[ Part 1, Part 2 ]

Tram number 8 ran on Tolstogo St., since 1910, with short breaks, until 1987. At first it linked the downtown district to an area adjacent to the railway station, later on it was extended to the district of Solomenka. It had always been popular with the passengers, but fell victim to socialist economy and city topography.

From 1959 on, one of the termini, at the University station, was a dead end (stub track), since there is no room there for a loop. That was the reason why only double-ended cars, the KTV-55-2 manufactured in Kiev, could be utilized on the line. However, production of those was wrapped up in 1968 due to Soviet Union's obligation as a member of SEV (Council of Mutual Economic Assistance, the trade organization of socialist countries). The cars could well have functioned for more than twenty years, but sooner or later the line had to go. That is what happened on 15 December 1987.

The route number on this MTV-82 car is unintelligible, but it may well be eight. Until 1959 when the line along Vladimirskaya St. was dismantled, the 8 ran from Solomenka all the way up to Bogdan Khmelnitsky Sq., past University, Opera House and Golden Gate.
(Photo by M. Kozlovsky, from Kiev. A Literary-Artistic Almanach, 1957)
Such was the scheme of the 8 during the last twenty or so years of its existence: A dead end at one terminal, a loop at the other one.
(From The Streets of Kiev, 1977)
It's 1985. The next last dead end route, 30, which also required the KTV-55-2 cars, has just been shut down. The cars themselves are still alive but already doomed... They have a little more than two years to go. This 2073 is going towards the uphill line leading to University, forward and slightly to the right.
(Photo © Gordon Stewart, 1985)
The same intersection, Saksaganskogo and Tolstogo, from the other side. In the foreground is the Saksaganskogo line, intersected by Tolstogo, which is where the eight runs; to the left and center are the tracks joining the two lines. Later on, route number 5 will run on these auxiliary tracks, then three more. Nowadays, no tram runs here at all...
(Photo © Gordon Stewart, 1985)
At the very end of the rise towards University. Some thirty meters forward is the last, flat stretch of this line, and another hundred meters away is the dead end.
(Photo © Gordon Stewart, 1985)
The same spot from the opposite side. In the foreground is a car that has almost completed its climb to University, in the background another one around the middle of the descent. In the upper part one can barely see a sign reading, in Ukrainian, "DOWNHILL. SPEED UP TO 10 km/hour." Such signs, too, are gone...
(Photo © Gordon Stewart, 1985)
Car 2076 at the dead end. In a minute it will be going back towards Solomenka...
(Photo © Gordon Stewart, 1985)
2063 at the dead end, "chased" by the next one. The interval during the eight's best years was rather small, and it was quite often that the next car stopped short of the switch and waited for the previous one to emerge from the dead end.
(Photo © Gordon Stewart, 1985)
But then 14 December 1987 came. One of the very last cars on the eight leaves the terminal at Solomenka...
(Photo © Constantin Antonenko, 1987)
Same day, another car on Volgogradskaya St. To the right, the tail of a Tatra is barely visible. That is number 5, which would run here for another fourteen years.
(Photo © Constantin Antonenko, 1987)
Car 2020 was the last one to come back to the depot on that day. A memorial photo... (The inscription, in Ukrainian, reads: "Farewell to the cars of route 8. On the night of 14 to 15 December 1987, at 1:39, driver V.M. Mokritsky for the last time brought car 2020 into the depot".)
(Photo © Kiev Electric Transportation Museum and Constantin Antonenko, 2001)

[In Memory of Kiev Trams | Historic gallery]

© Stefan Mashkevich, 2001
Any usage of materials found herein requires explicit consent of the author and/or copyright holders as specified.
Last updated 7 December 2003