How does a tram work?
  • A tram uses electricity to work, usually from overhead wires.
  • The electricity comes from the power supply, along the overhead wires and then flows down a pole that sticks out of the top of the tram touching the overhead wires. The electricity flows from the pole through to the controls, which the driver operates.
  • The tram driver controls the flow of the electricity. The faster he wants to go the more electricity he lets flow through.
  • The electricity flows through the motors, down to the wheels and into the rails where it flows back to the power supply along the rails.
  Did You Know?
  • The electricity a tram runs on is six hundred volts. Thatís 400 D sized batteries (the type you put in a torch).
  • Before buses and before many people had cars trams were the main way of getting around.
  • A tram has no steering wheel because it can only go where the rails go.
  • Because a tram uses electricity and not petrol or diesel they donít pollute the air.
A tram works on an electric circuit. Ask your teacher if you can experiment with a battery powered electric circuit. Find out what happens if the electric circuit isnít complete. What would happen to a tram if the circuit it was running on wasnít complete?
Find out where the nearest tram is to you and ask your teacher if your class can go and investigate. There are trams at some Museums and Pioneer villages throughout the country. Suzyís World visited the one in Christchurch, but Auckland has one at MOTAT.
What other machines run on electric circuits like a Tram does?

What do you think of the energy a tram uses compared to a bus? What are the advantages and disadvantages of trams over buses?
What kind of tram is bouncy?
A trampoline. Tram-poline

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