More Czech tram cars headed to Pyongyang

UPDATE: Photos here (h/t Mateusz)

From Radio Prague (hat tip to David):

The Prague Transport Authority announced on Tuesday that the first of twenty reconditioned trams would be shipped to North Korea this week. The North Korean government are paying about 13 million crowns – that’s just over 800,000 U.S. dollars – for the second-hand trams, one of Prague’s most instantly recognisable symbols. But as Rob Cameron reports, they’re not the first Czech trams to be sent abroad, and not even the first to be sent to North Korea.

In the unlikely event you were to find yourself waiting for a tram at Pyongyang’s Mangyongdae station, you might well be surprised to see a Czech tram trundling along the rails towards you. But Czechs trams have long been a feature of life in the North Korean capital. The first – a fleet of new T4 trams – arrived in 1991, in time for Kim Il Sung’s 79th birthday. (The T4 is the chunky, rather boxlike model from the 1990s that runs on the number 3 line in Prague, for example.)

But the latest consignment heading for Pyongyang this week are reconditioned T3s, the older, iconic red and cream trams that date from the 1960s. The T3s were first produced by the CKD Tatra Smíchov factory in Prague (the T stands for Tatra). In all, a staggering 14,000 T3s were produced in Smichov and exported all over the Soviet bloc, as part of the Comecon system of allocating entire industries to individual communist countries.

Read the full article here:
Iconic red and cream Prague trams get new lease of life in Pyongyang
Radio Prague
Rob Cameron
5/6/2008

Share

An affiliate of 38 North