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This Slovakian Transit Hacker is a Streetcar of One

A tactical urbanist trick that you shouldn’t try at home.

Some common complaints about many of the new downtown streetcar lines that are showing up in American cities: They’re too expensive and too slow. (You can probably walk faster than D.C.’s new streetcar,) This enterprising urban rail enthusiast has effectively solved both problems with his DIY personal rapid transit solution: sticking some wheels on a wooden shipping pallet and flying off down the road on the streetcar tracks.

We stumbled across this 2008 video of a pallet skater plying the tramway rails on the streets of Bratislava, Slovakia. Here’s the video description of this tactical track trick:

The space between the tram tracks in Bratislava is 435 mm narrower than the gauge of tracks in Prague or Pilsen (1435 mm). The wooden euro pallet, a basic feature of any warehouse or storage hall, with its standardized 1200 x 800 mm dimensions, when modified can only run on the tracks in Bratislava.

A new transport vehicle brings change into the spatial perspective of a passenger in motion and generally changes the life of the city, through which the pallet can run, guided by a map of the city lines.

Our expert opinion might be that in terms of rail safety, this is step backwards from the handcar and would be unlikely to pass muster from the Federal Railroad Administration. But in the spirit of experimentation, what’s the track gauge of streetcar rails in the U.S.? Asking for a friend.

H/T Web Urbanist

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