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Thread: Trams. Oh, those Trams

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Aug 2017
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    39

    Trams. Oh, those Trams

    If it were not for the Trams (note uppercase) I would have taken a pass on Oshkosh long ago. Thank You!!! Of course it's frustrating when a tram pulls up at the stop, it's full, and no one gets off, BUT, I ain't walking five miles to the ultralights and then another five miles back to my tent. I'll wait for the next tram, and if the next one is full, I'll wait.

    Drivers. No way, no fricking way I would drive a tractor hauling two trailers full of mostly decent, but, a few rude folks through one of the most busy streets laden with people herding their children, others staring at the sky or heads down into their cell phones, golf cart races, weaving scooters, 4X4 pick ups, fork lifts, high loaders, well, you were there, you saw it all. But, nope. I'm not gonna drive in that scene. HATS OFF TO THE TRAM DRIVERS!!!

    Conductors. You guys are cool. You guys are patient! Yes, I was the guy that stood at stop 4 and let three trams go by just to catch the one with ChicagoRandy. He's a treat. He should train all the Conductors. And, Randy, thanks for pointing out the tribute to Jerry's One Man Band. Hopefully, next year the EAA can upgrade the cardboard picture of Jerry. But, a nice tribute.

    Trams. Thanks for a GREAT Oshkosh!!!

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Aug 2016
    Location
    Chicago
    Posts
    559
    Well, thank you Steve! I live for the 9 days I am privileged to spend sharing airplanes and people up at Oshkosh each year. If I didn't truly love the experience I wouldn't travel 50 miles one way every day just to get from the motel I can afford to the grounds. Then spend 8-12 hours a day bouncing at the back of a rig with little suspension. Yet Tram conducting for me is worth it.

    Giving a ham, corny comic a microphone and a captive audience? Heaven on Earth - LOL

    It was truly heartwarming for me to see at least a small recognition of Jerry's contribution to the atmosphere of AirVenture for all those decades. The benches dedicated to him and his wife seem a fitting memorial. I hope they add a CD player and speaker to it next year. That would be great!

    For any who were fortunate enough NOT to ride along with me this year - lol - I can give you this sample: "See that grove of trees over there on my right? Right there is the OFFICIAL EAA dogwood tree. You can tell which one is the dogwood tree by the bark." and - "Thanks to modern aviation related technology, you no longer need a parachute to skydive. You now only need a parachute to skydive TWICE." These are the jokes folks, they don't get any better but they will come more frequently during our ride. And on it went for 9 days - lol

    One of my personal fav's - "Today's tram ride is sponsored by Jenkins & Bixby, Oshkosh's ONLY veterinarian-taxidermy shoppe. Their motto? 'Either way it goes you get Fluffy back."

    My room for 2020 has been booked for several months already. And I can hardly wait. I do luv me some airplanes and airplane people.
    "Don't believe everything you see or read on the internet" - Abraham Lincoln

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Posts
    145
    Randy, If you want to be a little closer, PM me and lets see if my room that I rent out each year is in your price level. It is about 15 miles off the grounds in the quiet town of Omro.

    Thanks for enjoying one of the hardest jobs on the grounds!

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Location
    Lafayette, LA
    Posts
    106
    We decided to hoof it everywhere this year instead of taking trams (we are on a health kick right now) so I cannot comment personally, but I do think I heard a lot less complaints this year. The trams are normally a hot topic. I CAN say that the buses this year were running much better. I know they made some route changes and it really seemed to help things move smoothly.

  5. #5
    Long time North-forty
    camper this year was by far the best tram and bus transportation congratulation guys great job

  6. #6
    FlyingRon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    NC26 (Catawba, NC)
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    2,250
    Despite complaints, the tram system seems to be working well. It was rare this year that we didn't get on a tram even when not boarding at the terminus. The tram volunteers and most of the passengers were pretty considerate.

    Some issues of note:

    The signage appears to be getting worse. Some stops lack signage at all. Most only mark one side of the road when the trams are passing in both directions. The signage content is useless. It doesn't tell you anything. It's also confusing to most people what is going on when the trams are replaced by the school buses in the evening. Every tram stop should have a sign with the tram color and WHERE THE TRAM GOES TO. This would alleviate much of the confusion.

    The tram system should be better documented on the program/maps.

    This year several times (notably at the Hangar Cafe blue/yellow terminus), the marshalers have announced "one seat" left or things like that. Sometimes a single visitor was allowed to jump ahead groups in lines, sometimes not. This is confusing and lead to a lot of gripes (both from singles not allowed to take a seat left empty on the departing tram or people waiting ahead of them in line). A policy needs to be decided on this and stuck to.

    What happens to the trams (and many other things) when the "post airshow" road closures go into effect needs to be announced better. What did happen to the trams? Did they just U-turn at the exhibit buildings or did they reroute up and aorund the main gates?

  7. #7
    mazdaP5's Avatar
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    Aug 2011
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    Just outside of Grosse Ile NAS
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    214
    I was hit by a tram this week. Really only a matter of time. I was buying an ice cream at the cart by the theater. I was not hanging around in the street, I was actively handing the vendor money, when the tram car hit my backpack, and THEN, somebody said "watch out!" No, I wasn't hurt, but a close call is too close for my comfort. Also, hit somebody with a vehicle and drive off outside of those gates, see how that goes for you. I recognize that the trams are somewhat necessary, but the full speed ahead damn the torpedoes approach needs to be rethink-ed. Driving through crowds of thousands of people is going to end up in serious injury or worse, it's only a matter of time, it WILL happen. Somehow there needs to be clear tram routes that are no pedestrian, and pedestrian routes that are not vehicle.

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Aug 2016
    Location
    Chicago
    Posts
    559
    "Somehow there needs to be clear tram routes that are no pedestrian, and pedestrian routes that are not vehicle. "

    Never gonna happen. The grounds are already crammed to capacity with vendors and exhibits. Pedestrian travel will never be impeded anywhere on site. Trams are already restricted to the paved roads. Issues arise when pedestrians walk several abreast down the center of the pavement, oblivious to the world around them. Same goes for mobility scooter riders who often demonstrate poor judgement in where they run their scooters. The Yellow tram route is rather uniquely plagued by massive congestion of people and vehicles, not so much on Blue, Green or Red.

    "
    What happens to the trams (and many other things) when the "post airshow" road closures go into effect needs to be announced better. What did happen to the trams? Did they just U-turn at the exhibit buildings or did they reroute up and aorund the main gates? "

    To accommodate the incredible crowds of pedestrians at the evening airshows, the Yellow, Green and Red trams are taken out of service 30 minutes early (about 7:30ish rather than 8:00) because EAA Security closes down the North-South roads we use. We start up again the next morning. I honestly don't know if the school buses are also restricted after the evening airshows. I announce the early closure events on ALL my tram runs starting at about 5:00pm.

    EVERY tram stop pylon has the appropriate color pennant flying from the top of the pylon. I agree they need to be on both sides of the road and have simple signage indicating direction and upcoming stops.
    "Don't believe everything you see or read on the internet" - Abraham Lincoln

  9. #9

    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Gwinn, Michigan
    Posts
    176
    Mazda, I am surprised more people haven t been brushed by the trams. I drive on day shift, usually yellow route where I have to put up with the vendors putting their carts, signs, etc. on the edge of the road. If they would put this stuff back on the grass far enough so people wouldnt have to stand in the road, the brushing rate would be a lot lower. The Subway stand is always crowded into the road. I had problems this year with the Continental folks putting their stuff on the road which caused a choke point. The scantily dressed ladies they were using caused lots of people to be in the road looking at them.

  10. #10
    FlyingRon's Avatar
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    Aug 2011
    Location
    NC26 (Catawba, NC)
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    2,250
    A friend of mine who was driving one of the trams ran Jim Campbell into a puddle once. He swears it was purely accidental.

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