Insight & Analysis

Tram strikes! Tram bowling is a competition favourite at Tram-EM

Published: Jun 2023

Earlier in the month, tram drivers from across Europe gathered in Oradea, Romania to compete in a series of tasks set to test their overall tram driving abilities.

Spanning over an average of five hours, the European Tram Driver Championship – also known as Tram-EM – involves a series of exercises specifically created to test the skill, speed and nerve of tram drivers. Scoring is based on the time taken and skill displayed in each task.

Open to all European municipalities, to qualify for the competition the team must consist of one male tram driver, one female tram driver and one supervisor.

The event is held in a different European city each year. The first event took place in 2012 to coincide with the 140th anniversary of horse-drawn trams in Dresden, Germany.

The competition includes exercises such as: emergency breaking, cornered speeding and tram billiards. The most popular round is tram bowling which, like its name suggests, involves the tram hitting a large inflatable ball to try and knock over a group of inflatable skittles. Introduced to the competition in 2014, the round has captured the interest of the public, helping to boost recognition for this relatively unknown competition.

This year the bronze medal went to Prague’s team, with Gothenburg taking the silver medal and Vienna winning gold.

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