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Been a while, but I'm back with more.

On the south side of the complex was the Trnavka bus garage. Here are some photos that are all too representative of the almost exclusively SOR fleet of the garage (and they have none of the kinder eggs anymore)

22067061280_e8ae798cfd_z.jpgDPB 3419 - 01 by Andrew P., on Flickr

22068641640_c1a937d927_z.jpgDPB 2848 - 01 by Andrew P., on Flickr

22068642370_a1a3a7025d_z.jpgDPB 2842 - 01 by Andrew P., on Flickr

Among the displayed units were a number of historical buses.

22028673022_70ed8febf4_z.jpgDPB 3350 - 01 by Andrew P., on Flickr

21852856740_8d471a1195_z.jpgDPB 236 - 01 by Andrew P., on Flickr

Including the newest growth in the historical fleet, Ikarus 415 #4122.

21853338690_426ccbe842_z.jpgDPB 4122 - 01 by Andrew P., on Flickr

21853643388_e61fc1309a_z.jpgDPB 4122 - 02 by Andrew P., on Flickr

21420357553_5f8cfb1716_z.jpgDPB 4122 interior - 02 by Andrew P., on Flickr

Its bigger brother, the 435 was on display as well.

22041584045_f451ac2137_z.jpgDPB 4827 - 02 by Andrew P., on Flickr

21418768404_b116a3078a_z.jpgDPB 4827 - 03 by Andrew P., on Flickr

22015392226_acf4c53dd0_z.jpgDPB 4827 interior - 01 by Andrew P., on Flickr

22051511501_eb9f0966b2_z.jpgDPB 4827 cab - 01 by Andrew P., on Flickr

21853410830_cd84088218_z.jpgDPB 4827 interior - 03 by Andrew P., on Flickr

There was also a Karosa B 741.

22053971575_a6cfb37091_z.jpgDPB 2636 - 01 by Andrew P., on Flickr

22041565442_e002656e6d_z.jpgDPB 2636 interior - 01 by Andrew P., on Flickr

22041565972_5c95187fa2_z.jpgDPB 2636 cab - 01 by Andrew P., on Flickr

21867063819_759b041123_z.jpgDPB 2636 interior - 02 by Andrew P., on Flickr

A Mercedes CapaCity.

21866652380_9bc2a9d986_z.jpgDPB 4935 - 01 by Andrew P., on Flickr

21433684703_169d46efe1_z.jpgDPB 4935 cab - 04 by Andrew P., on Flickr

22054824875_56809c58a5_z.jpgDPB 4935 cab - 01 by Andrew P., on Flickr

22042415222_2583b56be3_z.jpgDPB 4935 interior - 01 by Andrew P., on Flickr

A Skoda 14 Tr trolleybus. The steering wheel on this one is comically large.

21491229033_2140604ca1_z.jpgDPB 6288 - 04 by Andrew P., on Flickr

22086142386_83015c2970_z.jpgDPB 6288 cab - 01 by Andrew P., on Flickr

22086140026_1dd3107104_z.jpgDPB 6288 interior - 02 by Andrew P., on Flickr

I then went for a ride on the Cabrio bus. While I waited I photographed 8434, a T3 converted into a snowplough.

22345254106_1db159963d_z.jpgDPB 8434 - 02 by Andrew P., on Flickr

Some more Karosa work buses.

21858083579_a43b04f35a_z.jpgDPB 4340 - 01 by Andrew P., on Flickr

Some revenue Karosas. I don't know if 2607 will ever run in service again, though, as it has been sitting out of service since August 4.

22027784076_6e4715bbc7_z.jpgDPB 2607 - 03 by Andrew P., on Flickr

21865789520_f8b9f8df5c_z.jpgDPB 2635 - 01 by Andrew P., on Flickr

A group of Solaris Urbinos.

21630808644_1a86a8383c_z.jpgDPB Solaris Urbino 15 CNG buses - 01 by Andrew P., on Flickr

SOR mania, with a lone Solaris out front.

22243851952_8db2b158b5_z.jpgDPB SOR NB 18 City buses - 02 by Andrew P., on Flickr

7719.

22182656118_ec0c5de76c_z.jpgDPB 7719 - 03 by Andrew P., on Flickr

7514, one of the new Skodas.

21985445969_0e762d5e45_z.jpgDPB 7514 - 01 by Andrew P., on Flickr

The ride also went through the trolleybus section of the division. Here is 15 TrM #6620, which was originally retired in February but was revived.

21550727803_29d3743600_z.jpgDPB 6620 - 03 by Andrew P., on Flickr

A Skoda 14 TrM. They're all gone now.

21491207713_6fb5124b6b_z.jpgDPB 6293 - 03 by Andrew P., on Flickr

On the other side, there was a Tatra T3SU, which had been retired in March 2014 due to accident. I have no idea, again, why it hasn't been scrapped, but there you go.

22371094975_48a82d6b4d_z.jpgDPB 7722 - 03 by Andrew P., on Flickr

A selection of vehicles which run out of Trnavka division.

22067341678_0decd98d6d_z.jpgDPB 3422 - 02 by Andrew P., on Flickr

A Mercedes track sweeper.

21474137613_d6a1774f08_z.jpgDPB Mercedes-Benz Axor by Andrew P., on Flickr

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Continued...

I went for a second ride on the Cabrio bus because I wanted to photograph vehicles viewable from the other side of the bus as well.

22041563422_0e5d9ed8cb_z.jpgDPB Karosa B 741 buses - 01 by Andrew P., on Flickr

Some SOR midibuses. 3501, 3508, 3509, 3512, 3513, 3515, 3516, 3517, 3518 and 3519 have all been made into work buses recently to replace the old Karosas.

21630978164_1acb8e4b38_z.jpgDPB 3508 - 01 by Andrew P., on Flickr

22264188271_0fec52178d_z.jpgDPB 3517 - 01 by Andrew P., on Flickr

22253711715_f72f916020_z.jpgDPB 3515 - 01 by Andrew P., on Flickr

22065693520_22151e9f67_z.jpgDPB 3508 - 02 by Andrew P., on Flickr

22065976448_15c1ae1a37_z.jpgDPB 3513 - 01 by Andrew P., on Flickr

An ad wrapped NB 18 City.

21633938394_8d5d8aa88e_z.jpgDPB 2210 - 01 by Andrew P., on Flickr

Some red 14 Tr trolleys.

22086153366_686dae5a59_z.jpgDPB 6268 - 03 by Andrew P., on Flickr

22122408391_4257d60423_z.jpgDPB 6272 - 02 by Andrew P., on Flickr

15 TrM #6636 in the presence of some retired T3s.

21550726163_c82cae6d48_z.jpgDPB 6636 - 03 by Andrew P., on Flickr

22358011582_f97767d5e0_z.jpgDPB 7720 - 02 by Andrew P., on Flickr

Another line of SOR artics. 1827 and 1843 are significant, because they've been sitting out of service for more than a year. I also hear they've been unofficially retired, not sure how true that is though.

22267137231_af1b3dc0cc_z.jpgDPB SOR NB 18 City buses - 03 by Andrew P., on Flickr

A sample of the major buses in Trnavka's fleet.

22069812909_62649bd9dc_z.jpgDPB 1851 - 04 by Andrew P., on Flickr

New SOR trolleys before entering service.

21984519218_52b549132a_z.jpgDPB 6021 - 01 by Andrew P., on Flickr

T3SU #7728, after an accident in the carhouse that ultimately sealed its fate and has been retired.

21748327724_32b17f7e4d_z.jpgDPB 7728 - 02 by Andrew P., on Flickr

The only Citaro in Bratislava, which has spent more of 2015 out of service than in service.

22079707912_07f52557ab_z.jpgDPB 2020 - 01 by Andrew P., on Flickr

K2G #7085.

22029432672_783c024e66_z.jpgDPB 7085 - 05 by Andrew P., on Flickr

Along the north side of the property was a LOOOOOONG line of retired trolleybuses, including some of the youngest 14 TrMs - 6260, which entered service in late 2008! Through this, I did manage to photograph all the 14 TrMs though, 6261 being the exception.

21550725273_ed5881ed46_z.jpgDPB 6639 - 01 by Andrew P., on Flickr

22182031501_8d779e359f_z.jpgDPB 6639 - 03 by Andrew P., on Flickr

22122392621_2e9f40ea5e_z.jpgDPB Škoda 14 Tr trolleybuses - 01 by Andrew P., on Flickr

21925401669_d2851abb56_z.jpgDPB Škoda 14 Tr trolleybuses - 03 by Andrew P., on Flickr

22122388961_477fcf6db4_z.jpgDPB Škoda 14 Tr trolleybuses - 06 by Andrew P., on Flickr

21489486694_9f8157b5ff_z.jpgDPB Škoda 14 Tr trolleybuses - 07 by Andrew P., on Flickr

22086131596_333d0bedd6_z.jpgDPB Škoda 14 Tr trolleybuses - 08 by Andrew P., on Flickr

22112345575_0aba439daf_z.jpgDPB 6274 - 01 by Andrew P., on Flickr

Another SOR B 9.5, with an all white bumper.

22066852629_c955055a10_z.jpgDPB 3516 - 01 by Andrew P., on Flickr

A retired Karosa B 741. Interesting story behind this bus - it was retired in early May 2015 after a frame break, but due to a shortage of vehicles in Trnávka, was sent out once more on May 20. As soon as it was discovered that the bus had already been retired, it was removed from service.

21866076918_8a723ba6bb_z.jpgDPB 1621 - 01 by Andrew P., on Flickr

And some revenue buses.

21431129524_07b718518b_z.jpgDPB Karosa B 741 buses - 02 by Andrew P., on Flickr

While waiting for the no. 10 back, I photographed another 29 T, on route 4.

21549526004_d07e6ba20f_z.jpgDPB 7409 - 02 by Andrew P., on Flickr

The interior display on the 29/30 Ts.

22159697682_d692d91914_z.jpgDPB 7504 interior - 01 by Andrew P., on Flickr

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  • 8 months later...

The day after the open house, I went back to the city again because there were some diversions happening, due to a pro-life protest in the city center, that would make for interesting photos. And interesting photos they did make, but I doubt anyone would find them interesting unless they knew the geography of Bratislava, so I won't go into detail.

On the way, I saw a cool Volvo truck.
21955156186_b1fa1d92de_z.jpgVolvo FH Truck by Andrew P., on Flickr

I made my way over to the spot where I would be able to photograph the most routes diverting from one spot. Fortunately, even on a Sunday, I didn't have to wait around long for something to come along.
21748609274_3d18522602_z.jpgDPB 7919 - 02 by Andrew P., on Flickr

Have I warmed up to this car since the last time I talked about it?

...no

21549555804_eca564dc59_z.jpgDPB 7503 - 01 by Andrew P., on Flickr

The 9 doesn't usually go this way, but it used to, many many years ago. It was a nice throwback to the olden days, even if it would have been much better if they had used road trains instead of artics.
22051826561_6c924ec358_z.jpgDPB 7125 - 02 by Andrew P., on Flickr
22051827071_5d8a7f44c4_z.jpgDPB 7123 - 02 by Andrew P., on Flickr

One of my personal favorite trams, the only K2G in the city, was out and about.
22041785045_1972420741_z.jpgDPB 7085 - 07 by Andrew P., on Flickr
22041784515_b99e0ba142_z.jpgDPB 7085 - 08 by Andrew P., on Flickr

This was a much better opportunity than at the open house to photograph the changes that had been made to it since the last time I saw it, back in 2013:
9564235875_854b129829_z.jpgDPB 7085 - 04 by Andrew P., on Flickr

22159698582_c0632d7a30_z.jpgDPB 7504 - 05 by Andrew P., on Flickr
21985474729_255089eed7_z.jpgDPB 7403 - 03 by Andrew P., on Flickr

I left the area and went to a shopping mall near the Danube for lunch, and also because it would be a couple of hours before part 2 of the diversions could begin. Whilst there, I photographed route 70 terminating there, an irregular event as well.
21853878948_8477c85c35_z.jpgDPB 1066 - 01 by Andrew P., on Flickr

On the opposite side of the mall, there was a river side park, from where I photographed the Apollo bridge...
21793130780_81b555e3e8_z.jpgBy the River by Andrew P., on Flickr

...and construction work on the new 'Old' bridge, which takes its name from a similar structure that stood here from about 1946 to 2014.
21793410418_c2594657f4_z.jpgBy the River by Andrew P., on Flickr
21793409858_1370ca68cb_z.jpgBy the River by Andrew P., on Flickr
21794348809_52bdc6a06a_z.jpgBy the River by Andrew P., on Flickr

I had my lunch, and went back. At this point, the whole city center was closed off. This meant that routes 3, 5, 8 and 9 were ALL running along the exact same route between the same terminal points. Route 2 continued to be unaffected and route 4 terminated at the main railway station, the same place that the 2 went to.
22041908025_7b4ede261c_z.jpgDPB 7109 - 02 by Andrew P., on Flickr
22184502189_cf87e6ea4c_z.jpgDPB 7933 - 04 by Andrew P., on Flickr
22382065841_b7bedd483f_z.jpgDPB 7934 - 04 by Andrew P., on Flickr

It's still really weird for me to see a T3SUCS on route 5. When I was a kid, that would have been an incredibly rare sighting, but it used to be common until all the unmodernized T3s were bumped off by the new Skoda cars.
22381995861_e85c176487_z.jpgDPB 7812 - 04 by Andrew P., on Flickr
22182556411_f0c0c8b8dd_z.jpgDPB 7404 - 03 by Andrew P., on Flickr
21853728010_9ba9b85a35_z.jpgDPB 7125 - 03 by Andrew P., on Flickr
22183357970_99e21130d6_z.jpgDPB 7919 - 04 by Andrew P., on Flickr
21854879199_2ec9121aca_z.jpgDPB 7085 - 09 by Andrew P., on Flickr

My final port of call was the main railway station, from where I intended to catch a ride on a Mercedes-Benz CapaCity. Before I boarded, I photographed various equipment preparing to set out. Note the irregular colors on 1840's front mask.
21635648203_fb5cbd6665_z.jpgDPB 1840 - 01 by Andrew P., on Flickr
22159679152_b5a9d13fea_z.jpgDPB 6111 - 01 by Andrew P., on Flickr
21866653670_66f300f03c_z.jpgDPB 4926 - 04 by Andrew P., on Flickr

I ended up riding #4939. The bus was stupidly crowded for a Sunday, so I didn't film a lot of ride, but what I did manage to catch is here:

A picture of it, after I got off. Still a great bus:

21866643920_98ac0f9a4e_z.jpgDPB 4939 - 01 by Andrew P., on Flickr

A broken down Tedom to close off this batch of pics:

22183334320_3f9838d934_z.jpgDPB 1107 - 01 by Andrew P., on Flickr

Thanks for viewing, more soon!

 

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  • 3 weeks later...

Here is the next part.

I next visited Bratislava on September 25. I had a rich itinerary set out for the day that was cut short by some heavy rain. What I did managed to see is thus:

I visited the outer borough of Dubravka, terminus of routes 4 and 5. I used to live here back in the day. It's changed a lot sadly. Fortunately, at least the trams were the same, although that would stop being true a few short months later:

22184561119_108b0672a5_z.jpgDPB 7845 - 03 by Andrew P., on Flickr

22184433229_a9f98de11c_z.jpgDPB 7769 - 02 by Andrew P., on Flickr

22345336866_4f56d48db7_z.jpgDPB 7953 - 01 by Andrew P., on Flickr

21632434093_0bd24bdb8b_z.jpgDPB 2010 - 01 by Andrew P., on Flickr

In times of old, the tram line here was configured like so. The tracks were set in concrete and large canopies provided ample shelter from the elements:

15237244334_c055ce907c_z.jpgDubravka trackage - 01 by Andrew P., on Flickr

That unfortunately changed back in November 2014. Here is a different stop in the borough that was configured similarly before. Now, there is a ridiculous little shelter instead of the huge canopy.
22092790029_f649cb0365_z.jpgDPB OD Saratov stop - 01 by Andrew P., on Flickr

The only remain of the old line was an underpass.
22279621355_b408fdf31b_z.jpgDPB OD Saratov stop - 03 by Andrew P., on Flickr

If anyone has read the transit regrets thread, I go into more detail on that there, but the intention was to photograph the rest of the line before the old stop and line configurations were consigned to history. Here are some things which will likely be a thing of the past late this year:

22091566400_3dc037c2c6_z.jpgDPB Damborskeho stop - 02 by Andrew P., on Flickr
21656907914_d0e8e0c063_z.jpgDPB Horne Krcace stop - 01 by Andrew P., on Flickr
21658605373_2b396a6d5e_z.jpgDPB Dolne Krcace stop - 01 by Andrew P., on Flickr

In the city, nature and construction co-exist.
22382084411_fbf45b7faf_z.jpgDPB Dubravka-Karlova Ves line - 01 by Andrew P., on Flickr
22345396076_60dff9965c_z.jpgDPB 7839 - 04 by Andrew P., on Flickr
22184516509_6b74084e8f_z.jpgDPB Dubravka-Karlova Ves line - 03 by Andrew P., on Flickr
22266775882_bcf6c64cc2_z.jpgDPB Nad luckami stop - 04 by Andrew P., on Flickr

The old Karlova Ves loop.
22358268962_21d471d850_z.jpgDPB Karlova Ves loop - 01 by Andrew P., on Flickr

Currently, it is only possible to exit the loop heading towards the city. During the rebuild, the junctions will be changed so that trams coming from Dubravka (the line past the junctions) will also be able to enter and exit the loop.
22184509869_95bb930591_z.jpgDPB Karlova Ves loop - 05 by Andrew P., on Flickr

One of the oldest K2S cars in the city in operation.
21420764163_55917250a3_z.jpgDPB 7104 - 01 by Andrew P., on Flickr
22091597390_89235f070c_z.jpgDPB Borska stop - 02 by Andrew P., on Flickr
22183629788_65108f5be6_z.jpgDPB Dubravka-Karlova Ves line - 04 by Andrew P., on Flickr
22266779012_4f80a2f400_z.jpgDPB Nad luckami stop - 01 by Andrew P., on Flickr
22266788112_4fa5079876_z.jpgDPB Jurigovo namestie stop - 03 by Andrew P., on Flickr

Some T6A5s at the Karlova Ves stop (pictured above, in the photos of 7839)
22358260212_3da60e5578_z.jpgDPB 7943 - 02 by Andrew P., on Flickr
21750252943_16499a64a4_z.jpgDPB 7905 - 02 by Andrew P., on Flickr
22371378185_c5c4d79edb_z.jpgDPB 7906 - 02 by Andrew P., on Flickr

And a T3P on route 4.
22132472922_feae4bdcf9_z.jpgDPB 7791 - 01 by Andrew P., on Flickr

I would get a chance to visit Bratislava once more before leaving. More photos soon!

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  • 1 month later...

Exactly one year later, here are photos from my most recent fanning trip to date in Bratislava.

That evening, I was going to be staying with some relatives in Bratislava. We arrived early in the afternoon and I soon made my way to the city, but not before photoing a midibus in service on route 44 just outside.

22092404755_567f0a61f2_z.jpgDPB 1900 - 01 by Andrew P., on Flickr

I went downtown, near the big railway station, to photograph some trolley bus routes before route changes which ended up transpiring this past summer. I don't remember exactly how the changes went, they were originally supposed to renumber all trolley routes from the 200s to two digit numbers in the 40-60 range (to match the previously existing 33 and 64), but that didn't end up going through so the photos I took aren't as significant as they could have been. In any case, here they are.

22243851112_0bb30b9b51_z.jpgDPB 1856 - 01 by Andrew P., on Flickr

21984549338_d544cc8bc7_z.jpgDPB 6009 - 01 by Andrew P., on Flickr

22159707672_31e29d195b_z.jpgDPB 6005 - 01 by Andrew P., on Flickr

21985442489_d6e8b4d08c_z.jpgDPB 6114 - 01 by Andrew P., on Flickr

22068650970_a1b9a21728_z.jpgDPB 1848 - 01 by Andrew P., on Flickr

21985473039_83de04f451_z.jpgDPB 6003 - 01 by Andrew P., on Flickr

22068644610_63316fd3f6_z.jpgDPB 2221 - 02 by Andrew P., on Flickr

21924164860_973081d33b_z.jpgDPB 6279 - 01 by Andrew P., on Flickr

My next port of call was a shopping mall on the east side of the city. I had yet to ride a SOR B 9.5, and I saw that there was one in operation on route 69, so that was where I went.

Laying over before the trip.
22264186451_8f595e9e48_z.jpgDPB 3518 - 01 by Andrew P., on Flickr
22066849009_902751ce20_z.jpgDPB 3518 - 02 by Andrew P., on Flickr

Ride video:

 Some interior photos:

22065970138_2921a705c5_z.jpgDPB 3518 interior - 01 by Andrew P., on Flickr
22066847149_5031684571_z.jpgDPB 3518 interior - 02 by Andrew P., on Flickr
22253704695_409cf5337a_z.jpgDPB 3518 interior - 03 by Andrew P., on Flickr

Unfortunately, these buses were all too indicative of the lack of maintenance in the bus departments here. Note the state of the foam grab bars on the backs of the seats in that last photo!

Next, I went to Rača to photograph another SOR B 9.5, this time #3533. This one was the last of the 2005 order, and it has a different rear end cap compared to its predecessors. It was in service on route 54.
21632682853_babc4a46b1_z.jpgDPB 3533 - 01 by Andrew P., on Flickr

One of the last things I planned to do that day was to ride a T3G, something which I hadn't done since 2008. So I made my way back towards the very outskirts of the city center and waited at , photographing some T6A5s while I waited.
22183647848_feb80e6aa5_z.jpgDPB 7915 - 02 by Andrew P., on Flickr
21748597514_1347bd7402_z.jpgDPB 7949 - 03 by Andrew P., on Flickr

Along came Tatra T3G #7839+7840, in service on route 9. Here she is traversing the switches at Trnavské mýto while operating on route 9.
22345395226_38d2268806_z.jpgDPB 7839 - 05 by Andrew P., on Flickr

A look at the driver cab.
21750318933_fef6700b89_z.jpgDPB 7840 cab - 01 by Andrew P., on Flickr

Ride video.

Another stop which will be changed during the rebuild, at the city's botanical gardens. There will be an elevator installed here.
21656915204_82eddbd0ff_z.jpgDPB Botanicka zahrada stop - 01 by Andrew P., on Flickr
21656913924_6af5b84035_z.jpgDPB Botanicka zahrada stop - 02 by Andrew P., on Flickr
22091593350_7bf65bb615_z.jpgDPB Botanicka zahrada stop - 03 by Andrew P., on Flickr
22253615226_72ae14c769_z.jpgDPB Botanicka zahrada stop - 04 by Andrew P., on Flickr
21549536944_0274ed5d75_z.jpgDPB 7511 - 01 by Andrew P., on Flickr

After this, I went back downtown again. Taxi drivers were protesting against Uber and causing mayhem, but fortunately it didn't affect my fanning plans at all.
21793356708_f1854dcbde_z.jpgTaxi driver protest by Andrew P., on Flickr
21358447464_f4b9d2de8f_z.jpgTaxi driver protest by Andrew P., on Flickr

I made my way to a nearby tram stop and waited for a tram on route 7. The 7 was a service that I actually had wanted to ride going as far back as 2005, but it only operated during the rush hours during the school year, so even back then it wasn't excessively possible for me to ride on it.
22183365490_ebe5461666_z.jpgDPB 7907 - 01 by Andrew P., on Flickr

And here it is!
21854043068_483af82191_z.jpgDPB 7119 - 01 by Andrew P., on Flickr

Ride video:

I rode the car all the way to Račianské mýto, where I got off and photographed it leaving. On the other platform, I saw a downtown-bound number 7, driven by someone who looked like Vladimir Putin.
21854042508_bcb2186e0e_z.jpgDPB 7119 - 02 by Andrew P., on Flickr
21419093564_679b540241_z.jpgDPB 7101 - 06 by Andrew P., on Flickr

Afterwards, I returned to the Central mall where the car was parked. I photographed one of the prototype MB CapaCities, built in 2005, before heading inside.
21431994234_1a0c03bb23_z.jpgDPB 4921 - 01 by Andrew P., on Flickr
22064767221_7afe569ae7_z.jpgDPB 4921 - 02 by Andrew P., on Flickr

By this point I still hadn't photographed T3Gs #7837+7838 and I began to suspect that I wouldn't. But I checked the dispatch again before heading to the parking garage and noted that it was reporting as being in service on route 5. I did some verifications on the Bratislava equivalent of NextBus to ensure that some moron hadn't been playing around with the onboard control unit and erroneously signed them in. Fortunately, they were indeed in service, so the chase was on once more. I ended up cutting across half the city because rush hour traffic made it very difficult to pull over somewhere and take a picture, but it was worth it.
22358340982_b7c0cd017f_z.jpgDPB 7837 - 02 by Andrew P., on Flickr
22184569809_b75a6f883e_z.jpgDPB 7838 - 02 by Andrew P., on Flickr

Mission accomplished, and not a moment too soon.
For my last port of call, I stopped by the old military hospital loop and photographed some trolley buses laying over there.

22172320915_522675f2c0_z.jpgDPB 6024 - 01 by Andrew P., on Flickr
21984239890_a8fb27db22_z.jpgDPB 6013 - 01 by Andrew P., on Flickr

Good times. Unfortunately this thread will likely remain dormant until the summer of 2018, but thank you all for viewing!

 

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11 hours ago, brzyski said:

Always nice to see European buses, especially MB. Capacity looks beautiful. Does NFI or Nova produce 4-door artics?

Both companies install their engines behind the rear axle, so there would be no room for doors there.  However, NFI does produce a 5-door BRT version of the Xcelsior, but in this case it is three doors on the right side and two on the left.

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10 minutes ago, tomsbuspage said:

Both companies install their engines behind the rear axle, so there would be no room for doors there

So does Mercedes, actually. If I'm not wrong, the engine is installed vertically, as on the Orion VI, which allows them to fit the door in.

22042415222_2583b56be3_z.jpgDPB 4935 interior - 01 by Andrew P., on Flickr

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  • 1 month later...

For anyone who may be interested, an update on the tram fleet in Bratislava.

There are no longer any accelerator controlled T3s running in the city. The last car was pulled from service in early May IIRC. A solo unit (275) and a two-car road train (7819+7820) remain behind as historical units. Besides these, and modernized T3M cars 7729+7726, all other modernized cars continue to operate in service. Out of what remains, the T3G fleet (7835-7846) and the remaining T3M cars (7602+7610 and 7733+7734) are the only ones still operated with foot controls and mostly unchanged interiors. These cars should continue to operate for at least a couple of more years.

Recently, 78 of the retired accelerator controlled T3SU and T3SUCS cars were sold to 6 companies from around the former Czechoslovakia. I suspect these will be sold off to systems in Ukraine, Bulgaria, or Russia.

I'll miss these cars, that's for sure! Going through my Flickr and updating their disposition was a little morose.

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Greetings from Slovakia! ^_^

I am visiting Slovakia once again, and what's a trip to Slovakia without seeing Bratislava? Unlike in years past, I decided that this year, I'm going to upload my content when I am able to, rather than waiting to come back home. It means a lot less work for me at the end of every trip, haha.

I haven't come to the city on a specific transit fanning related trip yet, but I stayed there in a hotel a few days ago, so I figure I'd post my haul from that stay. This is probably post 1 of 2.

Some SOR buses and trolleys in operation on assorted routes.

35759790716_c1dd51e301.jpgDPB 2218 - 01 by Andrew P., on Flickr
34960116184_e8d0103e4d.jpgDPB 6030 - 01 by Andrew P., on Flickr

I arrived in the city on July 5, which was a holiday, so sadly, the amount of trams in operation wasn't as varied as it could have been. There were still some things of interest, though: unlike three years ago, when no T6A5s made it out during the weekends/holidays, this time around they reign supreme. At least half of the dispatch on route 5 is provided by these cars; the other half is the brand new Škodas to provide some semblance of wheelchair accessibility. 

34960115644_ebdba6880f.jpgDPB 7936 - 04 by Andrew P., on Flickr
35759786206_c0f4423ba5.jpgDPB 7119 - 03 by Andrew P., on Flickr
35411909230_1d23d1ed2b.jpgDPB 7947 - 02 by Andrew P., on Flickr
35800736255_b40fe34039.jpgDPB 7120 - 06 by Andrew P., on Flickr
35631065712_900e54a8c1.jpgDPB 7927 - 04 by Andrew P., on Flickr
35631062752_a285b74c05.jpgDPB 7928 - 01 by Andrew P., on Flickr
35631066302_6f15a2ff75.jpgDPB 7507 - 04 by Andrew P., on Flickr
35800729945_29c1d0cc7a.jpgDPB 7522 - 01 by Andrew P., on Flickr
35759770586_2964df8bd8.jpgDPB 7424 - 01 by Andrew P., on Flickr

I was waiting to catch a route 5 tram to Dúbravka, where I wanted to photograph the former building of the post office, which has stood derelict and unused for nine years. They intend to tear it down and build a condo complex on the site, but when that will happen is anyone's guess. While I don't have a particularly strong affinity for this building, least of all in its present condition, I am glad that I got to photograph it nevertheless.

34960283594_0cc579f132.jpgDúbravka post office - 02 by Andrew P., on Flickr
35668379921_d1728b12f7.jpgDúbravka post office - 04 by Andrew P., on Flickr

A murder of crows on the lawn outside completed the visual.
34960282004_24b3642608.jpgDúbravka post office - 05 by Andrew P., on Flickr
35759940016_d751794245.jpgDúbravka city crow by Andrew P., on Flickr

More photos.

35759938046_9a3679d31e.jpgDúbravka post office - 06 by Andrew P., on Flickr
35800860505_e6681a4c79.jpgDúbravka post office - 08 by Andrew P., on Flickr
35668375751_fa71a1d7ee.jpgDúbravka post office - 09 by Andrew P., on Flickr
35668375261_e4540bed97.jpgDúbravka post office - 10 by Andrew P., on Flickr
 

The façade at the north end of the building has been completely torn down at this point; it's now just an ugly concrete box.
35800857885_13c15d67f2.jpgDúbravka post office - 13 by Andrew P., on Flickr
35412028300_87253cbf34.jpgDúbravka post office - 14 by Andrew P., on Flickr
35800857435_85bfae2463.jpgDúbravka post office - 15 by Andrew P., on Flickr
35800857165_e77dfecda6.jpgDúbravka post office - 16 by Andrew P., on Flickr

With my photos under my belt, I proceeded to get out of there. There weren't any odd looking characters around the building or anything - people do park their cars right by the sidewalk with no trouble, but the building was rather imposing and I didn't particularly care to stick around!

I made my way to the tram stop and photographed T6A5/III #7953+7954 on route 5. With that, I now have photos of all the series III T6A5s in the city.
35631212072_9ccfcf1073.jpgDPB 7953 - 03 by Andrew P., on Flickr
34990569663_0aca1c7b0e.jpgDPB 7954 - 03 by Andrew P., on Flickr

A Solaris midi bus.
35412012870_3d5b02257a.jpgDPB 2003 - 01 by Andrew P., on Flickr

I snapped a couple more pics of the post office from my tram. I still can't get over the fact that this thing is still standing!
34990569163_aed15f6896.jpgDúbravka post office - 21 by Andrew P., on Flickr
35412011880_5a641a37fd.jpgDúbravka post office - 22 by Andrew P., on Flickr

I got off my tram and photographed it, and a few others.
35412010120_34e1251282.jpgDPB 7418 - 01 by Andrew P., on Flickr
34960339524_d0dd5e30f6.jpgDPB 7127 - 02 by Andrew P., on Flickr
35760065606_cc310f697a.jpgDPB 7116 - 02 by Andrew P., on Flickr
35760063746_8ed9d2ff71.jpgDPB 7119 - 04 by Andrew P., on Flickr

I will post up the rest of my photos later today.

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And here's part 2!

The morning after, I woke up at around 6:30 in the morning, so I headed over to nearby grocery store to grab some food for the bus ride to my grandparents' house. On the way, I saw some buses:

35631308942_da1c3de42c.jpgDPB 4930 - 01 by Andrew P., on Flickr
35631306512_a08a872082.jpgDPB 1837 - 01 by Andrew P., on Flickr

I had quite a bit of time before my bus left, so I went over to Trnavske myto to photograph some tram and trolley bus activity at the tail end of rush hour. 

One of the new trolley buses on a route 209 service heading back to its home garage.
35800932815_870d774a0f.jpgDPB 6024 - 03 by Andrew P., on Flickr

Some K2Ses on routes 2 and 8. Having photographed 7102, 7112 and 7128 on this trip, I now have photos of every K2S to have ever operated in Bratislava. This is the third complete fleet I have, after the T3G and T6A5/III trams.
34990656943_3b398acab5.jpgDPB 7102 - 01 by Andrew P., on Flickr
34990654653_3fb59e5d9e.jpgDPB 7107 - 06 by Andrew P., on Flickr
34990652813_2ec24a4447.jpgDPB 7112 - 03 by Andrew P., on Flickr
34960351004_95f835d011.jpgDPB 7128 - 03 by Andrew P., on Flickr
34960347664_4980f05e7f.jpgDPB 7128 - 04 by Andrew P., on Flickr
34960346094_3f44b484e5.jpgDPB 7135 - 04 by Andrew P., on Flickr
34960343424_686281ea60.jpgDPB 7115 - 06 by Andrew P., on Flickr
35759994506_77260d6cb3.jpgDPB 7109 - 03 by Andrew P., on Flickr

Some trams on routes 4 and 9.
34990654093_639fa3217b.jpgDPB 7410 - 01 by Andrew P., on Flickr
34960347264_88821d9f86.jpgDPB 7424 - 02 by Andrew P., on Flickr
35759993736_c1cee416a6.jpgDPB 7941 - 03 by Andrew P., on Flickr

I encountered Mercedes #4926 again. This time it was doing a 68 service, and running in to the garage after morning rush hour.
34960340224_caa01bcd55.jpgDPB 4926 - 05 by Andrew P., on Flickr

After this, I went back to the hotel to grab my stuff and made for the bus station. I *just* missed a trolleybus on route 205, and I had a nice 15 minute wait for the next one. While I waited, I snapped one of the new articulated trolleys operating on the 207.
35412072640_703315a4a8.jpgDPB 6865 - 01 by Andrew P., on Flickr

Until next time!

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Pekne! Vdaka vasim fotografiam ja mozem vidiet exoticke slovenske autobusy! (please forgive my grammar and lack of a keyboard :) )

Always glad to see the Tatras. I also wonder why SOR put so many doors on their buses...

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11 hours ago, brzyski said:

Pekne! Vdaka vasim fotografiam ja mozem vidiet exoticke slovenske autobusy! (please forgive my grammar and lack of a keyboard :) )

Always glad to see the Tatras. I also wonder why SOR put so many doors on their buses...

Ďakujem!

If I'm not mistaken, the larger amount of doors seems to be a trend a lot of European manufacturers are moving towards. The new Mercedes-Benz Capacity L, which was unveiled late in 2014, also has a five door configuration.

http://media.daimler.com/marsMediaSite/en/instance/ko/The-new-Mercedes-Benz-CapaCity-L-show-vehicle-in-detail.xhtml?oid=9904821

I wish we got more Mercedes buses instead of the SORs, but that sadly, that doesn't appear to be on its way to changing - a new order of I believe 90 buses is coming in in September and they're also SORs. <_<

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1 hour ago, PCC Guy said:

Ďakujem!

If I'm not mistaken, the larger amount of doors seems to be a trend a lot of European manufacturers are moving towards. The new Mercedes-Benz Capacity L, which was unveiled late in 2014, also has a five door configuration.

http://media.daimler.com/marsMediaSite/en/instance/ko/The-new-Mercedes-Benz-CapaCity-L-show-vehicle-in-detail.xhtml?oid=9904821

I wish we got more Mercedes buses instead of the SORs, but that sadly, that doesn't appear to be on its way to changing - a new order of I believe 90 buses is coming in in September and they're also SORs. <_<

Skoda...

For a Capacity L 5 doors seem to be fine, but 4 doors for a 12m is kinda too many...

Maybe someday they will develop a bus that lifts the entire right-hand-side wall instead of using doors to ultimately boost their "vystup and nastup"...

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  • 5 weeks later...

Here's a few pics from a visit to Bratislava at the end of July.

A few from Dúbravka, where road works dictated that city centre-bound buses had to divert via some side streets.

36039721102_668ea7a7db.jpgDPB 4906 - 01 by Andrew P., on Flickr
36039954732_43f23aac8e.jpgDPB 4906 - 02 by Andrew P., on Flickr
36039955952_e652a5388d.jpgDPB 4936 - 03 by Andrew P., on Flickr
36165310856_f3385272f4.jpgDPB 2001 - 02 by Andrew P., on Flickr
36165305696_73d870253f.jpgDPB 2001 - 03 by Andrew P., on Flickr

Back downtown, I was photographing some trams. 
35402191463_8c6721956b.jpgDPB 7915 - 03 by Andrew P., on Flickr
36072105921_1529a7f723.jpgDPB 7943 - 03 by Andrew P., on Flickr
35370669014_1b0c6325dd.jpgDPB 7835 - 04 by Andrew P., on Flickr
36072091471_2d3d23150d.jpgDPB 7835 - 05 by Andrew P., on Flickr
 

A few T6A5s were running around with their front pantographs down. Visually I think I'm more partial to this arrangement.
35370654224_58cacc0549.jpgDPB 7953 - 04 by Andrew P., on Flickr
36072087011_2ceb85011e.jpgDPB 7905 - 03 by Andrew P., on Flickr
36206519325_4bacb82f8a.jpgDPB 7954 - 04 by Andrew P., on Flickr
36039889702_11b245485e.jpgDPB 7957 - 05 by Andrew P., on Flickr
35402119383_6d37d02450.jpgDPB 7958 - 03 by Andrew P., on Flickr
35402116733_139f2cc4ab.jpgDPB 7923 - 01 by Andrew P., on Flickr
36072043661_ba527dd6ef.jpgDPB 7924 - 01 by Andrew P., on Flickr
36072038501_60112028eb.jpgDPB 7946 - 01 by Andrew P., on Flickr
35370509964_a5c752c4aa.jpgDPB 7945 - 01 by Andrew P., on Flickr
35402096743_325d594907.jpgDPB 7301 - 03 by Andrew P., on Flickr
36072005871_07ecce9e8e.jpgDPB 7301 - 05 by Andrew P., on Flickr
35370406934_6aaed0d56e.jpgDPB 7302 - 03 by Andrew P., on Flickr
36206562535_404ab09588.jpgDPB 7302 - 04 by Andrew P., on Flickr
36039765752_bd0e3d2ee1.jpgDPB 7949 - 04 by Andrew P., on Flickr
36206536165_e5d4687f85.jpgDPB 7950 - 02 by Andrew P., on Flickr

I went for a ride on Tatra T3G #7843+7844.
35402011303_3d3a53217a.jpgDPB 7843 - 04 by Andrew P., on Flickr
35813609740_fd303ce97d.jpgDPB 7843 interior - 01 by Andrew P., on Flickr
36071934071_ab573abf11.jpgDPB 7843 - 05 by Andrew P., on Flickr
36071930151_8b06c6bf0b.jpgDPB 7844 - 05 by Andrew P., on Flickr

Until next time!

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  • 2 months later...

Picture this:

You are a big fan of the T3G tram. You would like a photo of the driver's cab, which has considerable differences as compared to the regular T3, but you won't be able to attend an open house in the garage, and even if you did, there's no guarantee they'd have a T3G on display.

What do you do?

Well, if you're me, you charter one!

Charter rates are a steal in Bratislava; this whole excursion cost me €60. In the end I ended up deciding to charter cars #7841+7842, which had, in 2016, had modifications made to them.

The first modification is the expansion of the cab with an extra seat for an instructor. The details of that shall be posted later; for now here's a comparison of a standard T3G cab (7838) compared to that on 7841.

9570083178_4d36371915_z.jpgDPB 7838 - electrical panel by Andrew P., on Flickr
36469586216_951729c70e_z.jpgDPB 7841 interior - 01 by Andrew P., on Flickr

Additionally, the area beyond the second set of doors had had its 1+1 seating upgraded to 2+1.

36469585766_d949da10ac_z.jpgDPB 7841 interior - 02 by Andrew P., on Flickr
36469585236_5804bca35d_z.jpgDPB 7841 interior - 03 by Andrew P., on Flickr

The builder's plate.

36119750840_3952dda01d_z.jpgDPB 7841 interior - 04 by Andrew P., on Flickr

At the end of the line, I got a chance to take all the photos I needed.

35707449083_a456c8a9a0_z.jpgDPB 7841 - 06 by Andrew P., on Flickr
36119743480_4131e4e986_z.jpgDPB 7841 - 07 by Andrew P., on Flickr

The driver training amenities.
35681401754_92c80dff06_z.jpgDPB 7841 cab - 13 by Andrew P., on Flickr
35681401244_8656f39e25_z.jpgDPB 7841 cab - 14 by Andrew P., on Flickr

An extra bank of controls for the instructor, including an emergency stop button and track brake activator.
36119749170_70bb290a05_z.jpgDPB 7841 cab - 01 by Andrew P., on Flickr

The photos I came for:

35707452283_347258b6e1_z.jpgDPB 7841 cab - 03 by Andrew P., on Flickr
36516101955_7081e90098_z.jpgDPB 7841 cab - 04 by Andrew P., on Flickr
36516101405_e7fa3dc257_z.jpgDPB 7841 cab - 06 by Andrew P., on Flickr
35707451493_3c9d5d0fc5_z.jpgDPB 7841 cab - 07 by Andrew P., on Flickr
36469580476_39114fd622_z.jpgDPB 7841 cab - 09 by Andrew P., on Flickr
35707450163_5723908760_z.jpgDPB 7841 cab - 10 by Andrew P., on Flickr
36119742400_5725e37892_z.jpgDPB 7841 cab - 15 by Andrew P., on Flickr

After the excursio, back at the yard:
36119740840_faaaeb320c_z.jpgDPB 7842 - 07 by Andrew P., on Flickr

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3 hours ago, TTC T6H-5307N 2252 said:

How come bratislava don't clean up the grafiti?

The graffiti you are seeing here is on the rear cars of the two-car units. These are generally not cleaned because they get dirty again very quickly afterwards. On average, a newly refurbished car will remain in pristine condition for about two days, before vandals take a trip, at some point during the late hours of the day.

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  • 2 years later...
On December 1, 1989, the final order of classic Tatra T3 trams for Bratislava entered service for the first time. These 12 cars (numbers 7835-7846) were built in late 1989, and were one of the final orders of T3 cars built before the fall of the Communist government, and subsequently discontinuation of the T3 (though other, updated variants would later be built by both the original manufacturer and other rail engineering firms).
 
In the mid to late 1990s, these cars were rebuilt to type T3G, seeing their original PCC-based control units swapped out for more energy efficient GTO thyristors. This has, in effect, saved the cars, as they continue to be in service several years after the disappearance of the last unrebuilt T3 cars, and with no replacements currently on order they may still be around for at least a few more years.
 
These are my all-time favourite tram cars, and I am fortunate enough to have been able to photograph all 12. I'm attaching some of my favourite photos I took over the years. Here's to at least another 5 years!

 Cars 7835+7836 (serial numbers 178445 and 178446) photographed eastbound on Hviezdoslavovo námestie, on route 4 on March 9, 2015. This was not a regular route for these cars; however, from 2012 until 2015 they operated out of a different tram division, and could appear on routes they otherwise didn't run on.
 

A more classic view of cars 7835+7836 approaching Kapucínska in route 9 service on July 27, 2017.


  Cars 7837 and 7838 (serial numbers 178447 and 178448) photographed near Park kultúry (today, Kráľovské údolie) on September 28, 2015, shortly after completing a several month long round of scheduled maintenance. The cars are in service on the legendary, now defunct, route 5, which was the principal line where these cars ran for decades.

    Cars 7839+7840 (serial numbers 178449/178450) cross Trnavské mýto in service on route 9 on September 28, 2015.

    Cars 7839+7840 photographed eastbound on Námestie SNP on March 19, 2015.

    Cars 7841+7842 (178451/178452) northbound on Hurbanovo námestie in route 8 service on March 19, 2015.

    Cars 7841+7842 photographed at Zlaté piesky, the terminus of route 4, on August 11, 2017, when I held a private charter for myself and took them there.

    Car 7842 photographed at Zátišie on August 26, 2008. The cars are wrapped for the German chain of Hornbach stores, which they were from October 2004 until September 2009, making them rather distinctive for photographers of the fleet.

    Cars 7843+7844 (178454/178453; no, I did not reverse the serial numbers) entering service on route 6 on Kamenné námestie on August 19, 2013.

    Cars 7845+7846 (178455/178456) are photographed on Kapucínska on September 18, 2015.

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  • 6 months later...

Things are very different in Bratislava as of today: the last of the legendary Škoda 14 Tr trolleybuses, in service since March 1982, were removed from regular service last night and moved into storage. The modernized Škoda 15 TrM articulated trolleybuses are now the last regularly operating representatives of a nearly 40 year trolleybus dynasty.

The 14 Trs were numbered 6201-6315, and arrived in the city in 12 batches built from 1981 to 1991. In the mid-2000s, several of these buses were "modernized" to type 14 TrM with a brand new body: these were 6304II, 6293II, 6263II, 6291II, 6271II, 6222II, 6226II, 6265II, 6283II, 6306II, 6260II, 6301II. these w Finally, 14 TrM buses 6267/II and 6261/II were bought second hand in 2010 to replace the original buses, which were too far gone to repair, and in 2014, buses 6316 and 6317 were temporarily leased for a period of several months to deal with a trolleybus shortage.

These buses began to disappear en masse in 2015, and after early 2016 became a rare sight, with usually only two buses making it out onto evening runs of route 203, which then operated all night on the night routes. This job will now be done by the last two 15 TrMs. As for what will happen to the remaining buses on property? Only heaven knows. Two 14 Trs, 6207 and 6293/II, are currently indicated as historic vehicles, but it will be a long time before any of this family, including the artics, will see restoration. The remaining buses may be put into storage, to be used in an equipment shortage, they could be sold to beleaguered trolleybus operations in Ukraine, or they could be scrapped. Only time will tell.

There are two 15 TrM trolleybuses which are still in service: 6621 and 6632. The overwhelming majority of the fleet now resides in dead storage in a tram yard since 2016, their futures unknown. I can only hope that these God forsaken restrictions will be lifted and I will be allowed to travel to Slovakia before they scrap them before all of humanity dies out.

Here are some of my choice photos of the 14 Trs over the years.

9566616548_f264c27da7_z.jpgDPB 6207 - 01 by T3G, on Flickr

9563821195_8ec0dbe3e8_z.jpgDPB 6234 - 01 by T3G, on Flickr

9566650034_5a3b27c78b_z.jpgDPB 6238 - 01 by T3G, on Flickr

16739634467_8270e81d10_z.jpgDPB 6262 - 01 by T3G, on Flickr

16739628617_c7aeed79d2_z.jpgDPB 6269 - 02 by T3G, on Flickr

9566640608_4b28bf2cfe_z.jpgDPB 6270 - 01 by T3G, on Flickr

16759527430_8d5c7c1387_z.jpgDPB 6272 - 01 by T3G, on Flickr

9563842541_b57017f119_z.jpgDPB 6275 - 02 by T3G, on Flickr

16739624467_2b47a31bef_z.jpgDPB 6278 - 01 by T3G, on Flickr

21924164860_16eab8fdd9_z.jpgDPB 6279 - 01 by T3G, on Flickr

16324582244_560b25f192_z.jpgDPB 6284 - 03 by T3G, on Flickr

16760752429_3874661698_z.jpgDPB 6288 - 03 by T3G, on Flickr

9566623272_8f9c7e4413_z.jpgDPB 6290 - 01 by T3G, on Flickr

16921021506_f4719ce099_z.jpgDPB 6292 - 02 by T3G, on Flickr

16921019806_48e968632d_z.jpgDPB 6297 - 01 by T3G, on Flickr

16324576554_a44eec8e46_z.jpgDPB 6300, 6301 by T3G, on Flickr

9563826241_af6ff6978b_z.jpgDPB 6302 - 01 by T3G, on Flickr

16946964985_2dbc338d92_z.jpgDPB 6315, 6283 by T3G, on Flickr

9563834049_9992558020_z.jpgDPB 6283 - 03 by T3G, on Flickr

16946991625_3ee03b5268_z.jpgDPB 6222 - 03 by T3G, on Flickr

21491207713_9683634cbb_z.jpgDPB 6293 - 03 by T3G, on Flickr

9566615722_41b7b0d4a6_z.jpgDPB 6226 - 01 by T3G, on Flickr

9566655812_3cdf0b8728_z.jpgDPB 6226 - 02 by T3G, on Flickr

9566643112_6312867a6a_z.jpgDPB 6265 - 01 by T3G, on Flickr

23576689718_40a34e395e_z.jpgDPB 6261 - 02 by T3G, on Flickr

16759510810_a778cd174e_z.jpgDPB 6304 - 01 by T3G, on Flickr

16759285568_7a3563f93d_z.jpgDPB 6263 - 02 by T3G, on Flickr

16945663792_c2068641ab_z.jpgDPB 6263 - 04 by T3G, on Flickr

21491201103_0156f6be35_z.jpgDPB 6263 - 05 by T3G, on Flickr

22112345575_6f1c776084_z.jpgDPB 6274 - 01 by T3G, on Flickr

22122392621_29cf7028c4_z.jpgDPB 6302, 6294, 6271, 6307 by T3G, on Flickr

21489490364_8c8f91b429_z.jpgDPB 6307, 6276, 6298, 6306 by T3G, on Flickr

21925401669_b150642124_z.jpgDPB 6276, 6298, 6306, 6260 by T3G, on Flickr

22086134696_c132d103bc_z.jpgDPB 6265, 6222, 6269, 6267, 6300 by T3G, on Flickr

22122389661_febc432e77_z.jpgDPB 6306, 6260, 6265, 6222, 6269 by T3G, on Flickr

22122388961_bceef8b1b2_z.jpgDPB 6269, 6267, 6300, 6291, 6297 by T3G, on Flickr

21489486694_c6bb06b824_z.jpgDPB 6300, 6291, 6297, 6244 by T3G, on Flickr

22086131596_58d50fbfcd_z.jpgDPB 6226, 6303, 6238, 6281 by T3G, on Flickr

22112324075_83f41d9a63_z.jpgDPB 6281, 6232, 6231, 6274 by T3G, on Flickr

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  • 1 year later...

I doubted, often, over the last 2 years, that I'd ever get to post in here again, but life can be surprising. It's been two months since my trip, and I've edited enough of my photos that I have something to share in here now.

So I'll start with a post dedicated to the Tatra T3P, the most modern variation of T3 operating in Bratislava, one which I didn't see any of when I visited Slovakia back in 2017. The reason for this is because after the retirement of the unmodernized T3s with PCC controls in 2016, someone decided that the T3Ps should form the operational reserve. So for the last 5 years, these cars, which have modern IGBT based electronic kits, have most recently been refurbished, and are in general very reliable (they did not have the same string of breakdowns post-lockdown that the T3Gs did) have operated only in limited amounts. In July 2017, three (out of 11 available) trains would appear on morning rush hour portions of split shifts, being swapped out for low floor trams in the afternoon due to the heat. In August 2017, when I had a car available, they didn't run at all!

The T3Ps are mostly based out of Jurajov dvor yard, the only older cars in a yard otherwise full of low floors. In 2018, to try to get some more use out of them, a few cars were shuffled to the other yard at Krasňany, which has only old trams, and so that limited quantity of cars ran more regularly in service, even as the T3Ps which remained at their old yard were out of service from March to October 2020 because of COVID measures. They did not get so lucky during the second lockdown; all T3Ps were moved back, and they appeared exclusively on morning rush hour only shifts (with the exception of one standby vehicle) for about two weeks; then they all vanished from service in the middle of November 2020.

Cars 7781+7782 carried an ad wrap for Podravka condiments, and they re-entered service out of Krasňany again in January 2021 after the ad company complained that they were spending money to wrap a car that hadn't run in service for two months. As pandemic measures began to ease up again through May and June, more T3Ps rejoined service, though not all of them - those that did were also transferred over to Krasňany, spending the summer there until they all went back to Jurajov dvor at the start of September, except for two - 7783+7784 and 7799+7800. They have since been traded for 7787+7788 and 7717+7718.

The first T3P I got to ride since March 2015 ended up being cars 7791+7792, in service on a special route X running to Rača, a borough in the northeast corner of the city, for their annual wine festival. The festival ran on September 11 - 12, and involved chiefly old trams, which was good to see because MU cars have not run there since December 2019.

7791+7792 did not re-enter service in the summer, so were out for about 10 months, and you could tell by the general state of the interior - though the cleaners had done their best, it was rather shabby inside.

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I ditched the cars a few stops before the end of the line, and hung out in the neighbourhood, grabbing photos of trams on route X as they passed by. Coming from Ontario this was a total shock to me, the streets were packed and lively, though the X did not appear to be well patroned at all. Which benefited me!

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There are now four pairs of T3Ps in the city that are painted in the transit company's corporate red livery, an initiative which started earlier this year: 7715+7704 (which I did not catch on this trip as they were undergoing maintenance), 7783+7784, 7787+7788, and 7795+7796. 7795+7796 is the most recent refurbished T3P - it was taken out of service for rebuilding at the end of 2009, but because of money troubles, it wasn't returned to service until February 2014... and since 2016 it has spent more time out of service than in service (probably the only place in the world where this wasn't caused by reliability issues). They never made it to Krasňany, they were out of service from March to October 2020 and then again from October 2020 to September of this year, with the exception of one unusual occurrence of it being dispatched as a standby vehicle. Over the summer it was repainted.

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Cars 7787+7788 were outshopped before the new graphic guidance changed from yellow pantographs to anthracite coloured ones. Personally I think the yellow matches the red better, but I'm evidently an old fashioned fool being left behind in an era that values drab, lifeless everything, so what do I know.

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7799+7800 came next. At the time they had just been freshly transferred back to Jurajov dvor, and I was very lucky that they ended up sending them out on this service, because otherwise any evening rides or shots would not have been possible... but more on that later.

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7704 (joined together with rebuild 7715), 7703+7706, and 7717+7718 were built in 2005 - 2007 as brand new car bodies by ČKD Pragoimex to replace cars that were too badly corroded to repair. In these photos, 7717+7718 have just serviced the stop at Hybešova and are heading towards Komisárky in Rača - you can notice the poor quality of the trackage in the green right-of-way it has just existed. There are still many lines in the city which suffer from deferred maintenance, especially in the outer reaches of the city.

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7791+7792 headed back to the city centre.

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Next came 7781+7782 with its ad wrap. This has not saved the car since it transferred back to Jurajov dvor in September, and seeing it is more of an event than it should be. Unfortunately the cars at Jurajov dvor are still only used on morning rush hour trips and one standby car.

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7787+7788 again.

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7717+7718 again.

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I then rode to the end of the line, where I got more photos of the old cars coming out of the beat-up looking loop. The sun had vanished behind a cloud for a while, but it did end up reappearing eventually, making for some very nice golden hour photos.

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At this point it was time for the only T3G that was operating on route X to finish its break, and I caught it back to the city - but more on that in a future post. I enjoyed my ride on it but decided to ditch the car shortly before entering the center proper in favour of cars 7799+7800, as I wanted to ride them as well. I am glad I got a chance to grab them on their last evening shift to date (if you don't count the standby - which you shouldn't, because there's no guarantee the car will carry any passengers on a given day), they were still very clean (only 4 months after maintenance), they sounded great and rode well, and the driver turned the interior lights on, which is when the T3P interior, in my opinion, looks the best.

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By this time I was famished, so I bid farewell and went off to find something to eat.

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But that evening, I grabbed my tripod and went back downtown to grab a few night shots.

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And I rode 7792 back. With the burnt out lightbulb, the seats coated in grime, and the dirty light casings, it gave off a considerably less luxurious vibe than 7800 did.

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And what of poor old 7783+7784? Well, I didn't see them in service at all while on the trip, because they'd suffered a LVPS failure. However, I did get a chance to grab a photo at an open house at Jurajov dvor yard a week later, thanks to the kindness of a shop worker. These are probably the best looking trams in Bratislava, and that is because of the red windshield banner that matches its paint. It's not to everyone's taste, but it certainly is to mine. Hopefully it retains this for many years still to come.

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7784 was one of the few rear cars that got a digital destination sign, being one of the earliest rebuilds (in May 2022 it will celebrate 18 years in service as a T3P) before they realized the extra signs was a waste of money.

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One more trio of photos; I ended up grabbing a ride on 7795+7796 on its way back to the yard after a morning shift on September 13. Its interior is a bit less flashy than that of the other T3Ps.

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