English corner #1 – Wrocław city trains
Narrow tracks, stops announcement heard even from high buildings` floors and side-to-side resonance – these are main recognizable things about Wrocław trams. They seem to compete with subways which are usually more common for foreigners in big cities. Wrocław tram system is so well-built that it enables to reach any place quickly and without traffic jams.
High velocity of Wrocław trams makes passengers imagine as if they were traveling by train. Each commuter has a unique purpose of using a tram and personal thoughts during the trip as well. Today we had a chance to explore the daily routine inside one of the most popular lines crossing Old Town and main railway station.
Usually on weekends people go traveling to other cities and countries, or returning home. This time the majority of passengers with luggage in the tram were young. Some were listening to music, dreaming of their trip or planning the next week while others were talking to their companions. The tram was not hurrying too much because week-days have finished. It was possible to watch the variety of picturesque views of Wrocław more carefully than usual, thanks to the tram`s flow.
However, suddenly all dreams and conversations were interrupted by tram driver`s announcement: because of technical problems the tram will pass ‘Opera’ and ‘Main Railway Station’ stops. All people with luggage, both who got on the tram on time or hurried up to it, started to think of other ways reaching the railway station and leaving the tram immediately on the nearest stop.
And someone is just enjoying the present moment. For example, a company of students talking about transport experience in their countries.
“I was so confused that you have to buy a ticket for a particular time here… We don`t have anything like that in Ukraine: you just bought it, and enjoy your trip,” the first girl said.
“Hey, is this your first time in Poland?” a boy asked her with a smile.
“It is so good that in Wrocław there are no marshrutkas [“small privately-owned buses” – auth.] like in Belarus,” the next girl told the others. “If you had a chance to use our local types of transport, you would definitely die of their smell.”
“However, there are many pretty good moments about Belarus. For example, if you have at least one friend from Belarus then, you have friends from the whole Belarus,” the boy joked, and all his friends laughed.
Actually, these young people were the only one in the tram who had fun. So when they left, a silence took place inside, except for the sound of tram electricity reminding the underground one. In addition, the tram was approaching its final destination in Park Południowy. There was a special rail loop where trams can easily turn around and start a new trip. However, tram drivers often do not have enough time for relaxing. Another tram also needs to empty of passengers at a proper place, before a particular line at the stop.
There is one more issue about Wrocław trams: not all lines are checked by ticket-collectors. However, it does not bother passengers to pay for their trip because the work of each “MPK Wrocław” employee must be paid…
Author: Yevheniia Savchenko
Picture: private archive