Trams may return to upper part of Wenceslas Square

Two plans are being considered for a route that would head further to the train station

Prague authorities are examining the possibility of returning trams to Wenceslas Square. Trams last were seen going down the square in 1980. Prague Deputy Mayor Petr Dolínek (ČSSD) said the city should reach a decision on the route in the next few weeks.

There are two proposals to extend trams from Vinohradská Street in Vinohrady to the main train station Praha hlavní nádraží. The tram would go down either Opletalova or Wilsonova Street, and then continue to Vrchlického sady, according to the Prague Institute of Planning and Development (IPR).

When the change would take place is not clear. The city has been discussing the return of trams to the square for several years, but has not taken any concrete steps. The plans also call for further revitalization of Vrchlického sady, the park in front of the train station. Returning some tram service to the upper part of the square would also be part of efforts to renovate the square, which has been discussed for several years

The IPR has examined several options for trams including ones that take trams past the statue of St Wenceslas and connect to the existing tracks that cross the square at Vodičkova to Jindřišská streets, though those seem less likely.

The first option currently being considered would have tram tracks come from Vinohradská Street and cross the Prague Magistral, the main road that bisects the city, and then go down Wilsonova Street to Vrchlického sady, in front of the main train station. This option would be coordinated with the adjustment of the Magistral to include a tram stop for the State Opera, which is partway on the route.

The second variant would be the noisier of the two. It would create a new tram stop at Wenceslas Square at Opletalova Street and then turn down Opletalova street and go toward the train station. This option calls for traffic in the street to be somehow modified to relieve congestion caused by the addition of tram tracks. It would also require some effort at noise reduction.

The IPR also examined a route going down Washingtonova Street and a second variation on the Wilsonova Street route, but did not recommend them.

Plans to renovate the lower part of Wenceslas Square took a big step forward last week when the city agreed to a proposed renovation of the lower part of the square, between Vodičkova/ Jindřišská streets and Můstek. It will cost between Kč 150 million and 200 million. Work should start some time in 2018 and last for between three and five months.

Benches, trees and a fountian will be installed and the flowerbeds that are currently there will be paved over. The date and plan working on the upper part of the square near the National Museum has not been determined.

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