Tramwaje Podmiejskie articulated car waits in pl. Zwyciestwa, Lutomiersk on a quiet Sunday evening, 6.6.2010. Photo BTWT.
The 43 tram service from Lodz to the sleepy town of Lutomersk is not Lodz’s longest tram route, but is undoubtedly the most attractive. It starts from a loop in Lodz’s western suburb, Stocki; runs along a pleasant single line section on its own right of way along a park; plunges through the centre of Lodz, running mostly in the street, then on its own right of way again; plunges under the Lodz – Kutno railway line and passes Lodz Zoo. Up to this point, service 43 – run by Tramwaje Podmieskie, literally ‘Suburban Tramways’ – shares the tracks of Lodz’s municipal tram company, MPK. But once past Zdrowie, the tram runs along 14 km of rickety Tramwaje Podmieskie own tracks.
This section of line, which like the rest of Lodz’s tramlines is metre gauge, reminds me of the narrow gauge gauge railway which once ran next to a road from Warsaw’s Wilanów to Piaseczno. The narrow gauge atmosphere is briefly suspended as the single line veers into the centre of a street in order to pass through Konstantynow. However, after a kilometre or so it reverts to its customary place next to the road.
The girder bridge at Lutomiersk before WW II.
Photo Tramwaje Podmiejskie.
The arrival at Lutomiersk is a worthy climax – on the outskirts of the town, the main road turns sharp left, but the tram follows a minor road sharp right. Then the line does a 90 degree turn to the left, leaves the road altogether and takes off across a field. A fine bow girder bridge takes the line across a sizeable river. A short road is reached. About here Google maps satellite view shows what appears to be a former dedicated route and the site of a former station just to the east of town square. Regardless of the truth of this hypothesis, these days the tram finishes its journey by looping the town square.
If you like exploring obscure rural tram lines, then a ride on tram 43 is highly recommended!
Lutomiersk. Satellite view Google Maps.
(The map can be zoomed and panned to follow the tram line.)