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Woo, trams to return to London
May 29, 2002 5:28 AM   Subscribe

Woo, trams to return to London At last it looks as though there may finally be real progress in tackling the transport problems of one of the world's most congested cities. I wonder whether other nations should take note, or is it all just a pipe dream?
posted by Duug (18 comments total)

 
We still have trams in all the larger Polish cities, but pressure from the growing car-driving population means that roads keep widening and public transport only gets what's left of the transport budget.

"The Mayor is hoping Londoners will switch from cars to trams following the success of the Croydon Tramlink in south London.

That won't happen unless London makes it very expensive (or impossible) to use cars in the places serviced by the trams, and makes it easy to get by tube, train, or bus from outlying parking lots to these tram-centered places. People in cars don't get out of them willingly.
posted by pracowity at 5:43 AM on May 29, 2002


People in cars don't get out of them willingly.

I can see The Sun headlines now:

"Red Ken uses your taxes for car-jackings!"
posted by vbfg at 5:55 AM on May 29, 2002


What's up with the tube in London ?

If they spent the £ 500 million on improving that, would that not be better?
posted by ajbattrick at 6:44 AM on May 29, 2002


I have heard nothing but glowing reports for the tram service running in Croydon. This is great news as the Ealing tram will pass within yards of my front door.

Soon it will be the magic-tram ride home at 4 in the morning that I won't remember.
posted by Frasermoo at 6:45 AM on May 29, 2002


I don't know, that sounds like more of a Shelbyville idea to me...
posted by spilon at 7:18 AM on May 29, 2002


[Lyle Lanley] Well sir, there's nothin' on earth like a genuine, bonafide, electrified, six-car monorail!
What'd I say?
[Ned Flanders] Monorail!
[Lyle] What's it called?
[Patty & Selma] Monorail
[Lyle] That's right, monorail!
[All chant] Monorail, monorail, monorail...

- Simpsons Lyrics Archive
posted by plemeljr at 7:23 AM on May 29, 2002


How exactly are they going to run a tram from Kings Cross & Euston to Waterloo?
I suppose when they start charging motorists to enter London the streets will be clear and they can run the tram lines straight down.

Ken really wants to be re-elected doesn't he?
posted by Markb at 7:25 AM on May 29, 2002


In Dublin, they're building the LUAS.
posted by prolific at 7:36 AM on May 29, 2002


Okay. Pardon my ignorance (please)... but what the hell is a "tram", exactly? I have some vague notions... but all the "trams" I can think of are just low-budget gondolas, flying through the air on wires like ski-lifts. Are the trams they're describing something like cable cars (or trollies)?
posted by silusGROK at 7:55 AM on May 29, 2002


Trams are the highest killer of UK potheads in Amsterdam.
posted by Frasermoo at 7:58 AM on May 29, 2002


> but all the "trams" I can think of are just low-budget
> gondolas, flying through the air on wires like ski-lifts.

I wish. That would make going downtown an adventure.

You're in Utah, right? Have you been to San Francisco? If you do go, be sure to wear some flowers in your hair. And ride the trolleys (streetcars). I haven't been on them, but from the pictures they appear to be a lot like the trams I know. Ours look a lot like this.
posted by pracowity at 8:06 AM on May 29, 2002


Trams will be great. They'll presumably have lanes like buses, with the bonus that people won't park in them (there's a strong psychological incentive not to park on a rail....).
posted by jonathanbell at 9:03 AM on May 29, 2002


Trams will be great. They'll presumably have lanes like buses, with the bonus that people won't park in them (there's a strong psychological incentive not to park on a rail....).
posted by jonathanbell at 9:05 AM on May 29, 2002


All I can think about is the Robyn Hitchcock song.

In the Blitz they never closed
Though they blew up half the roads
Oh, it hurts me just to see 'em
Going dead in a museum

Trams of Old London
Taking my baby into the past
And its trams of Old London
Blow my mind

posted by RakDaddy at 9:05 AM on May 29, 2002


Sorry. Got over excited.
posted by jonathanbell at 9:06 AM on May 29, 2002


Streetcars. Okay... not my fault "trams" is used for both the overhead conveyance _and_ streetcars.

And, yes, I'm in Utah... land of skiing and ski-trams. Of course, San Francisco is a short 12 hour drive, so I've been there on a number of occassions.

Thanks pracowity! : )
posted by silusGROK at 9:14 AM on May 29, 2002


[digression on the topic of light rail systems] We have a light rail/tram thing in progress in Hudson County (just across the river from Manhattan). There's one point where it has to be on an overpass to cross a street that was too busy to add another junction to. The overpass is a heavy concrete behemoth, as wide as a highway overpass and very dark underneath.

Right next to it, there's an old railroad bridge which is used by "normal" "heavy rail" trains. It's probably a hundred years old, but it's made of a thin, light-looking iron grating which lets light pass through to the street below.

It also allows two trains to pass, yet is half the width of the "light rail" overpass.

Remind me again how this is progress? [/digression]
posted by bcwinters at 9:34 AM on May 29, 2002


What's up with the tube in London ?

If they spent the £500 million on improving that, would that not be better?


Only if you live near a tube station. And digging big tunnels is more expensive than laying metal rails. Since I live in London and don't drive, I can't think it would be a bad idea.
posted by walrus at 10:09 AM on May 29, 2002


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