Thursday, 4 April 2013

Trams in the snow

It was another snowy day in Warsaw, anomalous weather for early April. But unlike some other European capitals I could mention, no traffic chaos, no  stranded motorists, no broken-down public transport systems. In fact, at work no one even mentioned the snow, other than in reference to a wish for winter to end and for spring to burst forth. Out in the streets, it was business as usual. Below: snow clearing, corner of Al. Ujazdowskie and ul. Piękna.

Below: a northbound 16 makes its way up Al. Niepodległości. Now the 13N trams have disappeared from regular passenger-carrying services, the square-cut Konstal 105N trams are the oldest in the fleet, some dating back to the early 1980s. They have a high-floor design, making them inconvenient to get in and out of.

Below: two trams pass on ul. Marszałkowska between Pl. Unii Lubelskiej and Pl. Zbawiciela. On the left a south-bound 18, on the right a north-bound 35. This stretch of Marszałkowska is one-way for road traffic (two lanes heading north into the city centre) but trams run in both directions.

Below: looking west along Al. Jerozolimskie, traffic moving smoothly. On the left a Konstal 105N2, a modernised version of the 105N; still high-floored and slab-sided, but with updated electronics and new-style cab. Behind it a PESA Swing, the latest additions to Warsaw's tram fleet (from 2010). We should be getting many more during the course of this year, replacing some of the oldest 105Ns.

The PESA Swing is low-floor, articulated so one can walk through its entire length. Definitely the tram of the future, well-liked by passengers. Below: a Swing stands at Nowowiejska tram stop on Al. Niepodległości.

Left: a Most unusual sight! Captured from the 30th floor of the Rondo ONZ 1 building, through falling snow, a retired 13N tram coupled to a 1925-vintage Linke-Hofmann Lw, make their way northward up Al. Jana Pawła II. The sign on the front of the leading tram says 'Przejazd techniczny' - technical journey. (Can any reader come up with a better translation?)

Above and below: lack of snow on the roof of the Lw tram suggests it was garaged overnight. The trams are travelling over the diverted track that passes the underground construction work on the second Metro line.

This time last year:
Will the A2 motorway be finished for the football?

This time two years ago:
Old-school retail experience: PRL-flavoured carrot juice

This time three years ago:
Easter Sunday - Lent's over

This time four years ago:
Węzeł Lotnisko - site cleared - ready for construction work

This time five years ago:
Classic Polish automobile - the Polski Fiat 125P

This time six years ago:
Jeziorki in Google Earth

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