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Monday, August 20, 2012

The Land of Trolley Poles - Riga Tram Route Number 4

  This video, which is over a hour long, was posted in subchat by Jon Bell on August 16, 2012.  The actual time to cover Riga tramway route number 4 is 25 minutes but this video goes over the route one and a half times. What got my attention was the title that he used "The Land of Trolley Poles".  I thought, is this about the poles that support the span wires?   No, as I was surprised, Riga has trams that use the traditional type of current collector that was used in the United States until the revival of light railways in the United States.  The traditional trolley poles are now used by Philadelphia and Toronto streetcars.  The trolley poles in Riga, however, seem extremely long, but I do not know if this is an optical illusion. In this delightful video, you will see the rigid type of overhead that was used in Brooklyn and so many other places in North America and you will see the more flexible type of overhead as well.  You will see Riga trams in all types of running environments, such as streets with mixed traffic, on private right of ways, highways and scenic bridges.  This is really a great video and you will catch a glipse of a Riga trolley bus as well.  Enjoy the great music, it is very uplifting It seems to me that these long trolley poles function very well where there is street construction (you will see this in the video) and the overhead needs to be shifted away from the center of the track.  Also, Riga has a nice trolleybus system and perhaps traditional trolley poles on streetcars work well at crossings.

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