Spiering car of the Timișoara tramway

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Spiering car of the Timișoara tramway
Vier Spiering-Wagen im Bereich der stadtseitigen Endstelle auf der Piața Sfântul Gheorghe
Four Spiering cars in the area of the city-side terminus on Piața Sfântul Gheorghe
Quantity: 21
Manufacturer: K.k. landesbefugte machine factory and carriage construction Johann Spiering
Year(s) of manufacture: 1869
Gauge: 1435 mm
Seating: 16

The Spiering cars of the Timișoara tramway were a series of Hungarian horse-drawn tram cars. The total of 21 vehicles, which were manufactured by the Imperial and Royal machine factory and carriage construction company Johann Spiering in Vienna and had no operating numbers, were procured by the then Temesvári Közúti Vaspálya Részvénytársaság (TeKöVa Rt.) transport company in 1869 on the occasion of the opening of the local tramway network. Ten of them continued to serve as sidecars of the electric tram after electrification in 1899 until 1919.


The Spiering cars were transported from Vienna to Banat as follows:[1]

five wagons on 30 April 1869 for the opening of the Fabrikstädter line on 8 July 1869 = four revolutions and one reserve car
six wagons on 30 June 1869 for the opening of the Josefstadt line on 25 October 1869 = six revolutions
four wagons on 12 November 1869 in order to be able to double the four rounds of the factory town line
six wagons on 27 December 1869 in order to also be able to run the six circulations of the Josefstädter Linie twice

Two horses were harnessed to each carriage, and three in the case of snowfall.[2] The first eleven wagons cost 1755 each, the following ten wagons 1673 forints each.[3]


Detailed view of the platform of a Spiering wagon

The compartment of a horse-drawn carriage was 4300 millimetres long and 1900 millimetres wide, and the carriages had eight narrow windows on each side. The two open platforms were each 770 millimetres long and 1260 millimetres wide, so the total length of a carriage was 5840 millimetres.[1] The axle base was also 1900 millimetres. The cars offered seating for a total of 16 passengers on four longitudinal benches for four persons each. As a special feature, the cars had two car classes until 1875. The passenger compartment was divided in half, but the passage between the two compartments was open.

Further use as sidecar after 1899

After the start of electric operation on July 27, 1899, some of the Spiering cars continued to be used as trailers on the main lines I and II behind the new electric Weitzer railcars.[1] In order to be able to cover the six courses of line I and the four courses of line II completely, the tramway company selected ten vehicles for this purpose. Which cars these were is not known.

However, the sidecars were not used permanently, they only provided increased seating capacity during rush hours. Outside of these times, they were parked at certain locations; for example, such a siding existed at Piața Sfântul Gheorghe.

The cars were modified accordingly for their new purpose. For example, they were equipped with trumpet couplers. Furthermore, the kerosene lamps were replaced by electric lighting with incandescent lamps. According to another source, however, they were already electrically lit from 12 July 1889.[4] It is not known whether the horse-drawn tram cars were also equipped with their own braking system for their new use.

The remaining 16 Spiering cars, which were no longer needed, were taken out of service and scrapped, as were the five Graz cars purchased in 1891, on the occasion of electrification. The remaining sidecars were given the road numbers 1 to 10 in 1899; these were double occupancies with the railcars.


Former Temesvár sidecar in service in Oradea, still in Hungarian times.

The sidecar service in Timișoara ended initially on 21 May 1906, until 1909 only solo railcars were temporarily in use. The reason for this was the use of new larger railcars of the type B, the frequency compression of the line II and the linking of the radial lines III and IV to the new diameter line III. As a result, the Spiering cars were taken out of service; they were considered obsolete at the time and no longer met the requirements.[1]

However, the sharp increase in passenger numbers in those years necessitated their reactivation as early as 1909, and by 1910 all ten of them are again listed in the inventory.[5] They were needed primarily for excursion service on Sundays and holidays in the summer months, while in the winters of 1914/1915 and 1915/1916 they could again be dispensed with entirely. After the Spiering cars were initially supplemented by three new construction auxiliary cars with the numbers 01 to 03 manufactured in the years 1914, 1915 and 1916, the tramway company could finally do without them from 1919. They were replaced by the first demotorized Weitzer railcars, later designated as type A.

Most of the Spiering cars were scrapped, only one example went to the Oradea tramway after 1910, where it also served as a sidecar behind electric railcars.[6] How long it was in service there is not known, it was also not preserved.

True to original replica of a Spiering car from 1994

The 1994 replica

Interior design

On the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the horse-drawn tramway – 70th anniversary of the electric tramway in 1969, the tramway company also wanted to present a horse-drawn tramway to the audience of the anniversary parade at that time. Because none of the original horse-drawn passenger cars had been preserved, a provisional arrangement was made: two AII side cars with open platforms built in 1921 were each harnessed to two horses.

In order to be able to present an authentic horse-drawn railcar in the long run, the transport company decided on the occasion of the 125th anniversary in 1994 to rebuild a horse-drawn railcar in its own workshop according to the original plans from 1869. The basis for this was the last Weitzer railcar from 1899, which was originally put into service as number 6 and was last used as a work car without a service number. Its underframe was given a new body, this replica bears – after the opening year of the horse-drawn tramway – the fancy number 1869. In 1996 the vehicle was lent to the Oradea tramway for a short time. There the car was presented to the public on the occasion of the 90th tram anniversary, although Oradea itself never had a horse-drawn tram.

Five years after its completion, the horse-drawn tram replica was extensively reworked for the anniversary 130 years of horse-drawn trams – 100 years of electric trams for use in the anniversary parade, which took place on July 9, 1999. A few years later, it was also repainted from green-dark green to yellow-orange.

See also

  • History of the horse-drawn tramway in Timișoara


  • 60 de ani de la înființarea tramvaiului în Timișoara, Monografie 1869-1929. Timișoara 1929.
  • Vasile Deheleanu, Sabin Indrieșu: Monografia întreprinderilor electromecanice municipale Timișoara. Timișoara 1944.
  • Dorin Sarca, Gh. Radulovici: Centenarul tramvaielor din Timișoara, Monografie 1869-1969. Timișoara 1969.
  • 1869-1994, 125 de ani de circulație cu tramvaiul în Timișoara, monograph. Timișoara 1994.
  • Regia Autonomă de Transport Timișoara, 130 de ani de activitate, 1869-1999, monograph. Timișoara 1999.
  • Mihály Kubinszky, István Lovász and György Villány: Régi Magyar Villamosok. Budapest 1999.

Individual references

  1. a b c d Dorin Sarca, Gh. Radulovici: Centenarul tramvaielor din Timișoara, monograph 1869-1969. Timișoara 1969.
  2. Regia Autonomă de Transport Timișoara, 130 de ani de activitate, 1869-1999, monograph. Timișoara 1999.
  3. Tramvaiul cu cai din Timișoara (PDF; 993 kB)
  4. Allgemeine Deutsche Zeitung of November 21, 2009: The city has its new miracle – Giant lamp commemorates 125th anniversary of street lighting in Timisoara@1@2Template:Dead link/ no longer available, search web archives ) Info: Thelink was automatically marked as broken. Please check the link according to the instructions and then remove this notice.
  5. A közlekedés és szállítás. A posta fejlődése on, retrieved 8 September 2015
  6. Oradea tramway at of the Originals september 28, 2013 on the Internet Archive) Info:The archive linkwas automatically inserted and not yet checked. Please check original and archive link according to instructions and then remove this note.@1@2Template:Webachiv/IABot/