Travels 2021 – Part II

  • Day 20 Kherson

There is a 6 hour drive between Mariupol and this town and having found a cheap taxi we decided to minimise the stay in Kherson (this added more time for Mykolaiv). Thus only 2 hours in the early morning were available to visit a few sections of the network near the hotel (the first photos had to be taken before or at sunrise). Many of the routes were thus missed but then we had been here before (we have been everywhere before of course, sometimes 2-3 times).

  • Day 20/21 Mykolaiv

Having added more time for this system (by reducing the time spent in Kherson) we decided to arrange a depot visit on the spot. We also managed to charter a tram (a modernised KTM-5) on the second day. Not enough time was available to see more of the new trolleybuses (many old ones survive but we concentrated on the tramway on both days).

  • Day 21/22 Kryvyi Rih

The highlight of our tour! We have been here a few times before and never have we been able to visit the depot of the fast tramway (well, we did visit it once by quickly going round it by charter tram but no photos were allowed). Also photography on the fast tramway was rather restricted since about 2014 (though we managed 2-3 photo stops during our charter a few years back). Now we had the grand tour of the depot (having to wear high visibility vests and a helmet … just for guests). Still, we had a great time (we had rented car 010 for a ride to the depot, the requested articulated car was somehow not available but ran in service later) and we were very surprised to be able to take photos everywhere on the stations. We have not quite found out if this is now allowed for everybody (we think not: a woman with a small child walked towards us at the very end of the platform taking photos herself of the trams with her phone but was promptly shouted at by the station master and hurried back to the normal stopping area at the other end). We talked to the station attendants and they seemed either aware that we were about that afternoon or looked with fascination at our photos just taken inside the depot). The security guards ignored us completely. We had no problems at all and everybody was very friendly. We spent most of the day on the fast tram and thus had very little time for the city tramway and the trolleybuses. At 2.50 UAH this system offers the cheapest fares (all the others we visited are usually around 4-6 with Mariupol the highest at 9.00 UAH for trams and 10.00 UAH for trolleybuses). On the fast tram they still use tokens (as they do on the Dnipro metro) – Kyiv and Charkiv no longer use tokens.