I visited Milan at the end of the very same holiday trip on which we've stopped in Graz. It still felt strange without my digital camera, but I also felt obliged to take photos. Of course it was raining this time too, but who cared? Milan has some of the worlds most exotic streetcars, so I shot all the film we had in my girlfriend's camera...
The world famous Scala di Milano with a world famous Peter Witt streetcar in front of it. This is a tram of american origin: it was designed for Cleveland (please correct me if I'm wrong!), and then used all over the USA. They were introduced in 1928 over here, and since then they've been part of the city's character.
They once operated 500 from this type (also known as the 1500-series), now there's "only" 150 left.
Part of the success of this vehicle is its simplicity: a direct controller switch, pneumatic brakes, no high-tech fuss... and of course a lot of "personal" magic :)
When I first saw one, I couldn't believe that a car this old can be used in accordance with operating regulations of the 21st century. I'm sure some brain-damaged safety regulations would prevent a Peter Witt getting out on the Budapest rails...
At the terminus of route 23. Since all tram types here are uni-directional, there are many turning loops and junctions on the network. There was also a lot of abandoned tracks and "lost rails", too.
Almost like on a postcard...
Interior of a Peter Witt: I cannot compare it to anything else, it's just beautyful!
Notice the number of wooden parts and the nice lanterns!
Of course the era of the Peter Witts' is nearing to its end: as I heard, Milan transportation company ATM wants to phase them out in a few years time. To the left on the picture you can see the streetcar of the 21st century: Eurotram from Bombardier. I wonder if they'll last as long as the 1500-series!
I ran out of luck, and was unable to get a decent shot of the Eurotrams. Anyway, you can see that this is a space-age low-floor vehicle, a modified version of the Eurotrams in Strassbourg, France.
A "Jumbo", which is am articulated tram built out of two streetcars.
Originally the middle section was also built out of another tram type, but later they replaced it with purpose-built parts.
In the distance you can see a new generation of Jumbo-Trams: the 4900-series.
Unlike the Jumbos we just saw, these were built from scratch in 1976-77.
I believe these cars were intended for a new metro-like line which was never built, so they became normal trams.
A bit unusual for me is the assymetric front: the passengers at the first side window can see what's in front of the car...
As you can see on the pictures, rain and sunshine were alternating: first we got wet, then we were dried by the sun, then we got wet again :-)
Milan seems to have a busy tram network: vehicles were coming from different directions, they were arriving and departing to and from stops - sometimes it was dizzying.
Too bad we only stayed here for two hours: by the time the rain went away (again), we had to get back to our bus. Anyway, I was impressed by Milan trams, both old and new. I'm looking forward to my next visit here!