Extending and upgrading our tramline

The tramline from Podbaba to Vítezné námestí is closed for over three months © Ricky Yates

I have written previously about the wonderful integrated public transport system that we enjoy here in Prague. And it is also extremely pleasing to see money being put in to both upgrade and extend it. However, when this happens, the network inevitably gets disrupted whilst these engineering works take place.

In order to get into the centre of Prague, we normally make the ten minute walk from the Chaplaincy Flat, to our nearest tram stop at Podbaba. From there we catch Tram 8, which in less than twenty minutes takes us to Dlouhá trída, two minutes walk from St. Clement’s Church. We can also get off at the third stop from Podbaba at Vítezné námestí and either catch another tram or transfer to the Metro at the neighbouring Dejvicka station.

But as you can see from this photograph, since the early hours of Monday 16th May until 31st August, no trams are running between Podbaba and Vítezné námestí – instead we have to make that first part of our journey by bus.

The new tram turning circle under construction with archaeological work in progress © Ricky Yates

Earlier this year, work started on extending our tramline from its current terminus at Podbaba, to a new terminus adjacent to the Prague-Dresden railway line with plans for a new adjacent railway station to further integrate public transport. I took this photograph back in February when work on the new tram terminal turning circle was well underway.

However, if you look closely, you can see a series of pits where archaeological work was being undertaken. I have never fully discovered exactly what they were digging for except for one sentence on a local resident’s website which said that some early mediaeval items had been found. Apparently this archaeological work delayed the tramline extension project by three months.




The new tracks of the tramline extension © Ricky Yates

Work on the new tram tracks leading to this new terminus did proceed quite rapidly as can be seen in this photograph looking from Podbaba towards the railway line in the distance. You should be able to just make out the bridge where the railway crosses the road and the new tram turning circle will be off to the left of the bridge.

The existing tram route with old track lifted and new ballast laid © Ricky Yates



I did wonder how this new extension would be successfully joined to the existing tramline at Podbaba without disrupting the normal tram service. Back in early May, I found out the answer to my question – by closing down the whole line from Podbaba to Vítezné námestí for three & a half months!

To be fair to the Dopravní podnik hravního mesta Prahy or dpp for short, they have decided to use this opportunity to totally renew all the track from Vítezné námestí to Podbaba. Within a few days of the closure, most of the old track had been ripped up, the earth underneath excavated and fresh ballast had begun to be put in place.






Podbaba tram terminus on last working day © Ricky Yates

And a few days later! © Ricky Yates

These two photographs show the extent of the work at the old Podbaba terminus. The first photograph was taken on Sunday 15th May, the last days that trams were turning around here. The second was taken only a few days later!

It is frustrating to be without our normal tram service for over three months. And I do feel sorry for all those who live nearer to all this construction work than we do as the dust and noise must be irritating to say the least. But the end result will be improved transport infrastructure providing an even better and more accessible service. And according to the plans I’ve seen, the new tram stop at Podbaba will be a little closer to where we live making it only an eight rather than a ten minute walk to get there!


7 comments to Extending and upgrading our tramline

  • Sean

    The finds so far are 6,000 years old, so prehistoric (later Stone Age) mostly with some Roman finds (they think some might be as late as from the early Middle Ages). These finds are mostly houses with two graves – one of a very old man who lived to 50. As usual for such old sites, the majority of the finds are ceramic sherds and pieces of flint, but animal bones as well as daubing that was used for houses have been found too.

    The tramline will be 260m longer with 300m of newly laid track from the metro station and another 290m of track laid there at the Podbaba terminus which is to be a new train stop as well (which has been postponed by Czech Railways but DPP wants to complete so it can get EU funds for the tramline work). (Dalších asi 290 metr? kolejí bude položeno v nové tramvajové smy?ce u plánované železni?ní zastávky Praha – Podbaba. – Kon?it má u železni?ní trati, kde se po?ítalo se sou?asným vybudováním nové vlakové zastávky. Ta by výrazn? zjednodušila cestování nap?íklad z Kralup nad Vltavou do pražských Dejvic nebo na Hrad?any. Stavbu železni?ní zastávky stát nakonec odložil, pražský dopravní podnik ale tra? p?esto chce postavit už te?.)

    In Terronska Street (running back towards the metro stop but off at an angle from the old terminus), they found the grave of a man of the ‘third gender’ back in March. For information on that, see the Czech article http://www.csarcheologicka.eu/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=8&Itemid=5 or from the Telegraph http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/howaboutthat/8433527/First-homosexual-caveman-found.html Be aware that the Telegraph is mostly wrong about the idea of 3rd gender which could be physical (eunuch) or cultural (e.g. Siberian shaman) and the ideas of homosexual or transsexual remains would be unlikely as would the possibility that ‘he’ failed the manhood ritual and so never achieved ‘male status’ in the tribe. Archaeology can’t prove which of the 5 possibilities is correct. Hence, jumping to ‘gay caveman’ is clearly mistaken (sensationalist) even based on the quotatons from Semradova that are imprecise (she mixes 3rd gender with transsexual, which 3rd gender does not have to be).

  • Ricky

    Hi Sean,
    Thanks for all the additional information, especially about the archaeological finds. Unfortunately, once again some of your Czech diacritics have turned into question marks, a problem I have yet to find a solution to on my blog.

  • Wow, things are going to look rather different at Podbaba by the time I arrive in September, Ricky. I look forward to seeing the completed extension.

    • Ricky

      Hi Perpetua,
      If the dpp keep to timetable – and they do seem to be making fairly rapid progress – then all should be complete by the time you arrive in late September.

  • Yet another example of the joy of living in post-Communist Prague, everything has a great “before” and “after.” It is fun to live among so many newly restored and renovated civic treasures.

  • It’s me, Karin, writing on my husband’s computer since mine is at the Dr. (for a month now, must be quite ill!)

    Anyway, I read this with a smile, because here in Greece, almost all construction is hindered by archeological findings. Remember the Olympics? What slowed it down to a snail’s pace was exactly that…finding antiquities and then having to decide what to do about them. So much red tape that often is quite maddening! Off the harbor in Parikia (Paros) is an under sea section of the ancient town…no one can swim there or dive. I sure would love to, though!


  • […] in one uninterrupted tram journey lasting just 17 minutes. Further to my earlier post entitled ‘Extending and upgrading our tramline’, on Thursday 1st September, the re-laid and extended section of track between Podbaba and […]