Function of a tram switch

A classic tram switch which can be set remotely is called a “single switch”. The necessary impulse for control comes from the vehicle. It is therefore not set via interlockings, as is the case with railroads. However, the technical effort and the safeguarding before, during and after the operation of such a switch is similar to the processes of a route. In this chapter, the processes of this switch system in tram operation are described chronologically.

A variant of the train-operated setting process is the methodical request by radio. With this method, the vehicle receives an order via a trackside beacon to send a radio telegram to the switch after a certain distance of track has been covered. The switch controller then gives the setting command to the switch, whereupon it sets and locks. It is then driven over and cleared, similar to a route in railroad engineering.

Definition of tram

The tram is a transport system that cannot easily be squeezed into a concrete scheme. It takes on the most diverse forms and modes of operation in the cities across the world. In this chapter, we will discuss all relevant forms of operation, both in front of and behind the scenes. In addition to the classic one-way tram, there’s also bi-directional operation. Or the tram independent of road traffic. More inconspicuous to the passenger are other forms of development, such as operation with signaling systems, depot control systems, or speed monitoring systems.

Thought one stage ahead, the tram system can occasionally be conceptualized as a train configuration coupled to each other.And last but not least, there are trams that do not even touch road traffic in any way. Especially with the last-mentioned developments, they are already initial stages or already converted systems of a light rail or subway, for which separate definitions apply in each case.