The first horse trams ran in the Dutch city of Den Haag (The Hague) in 1864. In 1887, steam trams appeared between Den Haag and Delft, and in 1890 accumulator-powered electric trams started running to Scheveningen. Conventional electric trams were introduced on the city lines in 1904, and on the interurban routes to Delft and Leiden in 1923.
As well as the city and interurban routes operated by the htm, until 1962 Den Haag was also served by a second interurban route from Leiden, operated by the blue trams of the nzh.
Until 1948, the trams used by the htm were entirely conventional - small four-wheelers with trailers on the city routes, and big, heavy, centre-entrance bogie cars on the interurban routes. By the end of World War ii there was a serious shortage of trams: traffic was increasing, and many cars had been damaged during the German occupation, or commandeered for use in Germany.
In 1949, the first modern trams appeared: two American-built pcc cars cut down to European size by the Belgian company La Brugeoise, which had acquired the rights to the pcc design in western Europe. The new cars 1001 and 1002 were a success, and the htm took the bold decision to replace all its existing fleet with pcc’s.
Den Haag 800 motor and 900 trailers
The motor cars 801–830 and the matching trailers 901–920 were ordered from Allan in Rotterdam in 1926. They were intended particularly for working the new route 11, a former steam tramway which the htm was taking over from the hysm and electrifying. The motors and trailers had identical body shells, but the trailers were fitted with single-axle bogies, while the motor cars had a Peckham radial truck of 3.8m wheelbase.
The pcc car was designed in the us in the 1930s as a modern tram that would be able to compete with diesel buses on equal terms. It includes many ideas which were still considered remarkably innovative in the 1950s, from the bogie design to the streamlined body with passenger flow.
The htm ordered a total of 234 `pccs in several batches between 1949 and 1974, all built by La Brugeoise and its successors in Brugge. In the sixties and seventies, no strreet scene in Den Haag was complete without a cream-coloured pcc somewhere in the picture.
Model coming soon…
By sticking to the pcc concept for 25 years, the htm had been left behind in the general trend towards larger articulated trams. By 1980, the oldest `pccs needed replacing, and it was becoming clear that articulated cars offered a better solution to moving big crowds than coupled pairs of `pccs.
Together with bn (formerly La Brugeoise) the htm came up with a design for an eight-axle articulated car, based on pcc bogies and control equipment, but with a modern box-like body shape. For unclear reasons, the new cars were painted in red and cream stripes, a livery that was certainly better than the all-over bright yellow of the last batches of pccs, but has little else to recommend it. A total of 100 of these cars, referred to as gtl8 I, came into service between 1981 and 1984.
nb: the model is out of date, as most 3000s have now been fitted with new doors — I’ll update it in due course.
A second series of articulated cars was ordered in 1990 to replace the remaining pcc cars. These were basically built to the same design as the 3000 series, but incorporated a number of improvements, particularly in the control electronics. The folding doors were replaced by plug doors (less prone to failure), and a new livery of blue and light grey was adopted. As with the 3000 series, most of the bogies came from scrapped pccs.
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