History of Tram and Trolleybus systems in Tbilisi and Georgia

Currently (2016) there are no tram or trolley lines in Tbilisi, but not so long ago in history there were plenty of tram and trolleybus lines not only in Tbilisi, but also in Batumi, Kutaisi, Gori, Zugdidi, Ozurgeti, Poti, Rustavi and even Chiatura. 

What have happened to once pretty impressive routes of trams and trolleys in Georgia - I guess the harsh history happened. After Collapse of Soviet Union - Georgia got troubled with civil wars, economic hardships so neither trams or trolley were priority.

I have found an interesting resource http://photo.tramvaj.ru/ (In Russian language) were some more than 10 year old pictures (dated with 2003) with trams and trolleys in Georgia are listed. Author of all images listed bellow: © Mike Russell, Reading, GB. Pictures taken at the begging of September 2003.

You can read original here: http://photo.tramvaj.ru/georg2003.htm

Tbilisi Tram

From Wikipedia: Tbilisi had a tram network, since 1883 starting from horse driven trams and from 25 December 1904 electric tramway. When the Soviet Union disintegrated, electric transport went to a degradation state within the years and finally the only tram line left was closed on 4 December 2006 together with two trolleybus lines which were left. There are plans to construct a modern tram network. 

Tbilisi Tram

Tbilisi Tram

Car Nr 599 on Route 12 (Didube - Avchala)

Tbilisi Tram KTM 5

Tbilisi Tram KTM 5

Car Nr 181 on Metro Station Didube

Tbilisi Tram Nr 7 (Isaani Line) KTM -5 car

Tbilisi Tram Nr 7 (Isaani Line) KTM -5 car

Tbilisi Trolley

In service from April 21, 1937 to December 4, 2006

Tbilisi Trolley

Tbilisi Trolley Škoda 14Tr

Tbilisi Trolleybus Škoda

Tbilisi Trolleybus Škoda

Škoda Trolleybus painted green in Tbilisi

Škoda Trolleybus painted green in Tbilisi

To make it more easy to maintan looks they have decided not to use secondary doors.

ZiU-9 Trolleybus at Vake

ZiU-9 Trolleybus at Vake

ZiU-9 Trolleybus on its route (Tbilisi suburbs)

ZiU-9 Trolleybus on its route (Tbilisi suburbs)

ZiU-9 Trolleybus on Rustaveli Prospect

ZiU-9 Trolleybus on Rustaveli Prospect

Tbilisi Troleybuses

Tbilisi Troleybuses

Gori Trolleybus

Included interurban line to Tiniskhidi village. In service May 1, 1972 - March 24, 2010

Trolleybuses in Gori

Trolleybuses in Gori

ZIU-9 Trolleybus in Gori

ZIU-9 Trolleybus in Gori

Zugdidi Trolleybus

In service: February 25, 1986 - July 2009

Zugdidi Trolleybus

Zugdidi Trolleybus

There was only one route in Zugdidi, ZIU-9 and Škoda trolleybuses run on it.

Ozurgeti Trolleybus

Included interurban line to Dvabzu village. In service: November 28, 1980 - June 2006

Ozurgeti Trolleybus

Ozurgeti Trolleybus

Poti Trolleybus

Included interurban line to Maltakva village. In service: May 9, 1981 - December 2004

Poti Trolleybus

Poti Trolleybus

Rumor has they didn't have enough eletricity to power those ZIU-9 trolleybuses in Poti

Batumi Trolleybus

Included two interurban lines to Makhinjauri and Khelvachauri. In service: November 6, 1978 - 2005

Batumi Trolleybus

Batumi Trolleybus

Kutaisi Trolleybus

In service: September 11, 1949 - July 25, 2009

Kutaisi Trolleybus

Kutaisi Trolleybus

ZIU-9 Trolleybus in Kutaisi

ZIU-9 Trolleybus in Kutaisi

Chiatura Trolleybus

Interurban line to Sachkhere. In service: November 7, 1967 - 2008

Trolleybus in Chiatura

Trolleybus in Chiatura

There was a trolleybus line Chiatura - Sachkhere

Rustavi Trolleybus

In service: February 16, 1971 - September 24, 2009

Rustavi trolleybus

Rustavi trolleybus

As you can see from those pictures taken more than 10 years ago - neither trolleys or trams, neither roads looks in their shape. I guess it's just logical that those lines were abandoed after all. On other hand it's sad. It's sad there were on investments made to upgrade existing cars, modernize lines. After all both trams and trolleys are "green". In our days there is a lot of talk of sustansable energy in Georgia, so I pressume some lines might return, at least to Tbilisi somewere in future.

Used resources:

About Reinis Fischer

Reinis Fischer is a Drupal Developer who works and lives in Tbilisi. A programmer by day and a writer by night. Or Vice Verse. Covers topics on Travel, Restaurant Reviews, Finances, Blogging e.t.c. Loves DIY and recently is excelling as a main constructor in his latest project - home remodeling.
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