Thursday, August 31, 2017

The World Needs More Trams

Thought for the day: the world needs more trams.  Their dignified passage enhances any street; cities are ennobled by their benevolent trundle.  ('Discuss'!)
 I've nothing against buses and their ponderous elephantine lumber.  But trams never burden the air with pollution; they don't judder or throb, their bogies' progress is relatively unobtrusive, and their operation is entirely in accordance with the standards of the Clean Air Act 1951 and the encyclical Laudato Si'.

Croydon Tramlink
 They bring cities within reach of their suburbs, offer practical movement around its centre, and then there is the simple enjoyment of riding them and sight-seeing from them.  They run above ground, so are cheaper to build than underground systems, and are lighter than main-line trains, so need only lightly-engineered infrastructure and relatively uncostly maintenance.

And they are fitted with bells that spice the soundscape, setting tintinnabulation echoing across squares and down alleys and from cliff to cliff of masonry.

One of the principles I have learned in life so far is to pay attention, at all times, to what they are doing in France.  As far as trams are concerned, there is a lot going on!  They have a total of twenty-five modern tram networks; three more are under construction and more are in the pipe-line.  And they often tinker with what has already been built, adding new lines and extensions to existing networks.

We in this country have only seven modern systems.  We should be clamouring for more!

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