29 Tram on Ice

Tram on Ice

Posted on December 20, 2007 by

Russian tram goes on ice 1

One hundred years ago winters in Russia were much more severe. They were so severe that in St. Petersburg they have opened a tram that went on ice of Neva river from one bank to another for 0.03 ruble price, it’s like 3 cents because ruble exchange rate to dollar was almost equal at that times.

The tram-on-ice system got very popular due to low cost compared to other means of on-ground transportation and short time needed to cross the river and was in use for a few years consequently.

It was so popular that visitors from other Russian towns told stories about it in their local places and some time later the same on-ice tram was launched in Nizhniy Novgorod, you can see it on the down-most photo below.

Russian tram goes on ice 2

Russian tram goes on ice 3

Russian tram goes on ice 4

Russian tram goes on ice 5

Russian tram goes on ice 6

Russian tram goes on ice 6

Russian tram goes on ice 7

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29 Responses to “Tram on Ice”

  1. Al Gore says:

    Thank you for telling the story of how the River Neva will no longer support affordable public transportation due to global warming.

    I only have one recommendation: Can you change this sentence; “One hundred years ago winters in Russia were much more severe,” to this:

    “One hundred years ago winters in Russia were much more severe, before the dirty capitalists in the USA ruined the world.”

    I have to log off now. My private fuel-inefficient jet is waiting to whisk me away to my next stop.

    Al “Earth Prophet” Gore

  2. Richard S. says:

    Any reports of rails sinking or breaking through the ice?

  3. I bet they never thaw a use for it after the spring ;)

  4. Marky says:

    I don’t recognise the church in the last photo.

    Does anyone have any information on that. The view is not familar to me.

  5. Hajo says:

    The church on the last photo is in Nizhniy Novgorod. (the text says
    “It was so popular that visitors from other Russian towns told stories about it in their local places and some time later the same on-ice tram was launched in Nizhniy Novgorod, you can see it on the down-most photo below.”)

  6. Yegorij says:

    The reason of it was a lobby of horsetram shippers. They fighted aganist trams within some years, and ice tram was a way to show the efficacy of this method of transportation.
    The ice for building of routs was used because all ground rails belonged to horsetram.

  7. Texas1 says:

    What??? No Russian Christmas tree ornaments this year?

  8. adagio1723 says:

    this is not russia its ukrane, and also its obviously photoshoped

  9. Steam McQueen says:

    Of course today there are many bridges that cross the Neva. Curious though… In summer, when the bridges open at night one can be stranded for several hours until the bridges close again.

    I’ve never been able to understand why there isn’t a water-taxi service to get people across the river. Surely there had to be one in years past, before the bridges were built…

    Seems to me that people would be happy to pay 150 rubles or so just so they don’t have to wait four or five hours for the bridge to close.

  10. your name here says:

    I bet their ears get really cold in that kind of weather, I wonder why they never used warmers or something.

  11. Al Gore says:

    Sorry, guys, but it’s not Ukraine or Finland. In fact, upon further investigation, my wife Tipper and I learned that these photos were taken in the Bahamas, before global warming ruined the climate there. Ever see any polar bears in the Bahamas? Didn’t think so. Now you know why.

  12. Akhenathon says:

    Interesting building with tower on picture 6. Anyone has some information about it?

    • J Doe says:

      Here you go:

      The picture on that page is taken from the opposite side. that’s why the smaller building is on a different side.

      • Gerry says:

        Yes, J. Doe, thank you for the Wiki-cite. In ’93 I visited Sant Petr and Pavel, where restoration was going on, esp. in the santuary (gold leaf everywhere). Then in ’94, as luck would have it, my guide was buddies with the bell tower keeper, who took me to the top (spectacular views, the clock mechanism, and the turnstile/winch to raise and lower the bells (then missing). The Cathedral is very impressive, sits in the middle of a 30-40 foot walled kremlin (fortress) which contains a magazine, the whole is approached through a lovely park, and is on an ‘island’, moated from the near shore. Well worth a half-day visit (and try to bribe your way up the bell tower).

  13. Marina says:

    Yes, this system was in working for quite a few years in Petersburg. It was even very known in Europe.

  14. Kesang Tseten says:

    haha, fall thru the ice.

    that river was frozen to the bottom back then

  15. John from Kansas says:

    Peace on Earth.

  16. Adam Danxak says:

    200 years ago there were railways across the Atlantic ocean in winter time. 100 years ago there were tramways down Russian rivers in winter time. Today, no more. The oceans and rivers laugh derisively at old man winter. Puddles smirk knowingly because they know their time is nigh. 100 years from now we will have to swim everywhere for the very dirt itself will be liquid.

    Cannot the scientists adjust Earth’s thermostat? Failing that, cannot our leaders craft a cunning political solution to this dilemma? Won’t someone do something? I have done my part by writing this cautionary tale. Now heed the tale.

    Heed it I say!

  17. Morten says:

    I think I read somewhere that they also used to have a temporary winter railway crossing the Balkaj lake.. Know anything about that? We used to have a temporary winter road crossing lake Mjøsa in Norway about 20 years ago (before a bridge was build) so I am not surprised to see a winter tram on the Neva river. Thanks for a great site!

  18. Interesting post. I’m not entirely sure what you meant about the kansas city craft show though, could you elaborate?

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