G Is For Gammal.


Gammal is Swedish for old. The museum tram was made 1909 by the Swedish company ASEA and the open trailer is from 1919 and made by a shipbuilding company in Helsinki. Both have been restored in Estonia. There are museum tram rides on Sundays in the summer, starting from this place, in the Market Square.

The tram was taken out of service in 1957 and the trailer in 1952. The tram model is called pikkuruotsalainen, little Swede, as it’s quite a small two-axle tram.

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© Ice Swimmer, all rights reserved.


  1. Ice Swimmer says

    For some reason old is gammal (or gammalt, gamla depending on grammatical gender, number and whether it’s a definite or indefinite form) in Swedish, quite unlike old in English or alt in German, but the comparative äldre and superlative äldst are probably a bit more familiar sounding and looking.

    The little ASEA trams weren’t the first electric trams in Helsinki (a German tram was the first type, AFAIK), but they were numerous and used for a long time.

  2. Ice Swimmer says

    I like riding trams even now. They are quiet and go smoothly (most ones at least, the Variotrams don’t in Helsinki, but HKL is getting rid of them)

    For any potential tram enthusiasts. Here/a> is a a bilingual page about the trams used by the predecessor of the municipal tram service HRO (basically Helsinki Tramways and Omnibus Ltd, the Swedish name of the company, Spårvägs och Omnibus Aktiebolaget i Helsingfors is on the stock certificates).

    In the end of 1944, the City of Helsinki bought all the shares of the company (it had already been a majority owner) and changed the company to a municipal service called HKL. Here is the rolling stock from 1945 to today.

    The trams have been made by various companies. Some curiousities: Valmet Oy Lentokonetehdas means Valmet Ltd (at the time a state-owned company) Aircraft Factory. The main product of Kaipio Oy was safes, but they also made bus bodies in addition to trams.

  3. says

    The word exists indeed in German, but it means “old and spoilt”.
    A “Gammler” is a homeless person (not a good word), you can “rumgammeln” which means to hang around and do nothing.
    Or food can be “gammelig”, which means it’s gone.

  4. Ice Swimmer says

    voyager @ 5

    The colour scheme of the Helsinki trams is still about the same, green and yellow. With the vendors and cafés there’s both bright and pastel colours in the area.

    Giliell @ 6

    Cool to know. I wonder if the Angles and Saxons forgot to bring the word to England when they left the continent or if Normans ate or burned it after 1066.

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