|Light Rail Transit Association
Light Rail for better public transport
Our speaker set out to demonstrate that in Prague the tram is still King, despite the presence of three Metro lines. To help the audience’s understanding the presentation was well interspersed with maps. The city is very hilly which makes for interest, particularly around the old city and castle. The Metro does not serve all areas of the city, and where it does operate, trams act as local distributors.
Improved traffic management, including kerbing, white lines and loading islands have helped to reduce conflict with increasing car traffic. Many of the Tatra T3 PCC cars have been converted to electronic control to reduce energy consumption. Track and rolling stock is well maintained. The presentation featured a number of major junctions and termini with continuous processions of red and cream trams. Routes 3 and 24 are operated with 8-axle Tatra KT8 double articulated cars. Some of these have been refurbished and painted in the newer dark red livery. All other services are worked with Tatra T3’s and T6’s.
Of particular note was a visit to the new extension beyond Smichov, in the Barrandov area, which features several tunnels and overhead supports in the form of arches. The impressive line runs to a major housing development and is served by routes 12, 13, and 14, plus a route 20 at peak times. Trams have replaced an intensive bus service.
This entertaining presentation demonstrated that Prague’s tramways are in good shape and providing an excellent service to the citizens of the city.
John Laker, 27/2/06
London Area – 20th February 2006
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