Trams likely returning to Wenceslas Square

The new City Council hopes to have new tracks open in four years

The new City Council is already trying to make good on its pre-election promise to return tram service to Prague’s Wenceslas Square. Prague Deputy Mayor Adam Scheinherr (Praha Sobě), responsible for transport, said that the trams should be returned to Wenceslas Square within four years. The track beds are already installed between the new and historic buildings of the National Museum.

Trams were last on Wenceslas Square almost 40 years ago.

A tram route running past the statue of St. Wenceslas is part of the program statement for the coalition of the Pirates, Praha Sobě and United Force (TOP 09, STAN, KDU-ČSL) Scheinherr also wants to prepare a connection between Vinohradská Street and Bolzanova so people can get to the main train station, Hlavní nádraží.

“The connection will allow the people of Prague 2 to travel quickly through the city by tram. At the same time, it will allow for new tram lines and for extraordinary events,” Scheinherr said, adding that he will start negotiating with Prague 1.

While track beds have been laid between the two museum buildings on Vinohradská Street, the rest of the route is not determined, and several variations have been discussed.

Prague Integrated Transport (PID) was supportive of Scheinherr’s plan to take the route to Wenceslas Square.

“The new line on Wenceslas Square would strengthen the connection from Vinohrady to the center, ease traffic on Ječná Street and would be very welcome for planned and unplanned restrictions on tram traffic in the city center,” PID said over Twitter.

If the proposal passes through the City Council it will be necessary to build tracks to connect Vinohradská to the present tracks running across the middle of the square, and a new stop would be created.

There have been difficulties in making progress in the past, but Prague 1 now has a new mayor, Pavel Čižinský (Praha 1 Sobě), the brother of Praha Sobě leader and Prague 7 Mayor Jan Čižinský. Both brothers would like to see some progress.

Another issue is preservation for the look if the square. Scheinherr said pillars for cables could be hidden among trees.

The Prague Institute of Planning and Development (IPR) has already prepared three options for how to lead the tracks to in front of Hlavní nádraží. These will be more complicated to implement because of the need to change the land plan.

Trams were last seen on Wenceslas Square in 1980. The lower part of Wenceslas Square is currently under a long-planned renovation. The upper part of Wenceslas Square is not currently being renovated in part due to the uncertainty over whether or not trams will return.

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