During holiday months, on weekends we offer an opportunity to take a ride onboard our historic buses and trams. “T” tourist line has been functioning for over 20 years and bus line 100 returned to Warsaw’s streets in 2018 after few years long interval.
Below we present short history of tourist lines.
“T” – line
The changing political realities in the country opened new perspectives for us. The Club members at the time began to think boldly about rescuing vehicles and, in the long run, using them and presenting them to a wider audience. The first talks took place already in 1994, but the opportunity to launch the tourist line came only in 1996, when Warsaw celebrated the four hundredth anniversary of its metropolitan area. On April 20, 1996, A and C wagons and invited guests from the Administration of Public Transport and Warsaw Trams appeared on Narutowicz Square. After short speeches, there was a symbolic intersection of the yellow-and-red ribbon, after which the first tram, led by Dariusz Walczak, the then chairman of the Association of Public Transport Fans in Warsaw, set off for the city.
First years of the “T” – line during the summer seasons differed from what we have today. The line was functioning aside from the “plan” which meant that Warsaw Trams were not paid, tram drivers were sacrificing their weekends and technical professionals had to serve as conductors. At that times, the Club Members had to encourage the tourists to take a ride and this was their main and only task. Also the ZTM tickets were not valid for the “T” – line and that was problematic. There was a different tariff on the tourist line, which caused unnecessary misunderstandings and, as a result, the resignation from travel by potential passengers. The “T” – line finally became a permanent line with a starting point at Narutowicz Square. The only exceptions occurred in 1997 and 2003, when the starting point was at the Starynkiewicz Square. While planning the routes, there was an assumption made – the line should be one-way and it ought to drive past the most interesting places in Warsaw.
At the beginning, when the tram line was established, the rolling stock operating it was rather low-key. It consisted mostly of wagons A and C and wagon K no. 403 which started operating the line in 1997. One year later, after importing from Szczecin and renovating it in Warsaw, wagon 4NJ no. 838 joined our collection. The first wagon of the so-called high-speed, which in 2010 permanently appeared on the T line, was wagon 102N no. 5 from Poznań. This way, the era of high-speed wagons on the T line began.
Another important stage in the operation of our tourist line was the year 2003, when – thanks to the efforts of the current president of the Association of Public Transport Fans in Warsaw, Robert Człapiński – service of the “T” line was included in the “plan”: drivers started to run trams according to previously received schedules, the roles of earlier hired staff as conductors were taken over by members of the Association of Public Transport Fans in Warsaw, the carrier began to receive money for kilometers traveled from the organizer of public transport, and travelers could take the tram with a ZTM ticket. Today, many of our regular passengers cannot imagine holidays without “T” – line and – thanks to this – Warsaw is in the honorable group of these European metropolises, which provide tourists with an unforgettable ride around the most beautiful places in the capital.
This is an offer for people, who would like to a ride a popular “Pickle” or Ikarus. In 2018, thanks to close cooperation with Administration of Public Transport in Warsaw and Urban Buses Company we managed to resume coursing of the line 100.
There has already been a 100 bus line in Warsaw since 1949. The previous line O, which was circling around the city center, received the number 100 and operated in two variants: 100P and 100L – clockwise and counterclockwise. The latest Chausson AH48 buses were directed to service this line (one of them is in our collection). This way the line, which has undergone numerous metamorphoses, changes of route or ends, survived until 1979, when it was permanently liquidated.
The comeback of line 100, already as a tourist line, and in a storied edition, wouldn’t be possible if it was not for the MAN SD202 bus imported from Berlin. The line serviced by this rolling stock commenced its operation on April 21st in 2001. Both the route and the rolling stock that served the line were a great attraction for people wanting to see Warsaw from a slightly different perspective. During a relatively short period of operation, the route of the line has changed several times, and in 2004 the lines of 100 were suspended. In its place, the “400” line was launched, running from the Castle Square to Powsin. Less and less interest of travelers, caused by numerous failures of the exotic – as for the Warsaw real estate – double-decker bus, resulted in a decrease in its attractiveness. In exchange for the damaged MAN, Solaris Urbino 12 and Jelcz M121M buses appeared on the line, which also served regular lines. There was less and less opportunity to travel by double-decker-bus, and to find out whether the bus was running on the line that day, you had to call the dispatcher. Eventually, line 100 was liquidated on the 1st of April in 2010.
On 23rd of June in 2018, with the next launch of the T-line, line 100 returned to our streets. Traditionally, it was operated by Jelcz “Pickle” and short Ikarus. This year’s edition of the tourist bus line gives hope for the continuation of cooperation between the Administration of the Public Transport in Warsaw, Urban Buses Company and the Association of Public Transport Fans in Warsaw, so that in the summer of 2019 we will be able to experience once again how people once traveled.