When in 1924 the company “City Tramways Breslau” (SSB – Städtische Strassenbahn Breslau) took over its last competitor, at its disposal was only obsolete and dilapidated rolling-stock. The management of the company decided to order a set of modern vehicles. The factory, owned by Linke and Hofmann (LHW – Linke-Hofmann Werke), was charged with the production while the project was prepared by a constructional office with the help of K. Lüdecke – the exploitation director in SSB. At that stage of project not only the knowledge of LHW engineers and Lüdecke was helpful, but also the experience of Wrocław’s other works – the factory owned by Gustaw Trelenberg, which in 1907 created the first in Germany attached tram-car with a fully steel construction.
In 1924 LHW prepared a prototype tram, which won a few prizes at the communication exhibition in Seddin. In this construction, engineers used some American inventions such as steel frame, divided windows and rounded roof without skylight. On the base of this construction, especially for Wrocław, were created the “Standard” type trams. The name means that they were thought to become the most popular vehicles in Silesia’s capital city.
232 motor trams were ordered. This time with the production were charged the Linke-Hofmann factory (later “Pafawag”) and the Trelenberg’s factory (now “Hutmen”). SSB was receiving the new trams between 1925 and 1929. They got numbers from 1001 to 1232. Last 50 tram-cars without electric machinery were used only as attached coaches.
The “Standard” type tram is a two-axle, two-sided and two-way vehicle. It is 9600 mm long, 2100 mm wide and 3250 mm high. Because platforms are the most often damaged parts of tram-car in accidents they were made from wood covered with thin sheet metal for easier repairs. On the sides, the thicker sheet metal is fastened with rivets. The roof was covered with nautical linen. The new trams were equipped with two 28 kW engines constructed by SSW and AEG and four sand- sprayers. The vehicle had two types of breaks: electrical and manual (block breaks). The comfort of traveling was also ensured by special springs.
The futuristic shape of the coach was so popular that Linke-Hofmann Werke used similar stylistics while modernising older trams. What was new, “Standards” had many smaller windows, while former models had just 3 or 4 pairs of wide windows. In this type of trams there were 9 pairs of windows divided into two parts, which also considerably speeded up repairs. In the first and last pair windows were smaller than other. At first all the coaches were painted in the ivory colour, typical colour for pre-war Wrocław’s trams.
The spacious interior of the coach was decorated with wood. There was room for 47 people, but there were only 21 seating places arranged in 7 rows in a scheme 2+1. The seats were upholstered with plush. Worth mentioning is the fact that the back of most seats can be moved to enable the passengers to always travel forward. During World War II the number of seats was reduced to 16 (there were seats on only one side of the tram, on the other side only two seats were left). At the same time extra handles were installed, which finally increased the number of standing places. Moreover, the seats were now wooden, not upholstered with plush.
Most of the trams survived the war, however in 1949 15 “Standards” and 25 coaches of “Maximum” type were transported, as many other valuable things, to Warsaw. As before 1956 Wrocław did not receive new, post-war trams, pre-war coaches were still used. What is interesting, they were in some aspects better than the tram-cars produced in The People’s Republic of Poland. Trams in the ivory colour could be seen only till 1947 when they were all painted blue. From 1952 all trams in Poland had to be red, although from 1971 Wrocław’s ones were painted in blue and cream colour.
Trams of “Standard” type are an inseparable part of Wrocław’s history. It was a modern, comfortable and silent vehicle. In the project new trends and technical innovations were used. “Standards” transported few generations of Wrocławians from 1925 to 1977. From 232 coaches only few survived.
The Linke-Hofmann Standard tram is a two-axle, two-sided (door on both sides) and bidirectional vehicle (driver stands on both platforms). The steel structure of the chassis through the use of several degrees of suspension (it is worth te emphasize the separate springing of the body against the chassis) allowed for very good cooperation of the wheelsets with the track surface, which had a direct impact on the comfort of travel. The use of a steel body structure was rare among the tram manufacturers of the time in Germany. The openwork frame of the wagon is based of rolled steel profiles. The spoke wheelsets were mounted on rolling bearings (quickly replaced with slide bearings, or roller bearings were only planned at the design stage, and plain bearings were used immediately). The wheels have a diameter of 762 mm. The axle boxes are fork-mounted. The first stage of springback consists of rigid, overburden leaf springs. The box rests on the chassis via a second set of leaf springs with inclined hangers equipped with coil springs. The tensions and characteristics of the springs are selected in such a way that only the coil springs work with a small load on the wagon, and only high loads and sudden impacts are taken over by the second stage leaf springs. Only the maximum load and overloads are absorbed by the overloading springs. The wheelbase is 2,500 mm and the smallest permissible curve radius is 18 m.
The tram with the rolling stock number 1192 comes from the end of the production of cars of this type, i.e. from 1929. In 1993, it underwent a cursory renovation at the then organised Museum of Public Transport, during which the outer shell of the sides was slightly refreshed, giving them the colours applicable in the years 1952–1970 (the window part is white and the lower part is dark red). It was to be used for tourist journeys. It was operational in 1996, but then the transmission was damaged. Elements of this tram (both some chassis components and some interior fittings) were used to repair a car of the same type with the rolling stock number 1217. Since then, the vehicle #1192 has remained inoperative. In 1998, the tram was entered in the register of monuments.
On the basis of an agreement with the Commune of Wrocław, the Urban Transport Enthusiasts Club took over the care of the car. The vehicle has been secured, cleaned and is awaiting renovation. Due to the state of preservation and the presence of many original elements of the equipment, the wagon is suitable for a comprehensive renovation intended as a moving exhibit. It is planned to restore it according to the condition from around 1948 (engine car after post-war renovation). For this purpose, the elements added after 1948 (e.g. skylights on the platforms) must be removed, the shape of the platforms from that period should be restored (without the original rounding), as well as other elements of equipment need to be recreated (e.g. round number plates, rotating directional boards, porcelain interior lighting fixtures, control panels, wooden seats, oak panelling of the vehicle interior, wooden floor, brass door handles, bells and fittings). The chassis should be black, and the sides of the car – cream (upper part, window part) and blue (lower part) with the ZKmW emblem and white inscriptions.
|Total number of passengers||75|
|Number of seats||12|
|Netto weight||13500 kg|
|Engine power||2 x 60kW|