As a seasoned traveller I have over the years found my journey’s delayed for a variety of reasons, accidents, detours and even a few years back in England leaves on the line and the wrong type of snow. However, Saturday night marked a new first.
There we were at the tram stop in pleasant discourse regarding Austria Wien’s 5:0 home win and how other results that evening had gone our way. But our conversation trailed off, as did the discussions of others around us awaiting the arrival of the tram. One by one we all turned to look and then turned back to each other. Was that right? Was it our collective imaginations? No there was murmured agreement all around; there really was a plumb of smoke issuing up from the tramline some 15 metres from where we stood.
Someone had immediately made a call on their mobile phone and within three minutes fire vehicles and a police car were on the scene. At approximately the same moment our tram arrived and in the time honoured manner of public transport users we all piled on board to grab a seat. This rush for a seat seemed a little foolish as the driver announced an unsurprising delay and passengers’ starting drifting back outside to watch the fire service at work.
In no time at all the question of the smoking tramline had been sufficiently resolved for the police to allow our tram to proceed. As we left the emergency services to investigate the cause of the smoke, our conversation returned to the subject of football and the crunch game next Wednesday against Sturm Graz. However, the discussion was punctuated by the phrase ‘l don’t believe it’ as members of our party turned to look out of the window and back at the scene of the recent excitement.