When I was on holiday in Stockholm I took a trip, purely by way of novelty not having been aware that it existed, on the Nockebybana which is a short, off street tram line running through expensively* leafy suburbia. It’s one of the few tramways that survived the change to driving on the right fifty years ago when the opportunity was taken to scrap nearly all of Stockholm’s trams.
I was watching my return tram arrive when I noticed the driver twirling a little baton thingy with a rubber tip as she went.
Why? Well, let’s see.
In a tram matters are arranged somewhat differently to a train. The driver has larger windows and has visibility to the sides, something you need when you may be driving in traffic (although as it happens this line has its own dedicated track) and have passengers coming and going directly onto the street. More importantly from the point of view of this post is that there’s a window behind the driver rather than the usual bulkhead so he or she can be seen at work.
I was sitting at what was the front at the time (the rest of the time it’s the back of course) so we can see the role played by the baton. She’s using it to delicately press the door open and door close buttons. No, I don’t know if this is the norm. Maybe she has short little arms. Maybe she likes having the seat so high she can’t reach the dash. Who knows?
*very expensive. This house would be in the region of SEK 10m, or about €1m.