Sunday, March 13, 2011

Streetcar Sunday - Lyon, France

It's often difficult to see the overhead lines of electric streetcars on old postcards. In some cases they just don't show up clearly, and in other cases they were purposely obscured by the person tinting or re-touching the card. There are overhead wires on both of these card; they're just very hard to see. I looked closely because I had heard that Lyon had steam-powered trams at one point, and I had remote hopes that one of these would be a steam-powered tram.  For, whatever reason, I find steam-powered trams of great interest. They were generally underpowered, so they lost out to the electric-powered trams, but there is something very romantic about them.

In 1879, electric trams were introduced in Lyon. By 1894, there were ten lines, and after that expansion continued until 1914. In the 1930s there was a shift to trolleybuses, and by 1957 the trams had been abandoned all together. If you've been reading previous Streetcar Sunday posts, you can probably predict what comes next. In 2001 the City of Lyon re-introduced trams to complement the metro system.  Lyon now has four tram lines and 73 articulated cars. There is also a Rhônexpress line which links Part-Dieu Villette to Saint-Exupéry airport.

Here are the backs of the cards in the same order.

Is the recipient's surname Condom?


  1. Very distinctive street cars...nothing like those used in the States.

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  3. Christine, you seem to have 1 million interesting cards, with half of them about tramways, trains, streetcars...
    When you run out of space in your home, I could accept some donations of boxes of postcards, especially those with postmarked stamps on the picture side...:)

  4. Ha ha ha, armer Alphonse, das ist ja mla ein beknackter Familienname.
    Er hat sich bestimmt Zeit seines lebens viele dumme Witze anhören müssen.
    Ich wünsch dir eine schöne Woche.

  5. Interesting details and imagery of street cars. Yes, steam powered trams sound interesting. Would they leave a smoke trail?

  6. Dorin,
    I'll keep that in mind. You never know when I may tire of postcards.

  7. Paul,
    I have seen a few photos where steam was visible a round a tram, but often they were required to use coke rather than coal, so no steam was emitted. A shame if you ask me.

  8. I like the creative positioning of the stamps on those cards.

  9. Even the "belle" French language cannot make Madame Condom sound romantic:) Monsieur Condom sounds too stuffy -- and I'll stop there before I embarass myself:) [Note to self: do not drink wine while reading The Daily Postcard.]hehehe



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