In Memory of Kiev Trams + Photo Gallery of Trams and Trolleybuses:: Photo Galleries:: Trams:: T2 — from America via Czechoslovakia


Part 1 (5002–5020)

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In the middle of the 1930s something occurred that was deemed — not unreasonably so — a revolution in tram manufacturing. In the USA, an absolutely new model of a tram was created, which became known as the PCC ("Presidents' Conference Committee", from the name of the committee of the presidents of electric railroad companies that designed the model). The first PCC's took to the streets of Brooklyn in 1936. Unfortunately, even these excellent trams were unable to compete with all the buses and cars around them (even though in some cities of the USA they are still being used in regular passenger service!). The idea, however, was also used in Europe, where different manufacturers took on the job of making trams similar to the PCC under license. That is how the new model called Tatra was created in Czechoslovakia. The first model, T1, appeared in the 1950s, but soon the model was replaced by the T2.

For Kiev, the arrival of the first T2s marked the beginning of an intensive modernization of tram rolling stock, and getting rid of two-axle trams. The T2s started running in 1960, and a total of 50 cars were delivered. Their numbering was, to some extent, accidental: A few years before, a tram called LM-57 arrived, which retained its Leningrad fleet number 5001 (by the way, the first T1 ever built, which has been saved as a museum car in Prague, has the same number); the Tatras simply followed, from 5002 onwards. In 1962, production of the T2s ceased, because the T3 was created. So, the last T2 was 5051, and T3s started from 5052 onwards.

The first T2s were sent to the Lukyanovka depot (at that time, Lenin depot) and served route 28 Krasnaya Ploschad – DShK. Soon thereafter, they were also assigned to route 13 Krasnaya Ploschad – Vokzal. They also made test runs to Puscha-Voditsa. After a while, these cars were sent to Darnitsa, where they served the left-bank and trans-Dnieper routes (the last ones worked on route 29) right up to the mid-1980s. The only surviving car, 5043 worked later on as a money car and was also used for excursion trips. As of the beginning of 2008, the plan is to renovate it and put it back in service.

5002The first car of the series posing — most probably in the Lukyanovka depot, which initially serviced route 28 (before the Darnitsa depot, founded in 1959, got up to speed).
[Kiev Electric Transportation Museum, 1960's]
5003One of the first, if not the very first to feature the brand-new Tatras, was route 13, connecting the railway station with Podol. Here a packed car 5003 is ready to leave for its journey from Vokzal (railway station), from its terminus at the west side of the turning loop, which remained here up until 1996, when the line was torn down.
[Wolfgang Schreiner, 10.06.1961]
5004No evidence exists of T2's having ever worked route 12, but they did appear in Puscha-Voditsa, as this picture tells. Instead of a route number, the car bears a (Trial run) plaque, and its passengers, standing for a commemorative picture, are the members of a joint commission of the Tramway and Trolleybus Board and the Lenin (Lukyanovka) Depot.
[Kiev Electric Transportation Museum, 1960]
5005The T2 cars, as well as their American ancestors, were delivered with a single headlight. However, during the 1970s, they underwent a modification in Kiev, which included replacing the single headlight with two, making their front panel resemble that of the "younger sister", the T3. Depicted here is the modified car on the Prospekt Vossoedineniya line, at the Rusanovka stop.
[Aare Olander, 23.05.1981]
5007T2's could work in multiple-unit trains, and some of them were indeed coupled. Trains were utilized, in particular, on the rather heavily loaded route 22. In this picture, a train is proceeding westwards along Prospekt Gagarina, towards Leningradskaya Ploschad.
[Hans Oerlemans collection, 1970's]
5008A set of pictures of 5008 from different angles — most probably also in the Lukyanovka depot, prior to the transfer to Darnitsa.
[Kiev Electric Transportation Museum, 1960's]
5009A beautiful picture of a still-new tram against the background of an old Podol. When open-cut construction of the Metro was started here under Ulitsa Zhdanova (Sagaidachnogo), the tram line was moved to parallel streets — and never moved back after the construction was over. Sharing the frame with the tram are typical large rubber-tyred specimen of the time: a PAZ bus and a LAZ one (just a piece visible on the extreme right), as well as a ZiL truck.
[Hans Oerlemans collection, 1970's]
5010The left-bank terminus of route 28, near the DShK (Darnitsa Silk Factory). Just like the other pictures of this spot around the same time, there is hardly any trace of civilization save for the tram line itself...
[Wolfgang Schreiner, 04.1963]
5011In the workshop of the Darnitsa tram depot — once again, following modernization and therefore featuring two headlights.
[Kiev Electric Transportation Museum, 1970's]
5012Just short of the end of Naberezhnoe Shosse at Pochtovaya Ploschad. Visible behind the trees and the fence on the left is the Dnieper; in the far background are the support cables of the newly-built Pedestrian Bridge. Trailing the T2 on route 28 is an already not-so-new MTV-82 car, most probably also serving one of the trans-Dnieper routes.
[Wolfgang Schreiner, 04.1961]
5015Once again the DShK loop. The Metro station which is situated here nowadays is called Lesnaya (Russian) or Lisova (Ukrainian), which means "in the forest"; that name looks more appropriate in reference to the time when the picture was taken, rather than to this day, when it might rather be called Torgovaya, i.e., Marketplace...
[Kiev Electric Transportation Museum, 1960's]
5016At the Darnitsa depot. All or almost all of the Kiev T2's being still in service, they are, however, a clear minority in this picture. The T3's are coming — two decades later they would make up an overwhelming majority of the Kiev rolling stock.
[Kiev Electric Transportation Museum, 1960's]
5018In an almost deserted Leningradskaya Ploschad, on the short stretch of tram track along Ulitsa Sosyury. The car is on route 33, bound for Staraya Darnitsa and DVRZ. On the left is an Ikarus serving bus route 25 "Leningradskaya Ploschad — Voskresensky Massiv". What is completely absent from the picture is automobiles...
[Hans Oerlemans, 11.09.1978]
5020One more commemorative shot, perhaps at the same DShK. The inscription on the lady's armband may be saying DND, which stands for Dobrovolnaya Narodnaya Druzhina, or Volunteer People's Corps. The facial expression of the bearer is as serious as her duty calls for...
[Kiev Electric Transportation Museum, 1960's]

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© Yevgeny Gura, David Mashkevich, Stefan Mashkevich, Aare Olander, and authors of photos, 2008
Any usage of materials found herein requires explicit permission from copyright holders.
Last updated 14 January 2008