When you think of trams in the beautiful US Pacific city of San Francisco you think of the old cable cars that head up and down the steep streets. Well there is another very unique tram travelling the streets of San Francisco, the Tram or Street Car as they are known. The cars returned to the streets of San Francisco in 1979 and have now grown to quiet a fleet. Many of the street cars have come from cities around the US where they are no longer in use. Some have even come from overseas including Melbourne Australia, Kobe and Hiroshima in Japan and Blackpool in the UK. After painstaking restoration, and painting usually in the original city’s colours the trams have been returned to service.
The beautiful Czech Republic city of Prague has a wonderful tram network which makes visiting the city very easy. The trams in the city date back to 1875 when the trams were horse drawn but today the system is one of the most modern in Europe and covers over 140 kilometres of track and over 900 tram cars. For a real treat look out for the historic no 91 tram which runs over the warmer months. This quaint wooden tram adds a charming and nostalgic addition to Prague’s magnificent old architecture. For people wanting to see some of Prague’s most popular sites then tram 22 is the one for you it passes the Staromestska National Theatre, the Malostranska and offers some amazing views of the Prague Castle and the Pohorelec. The tram network run 24 hours, the daytime timetable runs from 4:30 am to midnight with services about every 10 minutes while the night service runs every 40 minutes.
The Hong Kong tramways has been operating for over 100 years and has the world’s largest fleet of double decker trams. There are only six tram routs and the total lenght of tracks only totals 30 km but the tramways carry and amazing 240,000 people per day accross there 161 trams. Stops are around 250 metres on average and there are 123 stops on the network. The trams offer a quick and cheap way to see some of Hong Kong island, One great trip is out to Happy Valley the city’s racecourse you can visit the racing museum or if its a race day have a flutter. The Central Admiralty & Wan Chai line offers easy access to many of the Hong Kong sights including Central District skyscrapers, Statue Square, the Ocean Terminal and the Zoo and Botanical gardens which are a great place to enjoy a relaxing stroll and a picnic- and best of all its’s free. The trams operate from 6am to midnight and at only $2 HK for any stop you like you won’t find a better bargain in Hong Kong other than the Star Ferry. Read the rest of this entry »
Melbourne’s W class trams are a well known icon of Melbourne that date back to the early 1920s. A main part of Melbourne’s transport system until the 1990s Today the trams are a tourist drawcard operating free on the city circle line as well as at night converted to restaurant trams. Interestingly Melbourne is not the only place in the world where you will see the iconic trams operating as a tourist trolly, a few of the 748 Melbourne built trams were exported to the US in the 70s and 80s and today can be seen operating in San Francisco, Seattle, San Jose, New Orleans, Dallas and Portland. The youtube video above is of a Melbourne tram turning onto San Franscisco’s Embarcadero. There are also some W class trams operating in Auckland and Christchurch New Zealand. Read the rest of this entry »
There is a lot to see in the Czech city of Prague and there is no better way to cover the distances between palaces, castles and museums than on the Tramvaje. The local tramway has over 500 km of tracks around the city and it is estimated used by over 300 million people a year. You will catch a tram every 10 or so minutes so there is no long waiting time but peak hours the carriages can get very busy. Tram 22 and 23 are probably the most useful for tourists they go past many of the city’s most scenic routes including passing the National Theatre to Staroměstská and Malostranská metro stations, and continuing up to the Belveder, Prague Castle and Pohořelec. Tickets are cheap as chips costing only 25Kc for adults and 10kc for kids and seniors, but for a real bargain get a short term tourist pass they work on all public transport . Tickets can be bought from newsagents, stations, hotels and some department stores. There are also vending machines close to many stops.
The Peak Tram is one of Hong Kong’s most popular and historic tourist attractions. Dating back to 1888 the 373 metres of steep track up The Peak offers spectacular views of this magnificent harbor city. The tram travels through the lush mountain through palms and other tropical growth. At the top of the peak there is a magnitude of things to do other than be dazzled by the glittering city below. There is are dining options and of course shopping, you cant seem to escape it in Hong Kong! Recently the world famous Madame Tussaunds has opened a display as well as a huge gaming centre where electronics company EA offer their latest computer games. Twilight is the best time to visit although it can be quiet busy but next to the Star Ferry it has got to be one of the cheapest treats in Hong Kong with one way trips costing only $20HK.
Since 1873 the cable car has been servicing the streets of San Francisco, and still today remain one of the city’s much loved icons. Originally built to safely transport people up and down the steep slopes of San Francisco Streets the cable car is still an integral part of the city’s transport system. Fares are 3 dollars for each trip but the best way to see the sights is to buy a 9 dollar all day pass or for longer stay a Three day or Seven day pass. Here you can jump on and off when ever it suits. There are three lines in operation, The Powell Mason, which runs to Nob Hill and Fisherman’s Wharf from the City. The Powel Hyde line also goes towards Nob hill and passes Russian Hill and ends up at Aquatic Park near the Ghirardelli Square on the Waterfront. The third line is the California Street line which runs east west from the financial district through Chinatown to Nob Hill. A great way to learn about the cable car system is visit the Cable Car Barn and power station which can be found at 1201 Mason Street its open most days and gives a great insight into this great transportation system.