In Memory of Kiev Trams + Photo Gallery of Trams and Trolleybuses:: Photo Galleries:: Trams:: T6 — Farewell to the Comecon


Part 1 (001–020)

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The first T6 (T6B5, to be precise) trams arrived to Kiev in 1985 and were assigned to the Darnitsa Depot. An innovative model for the time, they were meant to mark a "new era" in the Kiev rolling stock history; not inappropriately, their numbering was started "from zero" (more precisely, from 001). A second batch came in 1988, which is when two depots on the right bank of the Dnieper got a few new cars each: the Shevchenko Depot (the 3xx series) and the Krasin Depot (6xx). Unfortunately, the prospect of each depot's acquiring up to three hundred new cars, as provisioned by this numbering, was not to come true. The downfall of the "world socialist system" meant that from some point onwards, Kiev was to pay hard currency for the Czech-manufactured trams, which was not possible for the doomed USSR. The last few dozen cars came in 1990–1991, and two more "Tatra-Yug" cars — the same T6, but assembled at the Yuzhmash factory in Dnepropetrovsk — were added in 1994, numbered 100 and 101.

In 1991, all the cars from the Krasin depot, 601–607, were transferred to Darnitsa and renumbered 071–077.

001The fisrt T6 car to come to Kiev, numbered 001, was manufactured in 1985 by Tatra Smichov. After coming to Kiev and acquiring said number, it was sent around a number of Ukrainian cities as a demonstration car. It came back to Kiev in 1987 and started to serve the Darnitsa Depot routes. A few years later, however, it was transferred to the Krasin Depot (nowadays Podol Depot) and converted into a special-purpose car. The only photo of the 001 in passenger service at our disposal has been made, most probably, after 1987, on the line north of Metro Chernigovskaya.
[Aare Olander collection, 1980's]
001Thus, at the beginning of the 1990s the 001 was rebuilt as a cafe car, available for hire. When not hired, it used to serve route 12, albeit for a double fare and with monthly tickets not honored. Then, in 2005 it was taken out of service. Even though its problem was rather minor, it was facing a grim prospect of becoming a donor of parts, but eventually it was saved by the Kievans for Public Transit committee. With substantial volunteer effort, it was revived and repaired during 2006 2007, and now it is back in service and available for hire. In this picture, it approaches the Puscha Voditsa terminus of route—12, back when it served this route as mentioned above.
[Stefan Mashkevich, 04.06.2005]
002The second Kiev T6 was decommissioned in the early 2000s also due to a minor mechanical failure. For several years it stood motionless in the Darnitsa Depot, before being officially written off in 2008. In this picture, it is clearly visible to be out of service for a few years...
[Anton, 16.01.2005]
003Up until June 2004, the Darnitsa T6's used to cross the Dnieper. They got deprived of such a possibility when the tram line across the Paton bridge was demolished, on a personal order from then-Mayor Omelchenko. Since then, these cars can run under their own power on the left bank only. In this picture, a single T6 is laying over at Kontraktovaya Ploschad, which during 1998–2004 was the only right-bank terminus of the trans-Dnieper routes.
[Alexander Redko, 11.08.2003]
004This car, 004, was used almost exclusively as a trailer, attached to different lead cars and servicing various routes out of the Darnitsa depot. Here it is proceeding towards Metro Lesnaya on route 35, having just turned from Krasnogvardeyskaya Ulitsa onto Prospekt Gagarina.
[Anton, 14.03.2007]
005Route 35 serves two Metro stations, Lesnaya (the left-bank terminus of the red line) and Chernigovskaya (the next-to-last stop on the same line). Here, car 005 approaches the latter, having arrived from the residential area of Troeschina. The location is between the Ulitsa Aleksandra Boychenko and Ulitsa Andreya Malyshko stops.
[Anton, 14.03.2007]
006Almost the same spot some two decades earlier. A three-car trainset 005+006+007 approaches the intersection of Krasnogvardeyskaya and Prospekt Gagarina, southbound on route 22. That route is still there today, linking Bulvar Perova in the neighborhood of Voskresenka and Borispolskaya Ulitsa at Rembaza, but served by far fewer trams — often single cars. Three-car trains, once quite popular on a few lines, are nowhere to be found in Kiev since the mid-2000s.
[Aare Olander collection, 1980's]
007This stretch ot the tram line along Krasnogvardeyskaya Ulitsa is on reserved track, aside from the roadway. Alas, this does not prevent a few car and jitney drivers from treating it as an express lane in an attempt to steer around traffic jams — sure enough, in an accident-prone manner. Here, car 007, a satellite to 013, is bound for Ulitsa Kibalchicha on route 33, approaching the triple intersection of Krasnogvardeyskaya, Krasnotkatskaya, and Prospekt Gagarina.
[Anton, 10.10.2004]
008Private houses in the neighborhood of Krasny Khutor, served by the tram line along Tashkentskaya Ulitsa, presently terminating at Metro Borispolskaya. The single route that runs here is number 29 — which is not what we read on the route sign of this train. It is either on a "mission run" (a rather common phenomenon in the beginning of the 2000s, whereby some runs on some routes would be redirected to different termini), or coming back from a layover at the Krasny Khutor terminus, which does have layover tracks, unlike the Metro Poznyaki terminus of route 8.
[Stefan Mashkevich, 03.09.2003]
009The Darnitsa tram depot is the youngest in Kiev, created in 1959. It is situated on both sides of Ulitsa Pavla Usenko, between Sergienko and Azerbaydzhanskaya. Here, car 009, a second car of a train led by 008, is passing by the depot along Usenko. The train in one route 33, bound for DVRZ. The depot administration building is behind the train.
[Anton, 16.01.2005]
010A bleak background is quite appropriate for this photo. Car 010 is, in fact, making one of the last runs on route 31, from Podol to Rembaza. Tram service across the Paton Bridge is going to be permanently discontinued a few hours later. In anticipation of that, buses have already been put in service for the evening rush hour; the new route will only get a permanent number (51) on the next day. It may be one of those buses that can be seen in the background.
[Nick S., 09.06.2004]
011One of the first routes to be served by the then-new T6 cars was route 27, which used to connect Bulvar Perova in the neighborhood of Voskresenka with Dvorets Sporta in the center of the city. At the latter terminus, the turning loop used to run around the block, on Basseynaya — Shota Rustaveli — Rognedinskaya — Esplanadnaya. Here the train is approaching the last stop of route 27, and in the background is a T-3 on one of the routes that also ran here: 1, 5, or 35.
[Aare Olander collection, 1980's]
012Miloslavskaya Ulitsa in the residential neighborhood of Troeschina is at the very edge of Kiev, in the north-east. Trams came here in the mid-1990s, the line having been extended from the still-existing loop at Saburova. Here 012, a trailer in the train led by 068, is approaching the common terminus of tram route 28 and trolleybus routes 30 and 46.
[Anton, 11.09.2007]
013Privokzalnaya Ulitsa runs past the Darnitsa railway station. Hence, in the post-World-War-II restoration of the tram network on the left bank of the Dnieper, a line here was among the first to be built (opened in 1959). Nowadays, routes to Rembaza, Krasny Khutor and Poznyaki run here. A train with 013 at the head approaches the Darnitsky Vokzal (Darnitsa Station) stop of route 26. That route is to be closed a few months later: Construction of a new passenger terminal will necessitate the closing of the turning loop used by route 8, which will therefore be extended to Metro Lesnaya, replacing the 26.
[Stefan Mashkevich, 29.05.2004]
014One more photo of the classic route 27, from two decades ago. A train led by 014 moves along Prospekt Gagarina, crossing Ulitsa Usenko. No trace of trams remains here nowadays: in the fall of 2004, a few months after the Paton Bridge line was dismantled, the Prospekt Gagarina stretch together with branches on adjacent streets shared its fate.
[Aare Olander collection, 1980's]
015Another view of route 27, the beginning of Ulitsa Suvorova near Ploschad Slavy in the district of Pechersk. Car 015 and an unknown satellite have just turned here from Ulitsa Yanvarskogo Vosstaniya, bound for Voskresenka on the left bank of the Dnieper. In the background one can see Ploschad Slavy and the Salyut hotel, built in 1984 and resembling some kind of a spaceship.
[Aare Olander collection, 1980's]
016Route 8 on the left bank was launched in 1998, linking the Darnitsa railway station and Metro Poznyaki. The existing line was extended along Ulitsa Ahmatovoy and Prospekt Grigorenko to the new southern terminus at Poznyaki. At the time when this photo was made, the northern terminus of this route was still the Darnitsa station, which is where this train is headed. In the end of summer of 2004, as already mentioned, route 8 was extended to Metro Lesnaya.
[Stefan Mashkevich, 30.08.2003]
017Once again, route 27 some twenty years ago. Two T6 trains cross the roadway of Basseynaya Ulitsa. The building behind them is a refuge for homeless Jews, built at the end of XIX century by a famous mecenate Lazar Brodsky. It stood until 1996, being occupied by medical offices of different kinds, until being demolished by orders of then-mayor Omelchenko, to make room for a new traffic junction. Two years later, the tram line was dismantled, too. The T-3 train following 017 and its trailer is most probably serving route 35, which used to link Vokzal and Bereznyaki.
[Aare Olander collection, 1980's]
018Naberezhnoe Shosse on the right bank of the Dnieper. A single car 018, serving route 31, from Podol to Rembaza, passes under a building dating back to the second half of XIX century, which was used as a railway office.
[Stefan Mashkevich, 31.05.2003]
019Bereznyaki, one of the three stops that used to be on the bank of the Rusanovsky Kanal (visible on the left). The tram is running on route 21 from Voskresenka to Podol. Nothing hints at the sad fact that this is the last day of existence of this tram line: this same evening, service here will be permanently discontinued. Termination notices were posted only at the Kontraktovaya Ploschad terminus, inside a few cars, and on a few stops not including this one. Most passengers, therefore, do not even suspect that next morning, instead of trams, they are going to see workers dismantling the track.
[Nick S., 09.06.2004]
020Prazshkaya Ulitsa, one of the main streets in the area of Staraya Darnitsa. The line to the DVRZ (Darnitsky VagonoRemontny Zavod, Darnitsa Railroad Car Repair Factory) runs here, and this train 016+020 is serving route 33 bound for said factory. The switches in the lower left corner is where the line used by the weekday-only route 23 joins.
[Kostj Kozlov, 17.09.2003]

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© Alexander Chernov, Stefan Mashkevich, Aare Olander, and authors of photos, 2009
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Last updated 5 March 2009