Today's Gazeta Stołeczna informed Warsaw that today there would be a last chance to bid farewell to the Konstal 13N tram, finally withdrawn from regular service last week after 53 years of continuous duty. I shall miss them; a tangible link to my childhood visits to Warsaw. A sentimental journey, to pay homage to the old trams, was therefore in order. Below: 13N no. 836 at Rondo Waszyngtona, in front of the National Stadium.
Below: the special excursions proved very popular with a wide cross-section of Varsovians. Running between the loops at Teatr Powszechny and Pl. Narutowicza, the farewell service ran all afternoon and into the evening. I hope it will be reprised at this year's Noc Muzeów ('museum night') in May, but I guess that most 13Ns will have been scrapped by then. A handful will be kept on as heritage trams.
The doors open and close in a sharp and noisy manner; the sound of the trams' acceleration and deceleration was also characteristic. In winter (+1C today), the wind would whistle through numerous cracks and openings. Not too comfortable, but back in the early 1960s, this was grand style.
Click on the video below (courtesy of Mat at Naokolo.pl.blog) who concurs that this is indeed the best seat in the tram.
Good to have the new Swings on our streets in ever-increasing numbers, but still, I will miss the 13Ns. Farewell.
This time five years ago:
Five departures from Okęcie