Grudziaz – Poland’s shortest tram line to get upgrade

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Single track and mediaeval streets. Photo U.M. Grudziaz.

The smallest tram system in Poland – the 9 km long metre gauge system in Grudziaz – is to be rebuilt. The extent of the works has been cut down from ambitious plans, mooted in 2006, by the town’s mayor. These included, removing the tram lines from the narrow streets in the town centre and building brand new lines running East-West, including a line which would share the PKP viaduct across the river Vistula.

Now, following the work of a consortium of consultants, the project envisages no new trams and no extensions, instead existing trams will be modernised and the existing route will rebuilt, doubling much of the single track running lines. Single track will be retained in the market square area, but special insulation will be employed to reduce noise and vibration. There will also be raised platforms, better bus-tram integration and a new intelligent traffic management system.

The first stage of the project is already undeway. 6 trams are being rebuilt by ZNTK in Minsk Mazowiecki and PESA in Bydgoszcz. Now the second stage of the project, comprising the civil engineering works, has cleared the last hurdle.

Grudziaz tram Depot. February 2008.

(Click image to expand. Click here for author and licensing.)

Detailed plans for the upgrade were produced by a consortium comprising Vialis Polska, Vialis Public Transport – CTD and Stator. Early design work had been previously prepared by StadtRaum. For rebuilding a 9 km tram line the number of consulting firms employed by the Town Council must be a record!

In July 2011, the Town Council announced a tender for the choice of contractor to carry out the project. The Council had budgeted 42.3 million PLN for the works, the tenders came in between 66.1 million and 75.6 million PLN. The mayor declared the tender null and void.

Some economies were made – a cheaper rail was specified and a new building for the traffic management system was found unnecessary. A second tender was held and this time the cheapest bid came in at 50,331,973.80 PLN. Nevertheless at a session of the Town Council held on 26 September a decision was made to find the missing funds and the project was given the ‘go ahead’.

So, if the sight of a single track tram line winding its way across cobble streets dating back to the 14th century is a something that appeals, you had better hurry!

Sources:

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One Response to “Grudziaz – Poland’s shortest tram line to get upgrade”

  1. Chris Says:

    Loving the exactitude of the bid price! 50,331,973.80 PLN!

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