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A long weekend in Upper Silesia - Interurban trams II.

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The long way to Bytom

The second day we parked again at Silesia Center.

To the left: the mall was built on a former mining site, and features artifacts of its history, like these bogies in the middle of the parking lot. To the right: the Katowice-Chorzów-Bytom tram corridor (on the other side of the mall) is where a batch of locally-built Citadis partially-low-floor trams are running.

Left: a tram 19 - consisting of two 105Na cars - making its way towards Katowice; right: interior of a renovated 105Na tram.

Katowice Rondo is where the Katowice-Chorzów-Bytom-corridor branches off of the municipal lines of Katowice. The square looks modern, but after a few stops to the north with tram 14, the scenery quickly changes.

First you pass by neglected housing areas, then empty industrial areas. Then you arrive to Siemianowice ¦l±skie, which is an old housing area for industry labourers.

At Plac Alfreda there's an interesting asymmetric reversing/diverging/terminus facility, where we were yet able to take a photo of tram 12 (left), which does not exist anymore.

Two buses: an Ikarus 280 with modified front to the left, and a Jelcz to the right.

One of our goals of coming here was to ride tram 12, because we knew it will be closed soon. The picture to the left was taken on its eastern terminus (also terminus for tram 13), Plac Skargi. Although it looks like it's in the jungle, it's in the middle of a town. The western terminus, Chorzów Plac Hutników, seen to the right, also looked very green.

Although various track connections exist, we had had to walk to the other side of the square there, which is called Chorzów Rynek. This is the city center of Chorzów, but it's cut in two by a motorway fly-over.

The tracks here were _very_ worn.

Cars have been barred from the main shopping street, which looks nice with the trams. This street is used in one way only by trams - the other direction comes back in a parallel street.

Originally we wanted to go to Chebzie, but at the branch-off/reversing wye/passing loop Łagiewniki Targowisko we saw this wonderful Konstal 102Na tram standing on a dead track, and felt the need to alight and take photos. The vehicle served as resting place for the personnel securing the reversing process of trams in the middle of a road crossing.

From here we took a supplementing bus service to Bytom. In April we took the tram for the very same ride, but now the track was already grown in by weed as you can (not) see on the picture to the left. On the other hand, back in April there was no tram traffic through the single-track inner city tram loop in Bytom, whilst now there was (right).

From there we went straight to tram depot Stroszek, where they were holding an open day to commemorate the 110th anniversary of Silesian trams. The ride was kinda painful: trams were literally jumping up and down on the tracks.

Left: the reversing loop in front of the depot. Right: an old tower car inside.

Next page: open day in tram depot Stroszek

© Ákos Endre VARGA, unless stated otherwise. All rights reserved.

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