Europe’s Tram Driver Olympics Is My New Favourite EV Sport

Europe’s Tram Driver Olympics Is My New Favourite EV Sport

If you’re in the market for a new sporting spectacle that pits the best electric vehicle drivers against one another, then you’re spoiled for choice right now. Formula E is showing just what EVs can manage on the tight turns of a street circuit, Extreme E is putting on some fierce races for people who prefer their races off road and the new E1 series will put a spotlight on electric boats. But if you prefer your electric vehicle competitions on rails, then boy have I got an exciting find for you.

Earlier this month, the brightest and best tram drivers in Europe headed to Romania for the annual tram driver Olympics, which is officially known as Tram-Em. The sport, now in its 12th year, doesn’t put these trained professionals through Olympic disciplines like modern pentathlon, sport climbing or handball. Instead, it tests their mettle behind the controls of a 23 T tram.

The organisers of Tram-Em claim that it’s “one of the highlights of public life” for people in its host city, which this year is Oradea in Romania. And while that might sound like a lofty claim, it is quite the spectacle to behold.

Over a day’s worth of competition, 25 teams of tram operators from cities including Barcelona, Dresden, Hanover, Kyiv, Oslo, Rotterdam and Warsaw battle to be crowned best in Europe. Each city fields a team comprising a female tram driver, male tram driver and a team supervisor.

Over the course of two rounds, both drivers must take part in events like emergency stopping, side clearance tests, speed estimations and even a round of tram bowling. After each discipline, the teams are awarded points and the team that amasses the most points is crowned the victor.

And, just like the real Olympics, Tram-Em even includes practice rounds, social events to bring teams closer together and a real awards ceremony. It really is quite something.

Now, we’ve sadly missed the live broadcast of this sporting spectacle for 2023, but it’s thankfully all on YouTube for your enjoyment. And if that’s not enough, there’s always next year’s competition to start getting hyped about.

To get the ball rolling, you can even check out the Tram-Em store, which is filled with tram driving merch. Personally, I’m a fan of this I ♥️ Tram tee, which I’m sure would become the envy of friends and family if I ordered one.

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