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Trambahn vs. Straßenbahn

English translation: historical trams vs. streetcars

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13:41 May 14, 2002
German to English translations [PRO]
German term or phrase: Trambahn vs. Straßenbahn
context: Modellbau

Seit vielen Jahren entstehen in den Werkstätten des Art Departments die unterschiedlichsten Bahnmodelle: Trambahnen, Straßenbahnen und Regionalzüge.

My dictionary gives me tramway (streetcar) for Straßenbahn. Can anyone explain what the difference might be between Trambahnen and Straßenbahnen?

TIA, Beth
Beth Kantus
United States
Local time: 02:58
English translation:historical trams vs. streetcars
Explanation:
a suggestion after enjoying all the others.

The Trambahn was there before the streets and the cars.
Later it turned into a Straßenbahn because it had to run in the middle of the street and comply with the traffic.

The Trambahn-carriages I remember were more timber than metal. That's how I see the original tram. Very nostalgic, but it fits the sequence of the models described.

HTH


Selected response from:

Uschi (Ursula) Walke
Local time: 16:58
Grading comment
Thanks to you all for your help and detailed explanations!
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer

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Summary of answers provided
4 +9It's a regional difference
pschmitt
4 +2Siehe Referenz.
Georg Finsterwald
4trams, trolleys and streetcarsManfred Mondt
4historical trams vs. streetcarsUschi (Ursula) Walke
4Sentence option:xxxbrute
4Tram vs. Trolley busJan Liebelt
4 -1cable car vs. electric street cargangels


  

Answers


4 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +9
It's a regional difference


Explanation:
"Straßenbahn" is generally used all over the country, whereas "Trambahn" is merely used in the south of Germany and Austria.
Apart from that, both are essentially the same.

Hope this helps

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Note added at 2002-05-14 15:30:17 (GMT)
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I had a look on the net and found this:

\"Warum die Straßenbahn Trambahn heißt!

Immer wieder wird uns von Nicht-Münchnern (sog. Zuagroaste) die Frage gestellt, woher denn die Bezeichnung Trambahn für die Straßenbahn eigentlich stammt. Obwohl die Herkunft des Worts Trambahn nicht ganz unumstritten ist, wollen wir an dieser Stelle dennoch einen Erklärungsversuch wagen:
Die Bahn auf Balken
Die plausibelste Herleitung liegt in dem alt-niederdeutschen bzw. mittelniederländischen Wort trame mit der Bedeutung Balken. Eine Trambahn wäre also eine Bahn, die auf Balken fährt. Angeblich ist die Bezeichnung Tram oder Tramen auch heute noch im ländlichen Alpenraum für schwere Balken gebräuchlich.

Das Vermächtnis von Outram
Als weitere Erklärung wird oft der Name eines englischen Ingenieurs und Unternehmers genannt, der gußeiserne Schienen für Kohlegrubenbahnen entwickelt haben soll:

Benjamin Outram (1764-1805)

Die Bezeichnung tramway wäre also eine Kurzform von Outram way. Diese Theorie wird aber von mehreren Autoren abgelehnt.

Der Weg zur Trambahn
Grundsätzlich unterschied man in England zwischen der dampfbetriebenen railway (Eisenbahn) und der pferdegezogenen tramway (Straßenbahn). Da in den Erzbergwerken schon sehr früh hölzerne Schienen (Balken) für die Transportwagen (sog. Hunde) verwendet wurden, liegt die Vermutung nahe, daß der Entwicklungsweg vom Gleis aus Tramen über das engl. tramway hin zur Trambahn verlief. Die ersten Trambahnschienen bestanden anfangs in vielen Städten tatsächlich aus Holzbalken, auf deren Oberseite flache Gußschienen befestigt wurden. \"

It is true, there is a \"Trambahn\" in Berlin (I suppose exceptions confirm the rule). However, this network is exclusively in East-Berlin and a rather smallish relic from the former GDR.
This made me think that \"Trambahn\" actually has a rather old fashioned ring to it, which might have some relevance in your context? Just an idea. HTH


pschmitt
Local time: 07:58
PRO pts in pair: 406

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Eckhard Boehle
2 mins

agree  Theo Bose
28 mins

agree  Pee Eff
1 hr

agree  Chris Rowson: Hey, just a minute, the tram network in Berlin is great! Auch in Ostdeutschland sagt man "Tram" zur Straßenbahn. Für mich ist es absolut das gleiche. (sagt Cécile, die Deutsche)
1 hr

agree  Steffen Walter: Chris, "Tram" in Berlin scheint mir ein Import zugereister Süddeutscher zu sein. Eher untypisch für den "Osten" (müsste ich eigentlich irgendwann aus erster Hand erfahren haben als "Ossi" :-)
3 hrs

agree  Olaf
3 hrs

agree  Excelle
6 hrs

agree  sylvie malich: your question perfectly answered
18 hrs

agree  Сергей Лузан
23 hrs
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6 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +2
Siehe Referenz.


Explanation:
Eine Trambahn fuhr früher auf einer Art von hölzernen "Gleisen", daher kommt der Name. Weitere Erklärung siehe Referenz.

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Note added at 2002-05-14 14:00:10 (GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

Warum die Straßenbahn Trambahn heißt:
http://www.tram.org/fmtm/info/trambahn.html


    Reference: http://www.dbmuseum.de/erfahr1/erlw1-1_d.htm
Georg Finsterwald
Germany
Local time: 08:58
Native speaker of: Native in GermanGerman
PRO pts in pair: 318

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Rolf Klischewski, M.A.
2 mins

agree  Excelle
6 hrs
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22 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
Tram vs. Trolley bus


Explanation:
"Streetcar" is the American term for what we Brits call a "tram".

As far as I know, the difference between trams and trolley buses is in the traction. One uses overhead lines, the other gets its power from the rails it runs on.

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Note added at 2002-05-14 14:21:19 (GMT)
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Confusingly enough, the Duden says that \"Tram\" or \"Trambahn\" is the southern German or Austrian expression for \"Straßenbahn\".

However, there is a \"Tram\" system in Berlin.

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 2002-05-14 14:30:10 (GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

As I suspected, the OED defines a trolley bus as \"a trackless passenger vehicel powered from an overhead cable\" and a tram as \"an electrically-powered passenger vehicle running on rails laid in a public road\".

By that definition, \"Straßenbahnen\" and \"Trambahnen\" are both \"trams\".

Why then would the German article list them as separate?

Jan Liebelt
France
Local time: 08:58
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in pair: 77

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
neutral  schmurr: Trambahn and Straßenbahn both run on rails, in fact they are the same thing.
11 mins
  -> That's the conclusion I've come to too.

neutral  Steffen Walter: mit pschmitt (regionale Differenz): das "Tram"netz in Berlin hieß vor der Wende in Ostberlin "Straßenbahn", "Tram" ist eine Erfindung (oder süddt. Import) der Nachwendezeit (Erfahrg. aus 1. Hand als langjähriger Berliner) -> also: Begriffsgleichheit
3 hrs
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52 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
Sentence option:


Explanation:
In the Art Department's workshops many different train models have taken shape over the years: trams and trollies, streetcars as well as regional trains.

xxxbrute
PRO pts in pair: 255
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5 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
trams, trolleys and streetcars


Explanation:
To add to Brutes contribution.
I believe tram is british while street car is US-English. Berlin never had a Tram. In the mid 1800s this was a Pferdebahn oder Kutsche zweiter Guete.
Most German hits on Tram point towards Muenchen, but even the locals are not so sure as on article seems to suggest:
"Schon 1991 hat der Stadtrat einstimmig den Bau der Trambahn durch den Englischen Garten beschlossen. Seit einiger Zeit gibt es leider einige Widerstände dagegen, die vor allem von Anwohnern anderer Streckenabschnitte der geplanten Straßenbahn ausgehen. Sie befürchten persönliche Nachteile durch die Trambahn und machen mit unwahren
Behauptungen Stimmung gegen sie. Inzwischen scheint sich aber die
Erkenntnis durchzusetzen, dass die Trambahn dem Schutz des Englischen Gartens dient, und die Verwirklichung dieser wichtigen Linie in den nächsten Jahren ist absehbar, wenngleich es derzeit nur sehr zäh vorangeht."


    Reference: http://www.google.com
Manfred Mondt
United States
Local time: 02:58
Native speaker of: Native in GermanGerman
PRO pts in pair: 252
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7 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): -1
cable car vs. electric street car


Explanation:
the standard German Straßenbahn is a [overhead ] cable car. That's what it's called in San Francisco. Public transportation powered by an electric third rail in the ground [as our old trusted Chicago "El" [not "El"ectric, but "El"evated because it extensively runs on superstructures] is simply called "train".

gangels
Local time: 00:58
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish, Native in GermanGerman
PRO pts in pair: 5465

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
disagree  sylvie malich: Huh?
11 hrs
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19 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
historical trams vs. streetcars


Explanation:
a suggestion after enjoying all the others.

The Trambahn was there before the streets and the cars.
Later it turned into a Straßenbahn because it had to run in the middle of the street and comply with the traffic.

The Trambahn-carriages I remember were more timber than metal. That's how I see the original tram. Very nostalgic, but it fits the sequence of the models described.

HTH




Uschi (Ursula) Walke
Local time: 16:58
Native speaker of: Native in GermanGerman
PRO pts in pair: 492
Grading comment
Thanks to you all for your help and detailed explanations!
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)




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