GERMANY: Low-floor trams will enter service in Hamburg in 2014 if a project to build a 15 km route between Altona and Bramfeld goes as planned. Forming the first part of a network that could one day stretch to 50 km, the scheme won approval from the Hamburg Senate on January 8.

Hamburger Hochbahn has been asked to prepare detailed plans, and these should be complete by mid-2010. If planning procedures do not delay the project, construction could begin in 2012, with the first section of line opening two years later.

The route begins at Bramfelder Dorfplatz and runs southwest to Rubenkamp, where a depot would be built. From there the first section continues to Eppendorf, where alternative alignments via the U-Bahn stations at Lattenkamp and Kellinghusenstrasse will be studied. The second section would take the line further southwest through Hoheluft to Holstenstrasse and Hamburg Altona.

Long-term proposals would see tram routes built west towards Bahrenfeld, north towards Niendorf and east towards Farmsen-Berne and Rahlstedt. Trams last ran in Hamburg in 1978.