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Snow, trams and herd behavior…

So it is winter… finally! Every year the people are hoping for snow for christmas here in Bern.
This year it’s a bit late as the last two days were the only days where we got 10cm of snow!
Although show is a synonym for delayed traffic, cars, busses, trams, no matter what, people
should usually know how to prepare for it and try to reduce delay times as good as possible.

Guessed wrong, my fellow readers! Today on my way to work I had again the doubtful leisure to feel the way, others think.

Imagine that: A tramway station and another just 40 metres around the corner. So if you’re in luck, like me, to have the luxury of two tramways passing by your home, you’d choose the quickest way to reach the city. So was my intention. However if there are an estimated 200 people cuddled one by one on the nearer perron and you have absolutely NO way to pass them by (at least in such time that you could reach the other tramway), you are damned to wait at the same crowded station. Not quite the thing to do especially when it still snows and a sharp wind is going…

To give you an idea what I mean by “luxury”, there’s the situation map of Bern, Unterführung as the stations are called:

As the satellite images are from 2009, you’ll see busses yet as the tramways got online in December 2010!

Okay, now I am standing at the crowded station and counting the minutes down until the next tramway arrives, because looking at the display announcing the next tramways didn’t bring much reliable information. Switching from 4 minutes to 9 minutes then back to the blinking bus icon, then back to 5 minutes and so on, didn’t fill you with hope either that there would be a cozy warm train within the next few minutes. So looking around and seeing the tramway of the other station pass by made my blood boil up a bit! Especially the fact that the other train was stinkin’ empty! WHY the heck did NOBODY move TINY bit so I could squeeze trough to the other tramway station in order to take the rather empty train?!?

Okay… finally I calmed myself a bit down and waited on. After 16 minutes of waiting in the snowfilled wind, the tram finally arrived… and how should it be otherwise: 2 dismissed trains meand one bursting-full train afterwards… and we speak of this train:

Looks small but don’t let the perspective fool you!

This should give you an ide how big they are really!

Even the fact that these 42 metres long tramways can hold up to 350 passengers did not relieve the situation during business traffic. Well, after having squeezed into this only tramway (because I didn’t want to test out when the next one comes) I thought that it could be a real thrilling and annoying tramway ride until city centre. And I should be proven right…

So every station, the tramway conductor had to activate the forced door close as the people have demonstratively stood in the light barriers. Not that a BIG yellow stripe would give you the idea, you know… nope, the people simply didn’t take the idea to take one of the upcoming trains (the next tramway stood just behind ours, just for clarification) as they would anyway go to city centre which is operated by both lines by the way…

Okay, having entirely calmed down again as I already knew that I would be late for work, I finally reached my destination and could swith tramways to my workplace.

Yet my total trip time was 46 minutes instead of 17 minutes… a mere 29 minutes more than usual! And all that because of 10cm frozen water, called snow…

I wonder if you had similar experience (for those, living in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, USA, Canada and other northern countries currently having to deal with massive snowfall) when going to work today… especially Munich is such a highlight. There it is sometimes even crazier: 2cm snow means 1 hour of delay in the suburb train system. You can take bets on this!

I’ll try to add pics as well so you can see how the weather in Bern is at the moment.

Have a nice day!

December 20, 2011 Netspark - 1594 posts - Member since: May 9th, 2011 No Comments »

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