Virtual reality becomes real reality. The Prague Public Transport Company has teamed up with the studio Anna Marešová designers to create a sightseeing tram for Prague called the T3 Coupé. Whereas visitors to last year’s edition of Designblok could take a virtual ride in the tram, this year they get the real thing. After two years – from idea to completed vehicle – the public will see firsthand this unique tram inspired by the legendary T3 trams of Czechoslovakia.
Prague and the T3 tram form an inseparable pair. In collaboration with Anna Marešová designers, the Prague Public Transport Company has created a new pleasure-tram concept based on the tradition of the legendary Tatra T3 tram. The opening of the rear section of the vehicle and use of original components combined with modern technologies has given rise to an old-timer that demonstrates the ability of the transport company to offer some real luxury. Not only does the tram offer passengers the enjoyment of riding through the city in a semi-open vehicle, it lets them do so in style.
‘Sightseeing trams have a certain tradition in Prague. In 1913, after all, the legendary 500 open-top tram was produced. Today, it’s the pride of the transport company’s museum,’ says Jan Šurovský, head of the historic vehicle department and manager of the T3 Coupé project.
The tram was constructed in Prague at the transport company’s Hostivař depot. The concept and design are the work of the studio Anna Marešová designers, specifically of designers Anna Marešová, Tomáš Chludil, and graphic artist Jiří Toman. The entire project, from design to completion of the vehicle, took two years.
‘Despite the current lack of qualified workers, our tram depot has no trouble doing this sort of one-off manufacturing. Without the enthusiasm of our employees, this outstanding project could never have gone as smoothly as it did,’ explains Milan Slunečko, head of the rail vehicle unit.
Chief designer Anna Marešová adds: ‘I very much value the fact that the Prague Public Transport Company entrusted this idea to me, and it’s great to see something come about that’s new and fresh. Collaboration on this unique project was an interesting experience for me, and I think it was for the transport company also. The T3 is a legend, and Prague deserves to have its own coupé. I hope it finds admirers not only among the ranks of Prague residents,’
When looking for ideas, the designers most often turned to the original T3 tram, but they also went back further in time to older vehicles. For instance, the interior features a bar inspired by a similar fitment in the 1950s T1 tram, where it served as a counter for ticket sales. Another distinctive piece of inspiration can be found in the roof windows, a nod to the famed RTO bus. The designers have even included details such as a ticket punch, a permanent fixture in the tram and one that will come into use at the start of each journey, as passengers will be given special T3 Coupé tickets. The new tram preserves the poetry of the 1960s and, as such, is a celebration of the work of designer František Kardaus (1908–1986), the creative mind behind the original Tatra T3 tram.
This year’s edition of Designblok provided visitors with a unique opportunity to take a ride in the new tram with a special commentated journeys with interesting guests, one of whom is fashion designer Česlav Jaroš, creator of the Lesy ČR uniforms as well as the uniforms for the driver and conductors of the T3 Coupé. Host of the special journeys was Ondřej Cihlář of the Vosto5 theatre.
T3 Coupé sightseeing tram is now stationed at depot Střešovice and provides journeys for pleasure and commercial purposes. The vehicle’s capacity is 31 passengers, and the lease fee is 7,700 CZK per hour with VAT.