lot more to operate than systems with drivers. You are so full of bullshit Rico that to call yourself an expert is laughable. If SkyTrain is so good, why does no one buy it?

  5. Rico says:


    I had hoped you would be able to read the tongue and cheek into my comment in the other thread. I am not a transit expert any more than you are.

    ‘Modern LRT runs very reliably and automatic operation costs a lot more to operate than systems with drivers.’ As per the discussion on the previous thread this is an easy number to check from a variety of sources…..and what do you know…..I call bullshit. Vancouvers operating/maintainance cost per boarding is one of the lowest (if not the lowest) in North America (if I cared enough I would look for current numbers from Calgary which is the only system that may have lower costs in North America). If you like and can cite a variety of sources (there may be some error as the sources do not compare across all systems but different sources compare across different peer groups)….but apparently you don’t believe in citing sources……

  6. Haveacow says:

    Actually both the subway/metro and the LRV market are big winners. Bombardier for example, 3000+ Flexity LRV’s delivered or on order with options for a minimum of 500+. While the their subway /metro market has about 3500 of their Movia multiple unit metro trains delivered or on order. The metro numbers are larger because they got a 1200 unit order from London. They also have options for about 800 trains. My point is Zwei is right about that in North America and Europe are pretty much tapped out when the metro/subway market is considered, except for line extensions, new train sets and the occasional new line. Mainly due to the basic fact that, they have been building them for a long time and the enormous systems in very large cities are not feasible today unless you are ready to spend massive amounts of money. Huge systems in Europe and North America (London, New York, Paris et al) were built with labor rules and pay levels that well, are criminal today. The Light Rail market is growing because it can be used in the less dense or new frontiers society communities,(the technical names for suburbs in Canada, USA, Australia and New Zealand).

    Asia has become a haven for new metro lines because so few communities could build them up until know. The market for this level of service has not been fully played out. However, as China’s economy slows down from double digit growth and their over reliance on exporting instead of further developing their internal economy has flooded the export market and record high inventory continues to grow, their astonishing amount of metro line construction has finally started to decline. Whereas India’s metro construction continues to grow because the market is mostly untapped. Light Rail systems as we recognise them, are built in Asia but are rare due to the basic high demand of metro projects but, I believe that will also change in time.

    What is really dying in North America and Western Europe is the light metro market. The change in building of light Rail vehicles that carry the same or much more than the traditional light metro vehicle and technology that mimics all the extra capabilities that used to be associated specifically with light metro technology has severely hampered sales. Don’t believe me ask Bombardier or Siemens representatives, at the next transit industry convention in your town. Even BRT is having the same effect on the light metro market. Is the BRT technology better than light metro technology? No overall , in my opinion, but it sure is cheaper and that usually is more than enough for the transit skeptics. So yes it makes sense subways right now metro have bigger numbers, they move more people per vehicle and have been around longer than light Rail. Outside of Europe and North America metros still rule for now, but as markets in Asia slow I believe LRT will grow there and metros construction will decline.

  7. Swiss Tony says:

    Like your analysis Haveacow, you’ve confirmed my own assessment of the current worldwide light metro market.

  8. Rico says:

    Hi Swiss Tony,

    Just for you with the Swiss moniker….look no further than Lausanne…light metro….with a further light metro line planned….Lausanne is not a big city….(to be honest I would not have thought any Swiss cities except for Zurich were large enough for a Metro system and Zurich with its extensive S-Bahn system (which has taken over many of the functions a metro would do and has extensive tunnel and elevated sections) and compact central city and willingness to ensure transit priority does not really need a subway although it has subway and raised segments on some of its tram lines.)

  9. Ludimila says:

    I would suggest a cpuloe of T68 be retained for towing duties. After 3045 became a total failure last week when operating in sardine can mode, its sudden shuddering halt threw several passengers on to the laps of others. Fortunately the incident occured between St Peters Square and Deansgate but the vehicle was stuck there for over an hour while one man in van attempted repairs. This affair thus prevented all services to the South being stopped and it made me think that had a recovery vehicle been based at Old Trafford it could have been despatched wrong line and recovered the failure and thus reduced the delay to other services by a considerable amount. To conclude the tale 3045 had lighting restored after about 45 mins and eventually power was sort of restored to the motors and it then moved at a snailspace with alarms sounding to Old Trafford.