Keeping on track: tram museum takes people on virtual tour of vintage rolling stock

Vintage roller: Just one of the old trams on view via the virtual museum. Press materials/Tramwaje Warszawskie

Tram lovers will be able to get some social-distancing-defying kicks thanks to a new virtual tram museum that allows them to admire vintage Polish trams without having to leave home.

The tram depot in Warsaw’s Wola neighbourhood has launched the new “virtual museum” using Google Street View to let people explore its vintage rolling stock.

 “We decided to take advantage of modern technologies and provide all interested parties with the opportunity to walk around these unique carriages without having to leave the house,” said the city’s tram company, Tramwaje Warszawskie.

All together, eight trams are on view.Press materials/Tramwaje Warszawskie

Google Street View makes it possible for people around the world to admire the historical trams at the depot in Warsaw as if they were standing right beside them.

The virtual displays were made using a set of cameras that created 360-degree photos. Users can rotate the image or zoom in and out.

The virtual visitors to the museum can view eight historical tram carriages from the 20th century. The oldest, from 1906, is bright red and features a picture of a mermaid, the symbol of Warsaw, on its side. The tram’s route is written on its side both in Latin and Cyrillic letters, a reference to how Warsaw was under Russian rule before Poland regained independence in 1918.

The trams are united by their red livery and the mermaid symbol.Press materials/Tramwaje Warszawskie

With their evolving design and style, the trams offer a snapshot of Warsaw’s history over 70 years. The other trams featured are from the 1920s, 1940, 1959 and 1975. Although their designs differ, all the trams are united by their red livery and the mermaid symbol that several of them feature clearly on their side.

Welcome to The First News weekly newsletter

Every Friday catch up on our editor’s top pick of news about Poland, including politics, business, life and culture. To receive your free email subscription, sign up today.