Tracks already built leading to Wenceslas Square. via Raymond Johnston

Prague City Hall picks tram route from Vinohrady to Hlavní nádraží, but zoning changes are needed

The route that trams will take from Vinohrady to the main stain station Hlavní nádraží has been selected
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The route that trams will take from Vinohrady to the main stain station Hlavní nádraží has been selected. Prague City Hall has agreed with the Ministry of Culture on the plan. Construction will not start before 2025, although some of the tracks were put in place during the recent renovation of the National Museum.

The route should run from Vinohradská Street down between the new and historical buildings of the National Museum, then along Wilsonova Street to the State Opera, where it turns into Politických vězňů Street, then to Washingtonova Street and then through Vrchlického sady in front of the main railway station. The route should connect to the existing tracks in Žižkov between Bolzanova and Opletalova streets.

The construction will require a change to the city’s zoning plan to allow construction to go through Vrchlického sady, which is a park. The change has to be discussed and approved by City Hall.

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tram wenceslas square
Trams on Wenseclas Square in the late 1970s. via DPP

“There is now a consensus on the route between all the authorities involved,” Ondřej Boháč, the director of Prague Institute of Planning and Development (IPR), said according to press reports.

The route is part of the planned connection of Vinohradská with Wenceslas Square, and construction could start this year. Trams in front of the main railway station won’t happen until around 2025.

Two other options to bring trams to the main station were rejected. Both of these avoided Vrchlického sady by going down Opletalova Street. One followed the selected route until Politických vězňů and went further up that street until it passed the park, then turned. The other went into Wenceslas Square past the statue of St Wenceslas until it reached Opletalova and then went toward the station.

The bight green option was selected over the red and purple ones. via IPR Praha

The city also wants to build a line from Vinohradská Street through Wenceslas Square to join the tracks connecting Vodičkova and Jindřišská streets. This would not need a zoning change.

“The new line on Wenceslas Square would strengthen the connection from Vinohrady to the center, ease traffic on Ječná Street and would be very welcome for planned and unplanned restrictions on tram traffic in the city center,” PID said over Twitter late last year.

While the lower part of Wenceslas Square is currently being renovated according to a long-delayed plan from 2005, work on the upper part from the National Museum to Vodičkova and Jindřišská streets have not started. Uncertainty over the tram routes has been one reason.

trams wenceslas square
Postcard showing trams on Wenceslas Square in the early 20th century. via DPP

Trams were last seen on Wenceslas Square in 1980.

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