Friday, 4 December 2009

Tram 22 approaching Vršovické Náměstí

The Prague integrated transport system is one of the wonders of the known world. The three metro lines, 26 tram lines and 130 city bus routes all work seamlessly together, and a number of key services continue to work throughout the night - so it's always possible to travel everywhere cheaply and quickly.  There are a few downsides: less frequent connexions at weekends, and servicing during the summer months, when Czechs flood out of the city and leave the tourists to cope with the roadworks. 

The 22, and its night-time equivalent the 57, are the workhorses of the tramways (tramvaje).  This one started its journey 50 minutes ago at Bílá Hora (White Mountain), the historic early battleground of the Thirty Years War situated to the west of the city. Half an hour ago it picked up travellers from Prague Castle, and ten minutes later from the big Tesco's store near Wenceslas Square. In another twenty minutes it will finish its journey at the eastern terminus of Hostivař, travelling along the same route (though in the opposite direction) as the waters of the Botič.

Not the sharpest of photos in this waning December light, but a little nostalgic, since this traditional style of tram is on the way out, to be replaced any time now by a hideous new design by Porsche.  On the left you can see part of the facade of the art-nouveau Civic Bank building, guarded by one of its two imposing eagles.

3 comments:

Hilda said...

Hmmm… maybe our city engineers should consult with yours. Our public transportation system is awful and our streets are a mess!

Love the cobblestone streets!

Antjas said...

I was truly amazed at the beauty and cleanliness of the Prague subway system. The length and steepness of the escalators however made me lightheaded.

Julie said...

You are weaving me into a Prague-state-of-mind, Alex.

why oh why, though, would you replace this beautiful tram design. Admittedly, I have not seen the Porsche design, but this is most satisfying.

Sydney eliminated trams completely in the early 60s and has regretted it ever since. Well, I have ...

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