19 listopada 2010


Sorry for the misleading title. You probably clicked 'wypadek' thinking this would be a post in Polish. I know my Polish writing is entertaining (if not grammatically correct) but this Friday afternoon I have no energy for it. My trip home from the centre this afternoon was considerably lengthened by a tram accident at Rondo Waszyngtona. . .

As you can see, there was a considerable pileup of trams. Interestingly, while in Poland I normally refer to this situation as a 'tram jam.' It's a little strange because if I was somewhere else in the world I would likely just say that the trams were 'backed up.' Even though 'tram jam' isn't quite proper, I know that it will be universally understood, whereas 'backed up' might require a little explaining.

I found that two trams had collided at Rondo Waszyngtona. It appears a #24 was turning from Aleja Zieleniecka onto Waszyngtona going toward the centre. Why a #24 was coming from Zieleniecka I do not know. From what I saw it looks like a #8 was heading along its normal route from Waszyngtona to Zieleniecka at the same time. It appears the #24 intended to turn right (centre bound) and for whatever reason proceeded straight into the path of the oncoming #8. The Gazeta website reports there were minor injuries to couple of passengers and that one tram driver had to be extracted from the tram by the fire department.

I stood and watched the officials disentangle the trams and restore order to the situation. There was basically no 'perimeter control' of any kind. Although it certainly would have taken an act of stupidity to walk or stand behind one of these trams as they were pulling them apart, there was nothing preventing this sort of disaster from happening. I don't understand why tram officials, firemen, or police didn't keep the public back a little further. This kind of orderless operation is a little baffling.

A couple of videos of the disentangling operation taken from my cell phone. Sorry for the quality. Blogger veterans can probably recommend an option where I could maintain a little more video quality.

It's a pity to see trams of this (older) generation damaged. I don't know if they attempt to repair this kind of damage or not, but I think the type of tram pictured above is the most comfortable tram (except for the new style PESA trams) in the city. I know people may cringe hearing me say that trams are comfortable! Of course they're crowded at peak hours, but I think they're pretty good. These older trams seem to have much more standing room than the new versions, and the windows open nice and wide for a breeze in the summertime or on wet days. I'm generally amazed at the condition of the old trams and buses in the city. I know that public transportation is a frequent subject of complaints, but I'm really amazed at how good the fleet of old vehicles looks. You Warsaw natives may think I'm crazy to say this, bus some of the night buses in particular are obviously very lovingly maintaine.

I promise to post more in Polish soon! See you at the blogmeet tomorrow.

4 komentarze:

  1. The matter of security around an accident site like this has always been one of great interest to me. In North America, the emergency services people or on industrial sites the safety people are always extremely cautious to maintain a large and distinct barrier between the hazardous site and the public, but when you see on TV seems like this in many other countries (notably central America and the Middle East, there are always crowds of frantic, panicked wailing people gathered around the scene. It almost seems to be more cultural thing than an issue of public safety.

  2. Hi Kolin, nice to meet you tonight. Hope you didn't get in trouble with your Mrs! Email me on paddyney@googlemail.com.


  3. @ DiverDoc - I certainly didn't see anyone frantic or panicked. Just a lot of interested people (like me) looking to see what had happened and what was going on.

  4. @Kolin:"I certainly didn't see anyone frantic or panicked"

    I don't imagine you did. I was more referring to scenes that might occur in countries in Central America or the Middle East - not Poland.

    Must have been interesting to see though.



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