Hallo Marie, mijn goh dit openbaar vervoer systeem is inderdaad wereldklasse!
Don't worry Marie, my teeth haven't fallen out, I am in fact writing to you in the foreign language of, erm, HOLLANDaise from an internet cafe in the beautiful city of Amsterdam, or TRAMsterdam, as it perhaps should be called, as in my opinion it has one of the best and truly WORLD CLASS TRAM systems I have ever seen!
I have popped over for a few days on a FACT FINDING MISSION, in preparation for my forthcoming interview for the position of TRAMS GENERAL MANAGER. (Don't worry, I've kept all my receipts and will submit a full expenses claim once I'm back!)
I must say Marie, I am very impressed with the set up here. Although they don't have trams at the airport, they have a train system which goes from RIGHT INSIDE THE AIRPORT to the central train station, then, right outside the station are a whole selection of tram stops! You won't find our European cousins dragging their suitcases along half a mile of 'covered walkways' in a force 10 gale to reach their public transport!
Then, what they've done Marie, is they've got DIFFERENT trams going on DIFFERENT lines in DIFFERENT directions! It's crazy but makes some sort of weird sense! You get on the tram that goes in the direction you want to go - thus they seem to have avoided the thorny issue of having 26 identical trams all stuck one behind the other on the same single route. See, it's the twist that makes it clever.
There's a lot we could learn from these guys Marie, there's a whole lot more FACT FINDING I could do here, and I will probably make it a regular destination once I get the job.
Yesterday I visited Amsterdam Museum. I went there on a tram. In the museum I learnt that Amsterdam has long suffered from a chronic affordable accommodation shortage, I was very interested to hear about this, as I know the problems we have in Edinburgh during the festival months.
One of the ways they have solved this problem is to create ‘House Boats’, these are boats which have been permanently moored at the sides of the canals, providing an attractive and affordable accommodation opportunities, right in the very centre of this beautiful city.
That got me thinking, Edinburgh is a similar sized city, with similar accommodation problems, and it occurred to me that with 26 trams, we are likely to have a large number of vehicles surplus to requirements, considering the repeated reductions in the length of the final line.
I know Edinburgh Trams have already investigated the possibility of ‘leasing’ these spare trams to other cities, unfortunately without any success. Once again however, I am able to bring a fresh pair of eyes to the problem, and ‘THINK OUTSIDE THE TRAM DEPOT’ as it were.
I had a good think about this over a coffee, and the longer I sat there in that coffee shop, the clearer my mind became, eventually I had what I can only describe as some sort of epiphany Marie, a EUROPEAN STYLE TRAM VISION if you like – where Amsterdam have the HOUSE BOAT, Edinburgh can go one better! I would like to propose...
THE EDINBURGH TRAM BOAT!
Think about it Marie, each tram is allegedly capable of accommodating 332 people. With at least 20 surplus trams, and the addition of a few hammock beds slung between the handrails, we could float these trams in the Union canal and thus accommodate 6640 additional visitors, right in the very centre of the city!
WORLD CLASS ACCOMMODATION, at extremely competitive prices, while guaranteeing us a rapid RETURN ON INVESTMENT for all these redundant vehicles!
I have produced an artists impression to explain what I think ‘The Edinburgh Tram Accommodation Service’ might look like, please excuse the fact this is not up to my usual high standard, but they only have rubbish Microsoft Paint on these computers.
I'd better sign off now Marie, I've suddenly noticed I'm incredibly hungry for an iced doughnut.
I'll be back in touch on my return.
Tramweg groot baas van de TOEKOMST!