In 1880 the new railway station was opened more than a mile from the town centre, which is why a horse-drawn omnibus ran between the station and Hof’s “Vorstadt” from 1887 to 1901. To meet the rising requirements, it was decide to replace this with an electric tramway. Siemens & Halske was the firm chosen to install and run the line, which went into operation using biaxial trams on 5th August 1901. The rails, wires, vehicle fleet and repair shop cost a total of 391,911 marks.
"Eleggdrisch fohrn mer dorch die Schdadd" (written in Hofer dialect, translates to: We’re riding through the city electrically.)
This single-track stretch went from the main station via Bahnhofstraße, Bismarckstraße, Altstadt. Ludwigstraße, Unteres Tor and Schleizer Straße as far as the cemetery. Along its 3.12 kilometres, the route had 19 stops including the two termini; trams ran every ten minutes. There was a uniform fare of 10 pfennigs, which the passengers dropped into a box under the eyes of the driver. Strict regulations governed the employing of staff: drivers and supervisors had to be at least 21 years old, of unblemished character, reliable and to have a healthy-looking face, good hearing and no physical impediments.
After the First World War, the rails were in a bad condition and Siemens & Halske decided to discontinue the service as of 20th January 1920. According to the contract, the tramway became the property of the municipal authorities on 1st August 1920, which resumed operation of the line much to the delight of the people of Hof. Although fares were constantly being raised (45 pfennigs in October 1921), the deficit continued to grow, so that the council decided to “temporarily” cease operations on 14/11/1921. That decision still holds – and the rails themselves have long since been removed.
Untere Ludwigstraße in Hof um 1904