Last year, we wrote about plans to bring a tram line back to Prague’s Wenceslas Square for the first time since 1980.
New tram tracks have already been laid between Prague’s National Museum buildings at the top of Wenceslas Square, based on the premise of eventually providing a quick connection between Vinohrady and the city center.
What was unknown at that time, however, was exactly where the trams would travel.
With the idea of connecting Vinohrady with Prague’s main train station Hlavní nádraží, some plans called for the tramline to veer off near the top of Wenceslas Square at Ječná street, while others hoped to bring the tramline down to the center of Wenceslas Square to connect to the existing line at Jindřišská street.
Yesterday, however, Prague officials made the call: the new tram line will run down the top half of Wenceslas Square and connect to the existing line at Jindřišská.
According to Lidovky.cz, development on the new tram line will begin this year, and construction could begin within the next two years.
“Today, we’ve given DPP the go-ahead to start designing the track from the Muzeum building to Vodička and Jindřišská streets,” Prague Deputy Mayor Adam Scheinherr told journalists.
The first trams are expected to run down Wenceslas Square by 2022, 42 years after the previous tramway down the city square was abandoned.
Prague’s public transport authority DPP will work with Jakub Cigler Architects, who are also responsible for renovations to the lower half of Wenceslas Square, on designing the new tramway through its top half.
Still to be decided: where, exactly the new tracks down Wenceslas Square will be laid. In the past, tram lines ran down both sides of the Statue of St. Wenceslas at the top of the Square, an area that is currently a hotspot for pedestrians and cultural gatherings.
“In any case, we take into account that the operation of trams cannot stop for every small demonstration,” said Petr Hlaváček, Prague’s Deputy Mayor for Territorial Development.
The new line will eventually connect Prague’s busy Vinohradská street with the Václavské náměstí tram stop in the middle of Wenceslas Square, with a new station being added at the top of the Square.