Thursday 9 April 2015

Tight Turns & Trams Part One

As expected my post yesterday on the jaw dropping cliffs and conditions faced by bus drivers in the Indian Himalayan State of Pradesh (see here if you haven't seen it yet) made quite an impression. I was contacted by just about the nicest bloke in Suffolk, Paulo van Krieken in Ipswich, who has sent me some pictiures from his native Portugal. Paulo writes;

Hi Steve,

Your blog today inspired to go down to my roots and find some " narrow places " in Portugal.
The buses are from Island of Sao Vicente - Madeira - Portugal
The trams are from Lisbon - Portugal
I have to say Paulo that these pics have inspired me to go to Lisbon and ride these trams. Just need a passport and the fare! But it is firmly on my to do list.
Here are the first set of pics that Paulo sent.  

It's a tight fit!
It's a VERY tight fit!
Now just in case you're not sure who has priority in Lisbon - trams or cars.....

Enough said.
I don't know why but ths one is just about my favourite. It has a creeping up on you like a cat feel to it.

Can you imagine this in the Norwich Old City!
 Couple of buses now from Madeira, negotiating the same curve by the looks of it -- don't forget your water wings!

Don't panic - it's only water!
You can swim can't you?

Paulo kindly sent in enough pictures for two posts and Part Two will be up tomorrow. Many thanks Paulo.

1 comment:

  1. Andrew Kleissner13 April 2015 at 22:32

    I first encountered the Lisbon trams when I went to live there in 1978. The network - all on the narrow 900mm gauge - was far more extensive than today, although it had already been truncated when the Metropolitano was inaugurated. I didn't know about the Lisbon trams (the line that passed my lodgings had closed), so you can imagine my amazement when I stood at a bus stop and saw a 75-year old bogie tram (complete with clerestory room) coming round the corner. (What's even more amazing is that the same trams survived into the 1990s!) The fleet was very mixed, with an assortment of bogie cars, four-wheelers (and trailers on some services).

    Today the fleet is far less varied. Basically there are two types: modern articulated cars, and the ones you posted in the pictures, which are basically 1930s bodies on modern "works". There is an excellent museum at the main Carris depot which includes lots of the older ones and buses too! They do sometimes venture out.

    You will notice that some of those narrow routes have single-track sections. Today they controlled by traffic lights, but they used to be controlled by pairs of signalmen, sitting in shop doorways and armed with whistles and red/green batons. Happy days!