Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Transport Tuesday

While Melbourne has the largest tram system in the Southern Hemisphere, it is a comparatively slow system, hampered by most of lines running along roads and so mixing with motor car traffic. Our terrible exploding population growth sees the number of cars increasing all the time and the traffic becomes more and more congested and so then the trams can't move freely. This is not so in many European cities where public transport is taken seriously by governments.

Poland has 14 cities with trams, ranging from small systems to large systems, the largest by far being in Katowice.

It is then arguable, depending how it is measured, whether Warsaw or Lodz has the next largest system in Poland.

If you look at most tram systems around the world, you see very little beauty in their operation or layouts, which I suppose is fair up to a point. Their first purpose is to function well. But why can't there be beauty within public transport. I suggest there is at St Pancras Station in London. I like what they have done at Kings Cross and Paddington Stations. Who has not seen photos of the beauty of some of Russia's train stations and in New York?

Trams are often seen as the poor cousins of trains, but not in Lodz with this absolute beauty of a tram station. I just hope it protects passengers well from the weather but with a good tram system, no one should be waiting there for very long. Images all by Shutterstock.






20 comments:

  1. Andrew tram system in Upper Silesia is the best in Poland and we must have it because here live so many people.. And traffic jams are terrible here without trams it would be nightmare

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    1. Gosia, it is hard to imagine Melbourne without trams, with instead hundreds of buses running. It does not make a nice city.

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  2. It definitely looks like a great system, and well thought out too. Thanks for sharing!

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    1. Blogoratti, Europe just does public transport so well.

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  3. Oh what fun.
    How I wish that we paid more attention to the necessity of developing (and maintaining) an efficient public transport system. More attention to the aesthetics wouldn't go astray either.

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    1. EC, in Europe, with admittedly a cooler and wetter climate, it is not unusual for grass to be grown between the tracks. I can bet your new light rail will not have grass.

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  4. "This is not so in many European cities where public transport is taken seriously by governments." But our trams ARE taken very seriously. For four quite separate reasons:
    1. They avoid the stinking pollution of buses
    2. They were historically the heart and soul of Melbourne and need to be protected. Nothing says "Melbourne" more than the trams.
    3. They look beautiful, gliding around the wide streets and
    4. I and my fellow workers couldn't survive without them.

    Could there be a beautiful tram station in the centre of the City? Could there be more trams en route every morning and evening peak hour? 100% yes

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    1. Hels, I don't believe our governments do take public transport seriously and only react when they have to. Yes, I love our trams too, and I love whinging about them.

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  5. Wow, that is beautiful. Puts the rest of us to shame, doesn't it?
    Public transport isn't taken seriously because far too many people, including those in Government, aren't willing to give up using their cars. It's one of those vicious circles, public transport cannot be relied upon so no one wants to use it, but the system cannot be effectively developed because there are too many cars on the roads.

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    1. You are correct River. PT has to be good enough to attract 'suits', who will then demand better PT.

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    1. Margaret, I thought so.

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  7. How beautiful, almost cathedral like. Design shouldn't just be functional it should always be pleasing to the eye.

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    1. Marie, we are just beginning to build an underground Metro rail system here, and in spite of them modern, I rather like the station designs from what I have seen. But the basics can be attractive too, seldom seen here.

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  8. Wish we had trams wish we had buses that ran on time they all come together or not at all.
    Waited for a bus for 1/2 hour today, they are surposed to run every 15mts then there was two of them, maybe the driver get lonely and like to travel together.
    Those are fine looking bus shelters.
    Merle.........

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    1. Merle, much as we complain about our trams, as you describe is just not good enough. There are legitimate reasons why buses would run together like that and you are entitled to know and you should complain. Always the squeaking wheel gets the oil.

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  9. All those wonderful arches Andrew, my very favourite architectural feature! Definitely one of the prettiest tram station I've seen!

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    1. Grace, bright and gay, in the old sense of the word.

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  10. We have two bus routes where I live, limited hours running and that's it for public transport. You can't take on board more than you can carry so as to not pose a problem, so one cannot even take out their laundry to do, via the bus here. So one must have a car to survive. I think the trams are pretty and probably much less stinky than buses.

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    1. Strayer, yes on all counts about trams. Much smoother too. It is always a chicken and egg argument about public transport bu it certainly won't get used if it is not provided.

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