ALEXANDRIA, EGYPT
TRAMS & STREETCARS

The tram system in Alexandria began operating in 1860. It is the oldest system running in Africa and one of the oldest in the World. The main line between Ramleh and Victoria stations was first horse drawn, then steam hauled and finally electrified in 1902. The Ramleh Line is operated using Japanese built blue and cream equipment on a mostly separated 9 km right-of-way from Ramleh Station to Victoria Station. Most of the equipment is single deck but a number of modern double-decked cars are in service.

The main-line runs a few streets inland from the seafront Corniche. Two through-route branches serve Sidi Gaber Main-Line Station and Bacoos with trains going through to Victoria. There are many unprotected and unprioritized grade level crossings that can slow the trains to a crawl during rush hours. The end-to-end travel time from Ramleh to Victoria consumes a minimum of 45 minutes. All trains are operated in semi-permanently coupled three car sets.

25 Piaster note. West and south of Ramleh Station there are several routes that operate in city streets serving most areas of the older parts of Alexandria. The locus of this service is the souk (market) adjacent to Misir (Egypt) Station. This service is labeled the City Lines. The rolling stock on this service is primarily 40+ years old Danish ex-Copenhagen equipment with a significant number of somewhat newer Japanese and Hungarian cars. The equipment is maintained in working order by resourceful shop forces. Each vehicle is repainted every year to maintain the bright yellow exterior. Observing traffic on some of these streets provides a semi-European appearance to the observer as the trams navigate through tree-lined streets flanked by mouldering late 19th Century buildings.

Alexandria Tram west of Ramleh, 1903 An interesting point is that two of the ex-Copenhagen trams were returned to Denmark in 2001 for use on the Sporvejsmuseet Skjoldenaesholom near Copenhagen. Both cars were substantially restored by Alexandria's shop forces prior to shipping and have since been further restored in Denmark.

The images presented here show several three car trainsets on the Ramleh Line including single-deck and double-deck equipment, some naughty boys riding free, an image of the #15 & #25 Line street-running equipment, and two units at St. Catherine Circle in the Mansheia District. Additional pages show City Lines equipment running through streets in the western part of the city.

Links are provided to additional images taken at Ras el Tin , St. Catherine , Sporting and Ramleh .

In addition to the tramway and street-running light rail systems, Alexandria also has a heavily used conventional suburban service. That route runs between Misir (Egypt) Station in central Alexandria and its eastern terminus at Abu Qir. This service features frequent trains running from approximately 05:00 until as late as 01:00 most of the year or even later during Ramadan. The trains are all older 3rd Class trainsets with coaches in poor condition and one locomotive running in push-pull mode. Over-crowding is the normal situation during most of the daylight hours. Some passengers ride illegally on the locomotives and between boggies. Sidi Gaber Railway Station is the interchange point between mainline trains traveling between Cairo and Alexandria as well as a significant transfer point to and from trams.


Ramleh Station - Western Terminus of Ramleh to Victoria S-Bahn
Ramleh Station showing all five tracks. Hotel Metropole is in the back, centered.
[Courtesy of Giovanni Giudice, 2000]

Front of Ramleh Station - 2000
Front of Ramleh Station. The yellow train connects the City Lines with the Ramleh Line.
[Courtesy of Giovanni Giudice, 2000]
Steam hauled tram at Fleming Station.
Steam hauled tram at Fleming Station.
[Courtesy of Giovanni Giudice, 2000]

Ramleh Station in 1950.
Ramleh Station as it appeared in 1950.
[Courtesy of Giovanni Giudice, 2000]

Map of Alexandria Tramways Ramleh Line Routes - 2000
Map of Alexandria
Tramways Ramleh
Line Routes - 2000
A set of Alexandria Tramways main line equipment. Roushdy 1999.
Alexandria Tramways Ramleh Line
trainset at Roushdy Station
December 1999
Map of Alexandria Tramways, Ramleh & City Lines - 2001
Map of Alexandria
Tramways Ramleh &
City Lines - 2001
Trainset approaching Roushdy Station, November, 2000.
Train Approaching Roushdy Station in November 2000.

Train departing Roushdy Station Trainset approaching Roushdy Station in November, 2000. The train is moving from right to left away from the camera.

Close up of double deck tram car. Roushdy, November 2000. Close up of modern double-deck tram. Roushdy Station in November 2000.

Old out of service double decked equipment.
Older out of service double-decked trams.
[Courtesy of Giovanni Giudice, 2000]

Free riders on the rear of an Alexandria Tramways train, Roushdy, December 1999.
Free riders on train near Roushdy Station, December 1999.

Train on Ramleh Line in 2000
Train passing through Alexandria, 2000.
[Courtesy of Giovanni Giudice, 2000]
Midan Mohamed Ali
Midan Mohammed Ali
[Courtesy of Giovanni Giudice, 2000]
Train and passengers near Sporting Club.
Train and passengers at Sporting Station.
[Courtesy of Giovanni Giudice, 2000]
Alexandria Tramways #15 trainset. #15 line operated on both the separateed grade main line and streets in the Manshea District.
Alexandria Tramways #15 Line trainset #114 at Ramleh Station, December 1999. #15 Line operates on streets in the Manshea District from Ramleh to Ras el-Tin.
Alexandria Tramways #25 Line at Ramleh Station, April 2001. #25 Line operates between Ras el Tin and Sidi Gaber el Mahat.
Alexandria Tramways #25 Line trainset #1103 at Ramleh Station, April 2001. #25 Line operates between Ras el-Tin and Sidi Gaber El-Mahat.
Ex-Copenhagen #834 running on Line #4 awaiting departure at St. Catherine Circle, Manshea. April 2001.
Ex-Copenhagen #834 running on Line #4 awaiting departure at St. Catherine Circle, Manshea. April 2001.
Ex-Granz #1208 running on Line #18 awaiting departure at St. Catherine Circle, Manshea. April 2001.
Ex-Granz #1208 running on Line #18 awaiting departure at St. Catherine Circle, Manshea. April 2001.

Prepared by Phil Abbey 25 December 1999, last updated 14 March 2005.
Photos by author except where noted otherwise.
Comments to pr_abbey@hotmail.com
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