March 14, 2019

New traffic sign warns cyclists for tram rails

Filed under: Bicycles by Orangemaster @ 2:46 pm

The Netherlands is a country with a sign for a ‘singing bike path’, a silly walks pedestrian crossing and this riddle about horses, but now it’s time for a sign that warns cyclists about tram rails.

Only Amsterdam, Rotterdam and The Hague are used to dealing with trams, and sadly, cyclists are also used to cycling over trails and sometimes getting a wheel stuck in them. Today, a sign was unveiled in The Hague, and the idea behind it is to avoid injuries, which apparently happens more than we all think. To be sure everybody gets it, under the new sign it says in Dutch ‘Watch out, tram rails’.

Back in 2017 start-up SafeRails found a solution to this problem (see video), using a profile from recycled plastic that can be inserted into existing tram rails, but that never materialised. Ironically, they wanted to start with The Hague.

Moral of the story: scoring election points (we have elections on 20 March) is better than actually implementing a solution.


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February 16, 2018

Supermarket opening stops tram dead in its tracks

Filed under: Food & Drink,General by Orangemaster @ 12:45 pm

This week, a Jumbo supermarket in Zoetermeer, South Holland had a grand opening at which a bunch of yellow streamers were fired off into the air. So far, so boring.

Then, the wind caught the streamers and they flew all the way up to the tram’s overhead line and that messed up people’s commute. Someone called the local non-police neighbourhood uniformed agents to organise a clean up.

Jumbo supermarkets come into the news in weird ways. They had the pink shopping basket for singles, let students bring back a huge lorry full of beer bottles and let customers test different kinds of toilet paper in their bathroom.

(Link and photo:

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January 8, 2017

‘No more bike wheels stuck in tram rails’

Filed under: Bicycles,Sustainability by Orangemaster @ 8:30 pm

A Dutch friend once told me about when he was a student in Amsterdam and went on a date, which involved the girl hitching a ride on the back of his bicycle (on the rack) and instead of having a typically fun and possibly romantic moment of her having to hold on to him, the front wheel of his bike got stuck in a tram rail and they both fell.

SafeRails solves the well-known problem of getting your bike wheels stuck in tram rails. Invented by two engineering students, Ward Kuiters and Roderick Buijs, SafeRails is a profile made from recycled plastic that can be inserted into existing tram rails. The idea is that bike wheels cannot get stuck in the rails and the tram can ride right over the profile as if they weren’t even there.

SafeRails is sustainable, durable and makes cycling safer. The guys’ goal is to start with The Hague, the political centre of the country, but first they need to win The Hague Innovators Challenge 2017 and are currently in second place. You can vote, too.

In Dutch with English subtitles:

(Link:, Photo of the Kinkerstraat by Wikimedia user Ilonamay, some rights reserved)

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August 30, 2016

Baking show puts apple pie smell on tram

Filed under: Dutch first,Food & Drink by Orangemaster @ 10:35 am


Dutch baking show ‘Heel Holland Bakt’ (All of Holland/The Netherlands Bakes’), the Dutch version of ‘The Great British Bake Off’, is promoting the start of their new season with a tram in Amsterdam that smells of apple pie, which is a Dutch first and possibly a world first as well. And it’s my local tram, tram 7, so I may update this post soon enough.

Many viewers have wanted to know what it smells like in the tents on the show where they bake, so here’s an answer, at least for anyone in Amsterdam because despite what certain people might think Amsterdam isn’t all of the Netherlands or Holland (two provinces) for that matter.

It’s what they are going to do about how the pie tastes that could interesting. I vaguely remember tram stops with perfume spritzing out of them, which bothered a lot of people for a lot of legitimate reasons like it’s disgusting and being allergic to perfume.

And feel free to make munchies jokes as well, that’s fair game in Amsterdam.

UPDATE: It’s tram 1, which goes from the West to Amsterdam Central Station, not tram 7 that goes from West to East. The very fake smell of apple pie comes out of a few vents near the doors.


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August 14, 2015

Tram stop honouring football player spelt wrong

Filed under: History,Sports by Orangemaster @ 12:09 pm


Dutch professional football player and coach Bob ‘Bobby’ Haarms is being honoured with a tram stop in the district of IJburg in Amsterdam. However, Amsterdam’s public transport company GVB couldn’t be arsed to check the spelling of his name, as an ‘r’ is missing.

The GVB has six more days to modify the sign before the Haarms family officially drives through a banner on a tram to unveil the tram stop. Haarmslaan is spelt properly online so far. Amusingly enough, the tweet is from a police officer and it’s not clear if she noticed the mistake.

(Link: www.at5)

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January 2, 2013

Free public transport on NYE in Rotterdam due to software error

Filed under: Technology by Orangemaster @ 11:46 am

On New Year’s Eve in and around Rotterdam trams were free of charge because the check-in devices were programmed to believe that the year 2012 was a leap year. Since nobody could check in using the right device (scan their cards), transport was free.

A traveller also commented that when he tried to buy a monthly travel card on 30 December 2012 from the appropriate vending machine, it would insist the year had to contain 2012 in it and did not recognise the year 2013.

Maybe the software was programmed by Mayans.


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