Beloved tram dubbed ‘The Zeppelin’ returns to streets of Kraków
A historic tram dubbed the Zeppelin is making a grand return to the streets of Kraków after over 50 years.
Dating from the beginning of the 20th, the tram ferried people around the city between 1941 and the early 1960s before being retired from public service and used as a ‘technical’ vehicle.
Originating in Kraków’s partner city Nuremburg in 1906, the "Zeppelins" came to Krakow in 1941 and with their quieter, smoother ride and high-speed cornering, were considered a state-of-the-art mode of public transport.
Surviving the war, the trams continued to serve the public into the early 60s before being phased out with just two, the No. 92 being used to repair overhead power lines, and the No. 96 used as a snow plough.
The latter was removed from the inventory and dismantled in 1973.
Now, an agreement between the Nuremburg Society of Tram Enthusiasts and Poland’s MPK will see its return, with a wagon arriving in Kraków last week to undergo repairs.
A spokesman for MPK said: “The inhabitants of Kraków will […] benefit from this operation. The effect of the agreement with the Nuremberg association is also the possibility of using part of this tram to rebuild a second, identical replica that will remain in Kraków and will be able to run as a historic vehicle, among others as part of the Krakow Museum Line."
The mayor of Nuremburg, Marcus König, added: “A special wish of the inhabitants of Kraków was to make a joint effort to ensure that the Zeppelin car could move again on the Kraków tracks.
“After the return of the wagon to Nuremberg in 1984, this special wagon was missing in Kraków.
“Due to the fact that the car located in Nuremberg could not be operated so far, it was decided to create a Zeppelin car that could be used for both partner cities.”
Restoration works are planned to take a year and a half.