December 21st 2016 update: See the tram makeover and new Christmas lights here.
I previously wrote about this tram here. That article also covered the Christmas Tree that had been added to the rear of the tram. Today the Christmas Tree has gone, as per twelfth night rules. But there is now a map that shows the location of the tram and so I decided to write a new article rather than update the old one.
In January 2015, a special tram was launched in Prague. Red in colour with an ‘M’ on the front and the rear of the tram cut off – like a pick up truck.
The tram would appear at different times and on different lines. I started to wonder if there was more than one. I also wondered if the rear of the tram was supposed to carry goods or spare parts. Later I discovered that the tram’s purpose was to grease the tram lines and it was called Mazací tramvaj – there is only one.
It turned out I wasn’t the only Mazací tram-spotter. A Mazací tram Facebook group had been set up for fans of the tram – and people were posting pictures from various locations.
The Prague Transport Authority (DPP) soon became aware of the popularity of the Mazací tramvaj and wrote some information on their website (in Czech). Apparently this is a 25-year old type-T3 tram no. 5572 that was previously used as a snow plough and hauling tram. During the summer and autumn of 2014, its application was extended to include a lubrication system. The tram its own route and schedule. Operation starts daily around five in the morning and ends late in the evening when it returns to the Pankrác depot. Each day the tram covers more than 200 kilometres.
A webcam has been added to the rear of the tram. You can see the and watch the tram’s progress via this site (sadly has a small advert before the live webcam). You can see the location of the tram via a moving map in the bottom right corner of the screen. Here’s an example of how it looks (tram is at Palackého náměstí stop):
If you see the following picture, the tram is in the depot:
Sometimes while you are watching, you’ll see people actively engaging with the tram webcam. Here’s a series of images of a friend of mine sending me a message as he knew that I watched the tram during my lunchtimes (this was a few days ago when the Christmas tree was still on board):