Zhangjiang Tram is one of the only two tram lines operating in Shanghai today, the other being Songjiang Tram. It utilises a system manufactured by the French Translohr company. Shanghai originally had a steel wheeled electric tramway network in its urban center. Routes expanded gradually and reached largest extent in 1925 with 328 tramcars; this tram system shut down in 1975. Tram service returned to Shanghai with the opening of a rubber tired Translohr line in the suburban Zhangjiang Hi-Tech Park in 2010. It is the second rubber-tired tram system in both China and Asia, the first being TEDA tram in Tianjin.
Zhangjiang Tram started construction on December 23, 2007. Construction was originally planned to be completed on December 2008, but this was delayed a year, until December 31, 2009 when it was opened to traffic. Passenger operations started on January 1, 2010. Zhangjiang Tram runs for 10 km (6.2 mi) from Zhangjiang Hi-Tech Park Station of the Shanghai Metro Line 2 to Heqing Town with 15 stops. The next phase of the project is the Zhangjiang tram division multiple-phase construction, a project in the east Greenfield Road, from Zu Chong Zhi Road (Shanghai Metro Line 2 Zhangjiang Hi-tech station), west to Osmanthus Road Autumn Road, which covers a distance of about 10 km, with a total of 15 stops, 1 depot. It will be followed by an extension in the direction of Tang Zhen-Qing.
The new system was built in Zhangjiang Town, because it is a planned area, and commuting between neighborhoods of the town has always been difficult. The Translohr tramway is constructed in Zhangjiang Town which is in the heartland area of Pudong (east shore of Huangpu River) New District. Due to Economic-Technological Development Area ordinances, sound pollution must be kept to a minimum in this area. Traditional steel wheeled trams generate lots of vibration and sound during their journey. Rubber tires on the trams reduce vibration, and as a result noise, substantially. Additionally, the Zhangjiang Town roads are very hilly, and rubber tired trams can climb steeper grades than traditional trams easily. Another advantage is that rubber tired trams don't require tracks, as steel wheeled cars do, so there is less disturbance of underground networks like power cables, phone lines, and sewer/water mains.
Most Zhangjiang tram lines run along the centre of the roads, while some stations are situated at intersections and have side platforms, while the two terminals have a central platform. Zhangjiang streetcar doors are on a "need to open" mode. If a passenger requests a stop, a green light is illuminated and the doors open at the next stop. If no stop is requested, the doors remain closed.
The modern tram routes completely run on unreserved tracks and in the middle of the road. Because of the rubber tires, it is not possible to lay track in grass, as the trams can only run on concreteroads. All stops have island platforms.