Friday, January 16, 2009
Our January program will be presented by Jack May. Jack returned to Eastern Europe last August and visited about a dozen properties that were new to his travels, including about half the tramway systems in Romania, as well as a series of meter-gauge operations in the Ukraine.
Jack began his travels in Moscow, home to a first-rate streetcar system and subway cars of a new design that have begun plying the Russia capital’s labyrinth of trackage. Transit in other Eastern Europe cities, like Konotop, Zhitomir, Sibiu and Cluj, has hardly changed in decades except for one new twist: the importation of used rolling stock from Western Europe. Oradea has begun running modern ULF (Ultra Low-Floor) cars from Vienna, and Tatra PCCs are beginning their swan song as more and more used equipment from countries as far away as Switzerland is being placed in service. Bucharest’s extensive streetcar network uses locally-built 8-axle articulateds, and even some home-grown prototypes are now in evidence.
Mark January 16 on your calendar for the opportunity to see lots of streetcars in all kinds of colors and settings, in some faraway places.