Monday, March 29, 2010


We have now returned from Poland after a very pleasant visit with spring sunshine and planes, trains, trams all running punctually. We visited three cities: Wroclaw, Katowice and Krakow.

Wroclaw has a pedestrianised centre which is surrounded by quite a dense network of tram routes and also canal bridges. There are significant road works and diversions but most of the tram track is in good condition and our lasting impression is of well maintained trams going through junctions at seemingly breakneck speeds.
The Katowice tramway network has improved tremendously since my last visit four years ago when it was very run down and the timetable was fiction with about one third of all journeys missing and frequent breakdowns. On this trip every tram we travelled on was on time, we didn't see a breakdown and we didn't wait for a tram that wasn't running. The worst of the track has been repaired and the trams now look cared for with lots of evidence detailed improvements. Some routes have closed, in particular the trunk route to Gliwice, but others are being improved in particlar the main line eastwards from Katowice to the depot has been relaid to modern standards.  There are several single track sections with gutter running which result in tram passengers having to board in the middle of the road which will have to be upgraded. Katowice has a wonderful tramway and now is a good time to visit it.
Krakow is a major international tourist destination but, as in Wroclaw, the main sights are in the central pedestrianised area. From a tramway point of view Nowa Huta with its vast steel works and communist architecture is more interesting. There is more variety of trams here with second hand cars from Germany and Austria running alongside the ubiquitous Konstals and new low floor cars.
All in all I can recommend all three cities but Katowice is still the most interesting.  Posted by Picasa

No comments:

Post a Comment