Forgotten tram rail re-surfaces in Warsaw’s centre

Rail belonging to an abandoned 19th-century tram line covered re-surfaced from under modern asphalt surface at the Plac Teatralny (Theatre Square) in Warsaw, Poland.

The rail (by Mateusz Szmelter)

The rail was noticed in the middle of a road by a passer-by who notified the local press. The man said he thought that all the tram rails were dismantled from the square after World War II, but this new find reveals that they have been only covered with modern asphalt. Judging from the shape, the fragment of the rail is a curve track.

The area of the find (by Mateusz Szmelter)

According to the historians, Plac Teatralny was a busy communication hub before the war, with the National Theatre and Warsaw’s Town Hall on both sides. Trams are said to have started running through in 1881 – first pulled by horses. In 1908 first electric trams started to run and in 1921 even a night line.

Plac Teatralny in 1944 (by Mateusz Szmelter)

The end for trams at the square came in 1948. Parts of the tram track were dismantled and apparently, some of them left in their place. Similar finds made in recent years in the vicinity of Warsaw’s Old Town indicate that such remains may still be hidden and await rediscovery.

Plac Teatralny in 1915 (by Mateusz Szmelter)

(after TVN Warszawa & Mateusz Szmelter)

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