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History

The period of horse-drawn tramways (1869-1881)

The municipal public transport in Brno was commenced on 17 August 1869, by launching the operation of the horse-drawn carriage track, the third in the then Austro-Hungarian Monarchy after Vienna and Budapest. The operation of the track was run by the "Brünner Tramway Gesellschaft für Personen und Frachtenverkehr" (Brno Transportation Company for passenger and freight transport). On the first line, from Kiosk (Moravské náměstí) to Kartouz (Královo Pole, Semilasso) 6 carriages were operating in the interval of 15 minute. In 1870, as many as 57 carriages were in operation, running on four tracks transporting passengers, and one freight siding. An integral part of the network were three depots, namely in Pisárky, Královo Pole (in front of today's Semilasso) and in Raduitova (Marešova) Street. In Brno, the horse-drawn carriage track was in operation, with an interruption in 1875 -1877, until1881, when it was discontinued due unprofitability.

Steam Operation (1884-1899)

In 1884, a joint stock company was found, "Brünner Damf - Tramway" (Brno Steam Tramway), which, on 24 May 1884, started the operation of a street steam tramway on the line Pisárky - Královo Pole. In the same year, the operation was extended to include another line, Václavská - Ústřední hřbitov. Gradually, 15 locomotives and 31 carriages were introduced into operation. In 1889, a new company was found, under the name of "Brünner Local Eisenbahn Gesellschaft" (Brno Local Railway Company). The steam tramways continued to run even after the electrification of passenger transport. The number of steam locomotives was reduced to four. They were used usually merely for freight transport and were deployed for passenger transport only during losses of power or to handle increased traffic during Sundays and bank holidays. The last steam locomotive "Caroline" (today exhibited in the Museum of Technology) pulled railway freight cars through the streets of Brno as late as Februaty 1926, when it was transferred to the siding of Zbrojovka, directly connected to the railway line. This was the end of the first stage of steam tramways in the Brno public transport. The second stage of steam operation started as late as the 40's, after the local track Brno-Líšeň was taken over by the Brno Electrical Street Tramways Company .

Electrical Operation (from 1900)

In1900, the Austrian "Österreichische Union Elektrizitäts Gesellschaft" started to develop and operate a street transport system with electrical drive. In the same year, a joint stock company with participation of the Brno Municipality was established, "Gesellschaft der Brünner elektrischen Strassenbahnen" (Brno Electrical Street Tramway Company). This company was the direct predecessor of today's DPMB. The operation was launched on 21 June 1900 on modified tracks of the steam tramway. The track was extended and in late 1903 five lines were in operation, differentiated by means of colour signs. The fleet consisted of 41 motor vehicles and 12 trailers, produced in Graz (Steiermark), and 29 gradually modified trailers from the period of horse and stream tramways. The first vehicles of local production were 7 motor vehicles made by a Brno company Lederer-Porges (later Královopolská strojírna), delivered in 1903-1904. The old depot in Pisárky was reconstructed to accommodate the electrified vehicles, and a new depot was built in Královo Pole (now the substation building). Before World War I, only minor changes and modification of the street track network were made.

From 1918 onwards

The war years meant a deterioration of the technical condition of both the track and the vehicles. Therefore, the new administration of Brno decided to launch an extensive refurbishment of the track and the vehicles, which was completed in 1920. The twenties and thirties witnessed a dynamic development of the electrical track, resulting in many changes and extensions of the tramway lines. The lines were gradually extended to reach the suburbs surrounding Brno. The line extensions required extensive deliveries of new motor-vehicles, for which a new depot was built in Husovice in 1926. The transport development also resulted in an increase in the requirements for traction supply network. At the beginning, the trolley lines were supplied from the rectifying station of the Municipal Power Station in Radlas. In the following years, two new substations were built with a fully automated operation - Tábor (1926) and Křížová (1928).

From 1930 onwards

In 1930, the Brno Electrical Street Tramway Company introduced bus transport to supplement the operating tramway system. Until 1938, as many as 11 bus lines were in operation. The fleet of buses was housed in the modern garages in Grmelova Street. The Second World War again had a gross negative impact on the overall system of municipal public transport. After the bombing of Brno and passing of the front line, most vehicles and other equipment were destroyed or damaged. The tramway operation was re-started only after many months as, apart from the repairs on the vehicles, the trolley lines had to be renovated (60% were destroyed). The electrical operation was fully restored only at the end of 1945 and run in 10 lines of the overall length of 74,6 km. The bus transport needed to be re-built from scratch after the war - the majority of serviceable buses were seized by retreating Nazi troops.

From 1946 onwards


On 5 May 1946, the boat transport was launched. The idea of using the valley reservoir on the Svratka River for boat trips dates back as early as the 30's, before the water reservoir was even completed. These plans, however, could be implemented only after the war. The operation was secured by two boats of German production, delivered still during the war. The drive of the boats by electric traction engines supplied from the boat accumulators has supported the function of the reservoir as one of the sources of drinking water for the city and contributed to protecting the environment in this recreation area. The most significant period of the boat fleet development were the 50's, when boats produced at local shipyard were launched. They have been in reliable service until today.

From 1949 onwards

In June 1949, the operation of the newly established trolley-bus lines was successfully started, the implementation of which had been the aim of the Brno Municipality ever since the First Republic. By the end of 1949, 3 lines were in operation. In 1954, one of them was extended and the trolley-buses started to fulfil the transport function throughout the Brno region.

From 1951 onwards

The former joint stock company operating the municipal public transport was replaced, in late 40's, by a municipal enterprise which, in 1951, started to operate under today's name of Dopravní podnik města Brna. In the 50's and 60's, the lines completed in the post-war period were not significantly extended. However, the fleet, tracks and technical equipment underwent a substantial modernisation. A major modernisation of the tramway fleet was launched, with the introduction of the four-axis tramways of T type made at ČKD Praha in licence of American vehicles PCC. In 1967, the fleet was further supplemented by the articulated vehicles K. In 1968, the company operated 17 permanent lines of an overall length of 157,7 km. The more efficient traction vehicles required a better traction supply system. In 1970, 10 permanent substations with a capacity of 30 MW were in operation. In the late 60's, the trolley-bus transport gradually started to stagnate as a result of a one-sided preference of the bus transport. Bus transport became a seemingly simple solution to provide transport service to the new housing estates. However, the fuel and energy crisis in the 70's once again shifted the attention to electrical traction. The City of Brno - unlike many in the Czech Republic - has not succumbed to the trend of line elimination and could therefore witness a re-birth of the trolley-buses.

From 1970 onwards

In relation to the introduction of the non-transferable tariff within the public transport after 1970, new - mostly bus - lines were gradually introduced, always routed to the city centre. In addition, a number of new tram lines were built to service the new satellite housing estates, run on their own bodies. These high capacity sections were, however, connected to the existing track system in the city centre.

From 1990 onwards

At the turn of the 80's and 90's, the whole system started to stagnate. The dramatic increase in individual motoring subjected the public transport to a sharp confrontation. The Municipality therefore decided to introduce an organisational change to the public transport system, as a measure with limited effect, i.e. until the increase in capacities of the track system is solved. The new system was implemented in 1995. The change in the organisation of the municipal public transport was clearly provoked by the need to make the operation more efficient. The development as well as the implementation had the following priorities:
  • maximum use of tramway and trolley-bus traction and reduction in concurrent bus lines,
  • ecological aspects of the city centre and other significant locations,
  • simplification of the tram network and shortening of intervals between subsequent
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    Dopravní podnik města Brna, a. s., Hlinky 151, 656 46 Brno, tel.: +420 5 4317 1111, Generální ředitelství: Novobranská 18, 656 46 Brno