Wednesday 9/22/21

Ratikka tram starts its test drive in Tampere

Before the actual tram transportation begins, test drives have started in Hervanta.
Photo: Pasi Tiitola / Tampereen Raitiotie Oy
Photo: Pasi Tiitola/Tampereen Raitiotie Oy

In Hervanta, Tampere, people may be surprised when seeing a yellow and red tram circulating in the streets. This is the Ratikka test tram which is running its test route between Hervanta and Turtola districts until the end of April.

Pekka Sirviö, CEO of Tampereen Raitiotie Oy said, “Towards the end of the year, the tram will be seen in more test drives.”

During the testing, signs posted in the test run area have informed people that the test car is operating, and traffic controllers have been present to ensure the safe passage of the test car among other traffic.

The test car has also been taped with Tampere Tramway’s safety colors of red and yellow.

Sirviö added, “The safety of people moving around near the track and the safety of the entire tramline system is of utmost importance to us. The tram car is a new element in the Tampere cityscape and that’s why we hope city residents will pay special attention to reviewing the traffic rules at this time, when test runs are being performed.”

Motorist, remember:

  • The most visible thing in the cityscape are the tram traffic lights used to direct other traffic in order to ensure free passage for the tram. The tram traffic light provides the tram with right of way also in a traffic circle. The tram traffic light is a triangular signal with two red lights at the top and one yellow light at the bottom. 
    A signal that displays a rapidly flashing yellow light tells road users to be especially cautious. When a solid yellow light goes on for 3-5 seconds, cars should stop if this can be done safely.
  • The tram has right of way at an equal intersection, so drivers should get used to also looking to the left when arriving at an intersection.
  • In accordance with its name, a public transport corridor is a place where buses, the tram and taxis can drive. Driving for service purposes and driving into yards is only permitted when indicated by an additional panel.
  • Cars and the tram will be using the same lane in many parts of Tampere. If there are parking places on the edge of the lane, be careful when you park to ensure that the tram can get by.
  • When turning your vehicle across the tram tracks, you must yield to a tram car coming from behind you, which means the same direction as you are driving. You must also yield to a tram car approaching from the other direction when it turns to the left, in other words, in front of you even if you’re driving straight ahead.
  • If the tram car has a yield sign or STOP sign, it will yield to traffic approaching from both directions. Exceptions to this rule are intersections equipped with tram traffic lights and traffic circles, where you must yield to the tram when indicated by the lights.

Pedestrian, remember:

  • A level crossing is a place where the track can be crossed, but you must always yield to the tram. There is a crosswalk painted over the street but not over the tracks in these places. Check the markings so you know when you are entering a crosswalk.
  • The tram will yield to you at a crosswalk, but remember to always look both ways to make sure it’s safe to cross the track. The Tampere tram is a quiet mode of transport and it cannot stop suddenly. Remember that lingering on the track is forbidden.
People will be able to travel on Tampere Tramway for the first time in April 2021, with the actual transportation beginning in August of the same year.