Siemens-Düwag U2

U2 LRV Drawing.svg
By Koman90 - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link

Sometimes I feel like I'm running out of things to write about on this blog, but maybe that's because there are really too many things out there. It's hard to decide, and I can't keep up lately. One of the very first posts on this blog I started quite a few years ago was about the C-Train. For those of you who don't know, that's the name given to the Light Rail Transit system in the Canadian city of Calgary, Alberta, a place I reluctantly (at first, anyway) called home due to its lack of public transit infrastructure (still true today, but hell, we've got oil and pickup trucks) despite having a population of over one million. Though, never had I known was that the C-Train would become one of this meaningless but nonetheless interesting coincidence in my life. You see, the oldest of the C-Trains are the Siemens-Düwag U2. They were built in the city of Düsseldorf, a few stops down the line on the RegionalExpress from where I live now. In fact, I first learned of Düsseldorf from the manufacture's stencil on the door-windows on the C-Trains. Oh, and I meant to say that, I didn't remember writing about the U2 specifically.

Siemens-Duewag U2 Calgary 2022.JPG
By KigoNico - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, Link

Depending on who it is, the name U2 probably reminds people of things ranging from reconnaissance planes to a rock band. The letter U here, however, stands for U-Bahn (untergrundbahn), which the train (or Light Rail Vehicle) was conceived for, in the city of Frankfurt am Main. I hope I don't nee to translate the word untergrundbahn to English, although in a lot of cities in Germany, U-Bahn really means U-Stadtbahn, and are not mostly underground.

U2-Wage 331 Gonzenheim.jpg
By MdE (page at dewiki | page at commons) - own photo, CC BY-SA 3.0 de, Link

Like a lot of the successful old equipment, the U2's production began in the 1960s and lasted all the way up to 1990. Other than Frankfurt a.M. and Calgary, they were also acquired by Edmonton (the other big city in Alberta) and San Diego, California. But all good things come to an end, and the U2 is no exception. The day it has to say good-bye to all is coming sooner or later. As of today, the U2 fleet is already retired in Frankfurt a.M. and San Diego (some were offloaded to Mendoza, Argentina). In Calgary, they are beginning to be replaced by the Siemens S200, an American-built offspring to the German LRV.

As my European tour winds up to an end, I might actually end up at where the C-Trains run again (the Rockies are just too photogenic for someone who likes cameras). Time will tell, and maybe I'll write about the S200 after seeing them for the first time.


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