Although many people today crave the latest technology, there is a persistent, strong fascination with “veterans” – old-timey cars, trams and busses which appear on the streets are instantly surrounded by admirers, and the owners of these historic jewels bring them out on special occasions. Ostrava City Transport is now preparing to celebrate the centenary of the oldest trams in its collection – the famed No. 25 tram, a wooden model that hit the rails in 1919, cruising the city at 15 kilometres an hour.
After an absence of nearly 40 years, trams are set to again run up and down Prague’s Wenceslas Square. The city council have just approved a plan for a tram connection between existing tracks on Vinohradská Street and those crossing the lower half of the city’s main boulevard. If everything goes according to plan, trams could return to Wenceslas Square as soon as 2022.
The Prague authorities have taken the first step to reintroducing tram
lines running down Wenceslas Square. At a meeting on Tuesday, the recently
elected council instructed the transport authority to begin preparations
for a connection between existing tracks on Vinohradská St. and those
crossing the lower half of the city’s main thoroughfare.
Deputy mayor for transport Adam Scheinherr says the lines could be in place within four years. Trams went from the National Museum down Wenceslas Square until the 1980s.
Another line running from Vinohradská St. past Prague’s Main Train Station is also planned for a later date, officials say.
Finnish Transtech Oy, a subsidiary of the Czech company Škoda
Transportation, will deliver ten Artic trams to the city of Helsinki. The
price of the contract amounts to 750 million crowns.
There are currently 48 trams of the same type operating in the Finnish capital. As of 2021, they will also operate on a newly built track in the city of Tampere. The Plzeň-based transport company Škoda Transportation acquired a controlling stake in Finland’s sole manufacturer of rail vehicles abd trams in August 2015.
Two black-painted trams adorned with written excuses frequently proffered
by passengers without tickets have gone into service in Prague.
The Czech term for free riders is “black passenger” and the trams are part of a campaign entitled “Are you riding black?”
Also part of the drive is an offer of half-price fines for free riding if the offending passenger purchases a yearly pass.
The City of Prague is going ahead with planned changes which will see the introduction of two new tram routes. Plans for the project are to be drawn up after the proposal was passed by councillors this week. Changes to the tram lines will affect routes from Jižní Město to Žižkov and form Podolí to Michle. Both routes are part of long-term plans by the city's Dopravní podnik (public transport authority).