Riding the Tide: Norfolk, Virginia’s Light Rail.

  • In the last couple of decades, a number of North American cities have adopted light rail as a preferred mode of public transport.Personally, I don’t make distinctions between light rail lines, streetcar lines, interurban electric lines, and/or trolley lines, since all use essentially the same technology with minor variations in the way they are adapted.
  • Exposed with a Lumix LX7.
    Exposed with a Lumix LX7.
  • Ground level view along Plume Street in Norfolk. Exposed using my Fujifilm X-T1 which has an adjustable rear display that facilitates holding the camera at a very low angle without requiring a chiropractic visit afterwards.
    Ground level view along Plume Street in Norfolk. Exposed using my Fujifilm X-T1 which has an adjustable rear display that facilitates holding the camera at a very low angle without requiring a chiropractic visit afterwards.

    In early June, in between other Virginia-based rail-events, Pat Yough and I made a brief visit to Norfolk, Virginia to take a spin on that city’s new light rail system, which is cleverly called ‘The Tide.’

    Nice Siemens trams (light rail vehicles) glide along on regular intervals. Part of the route is built on an old railroad right of way. It is my understanding that plans are in the works to extend the route east toward Virginia Beach.

  • For four dollars you can Ride the Tide all day, and, if you so choose, take a bus ride too.
    For four dollars you can Ride the Tide all day, and, if you so choose, take a bus ride too.
    A map of the Tide in downtown Norfolk. Lumix LX7 photo.
    A map of the Tide in downtown Norfolk. Lumix LX7 photo.
    The Tide taking the turn on Bank Street. Fujifilm X-T1 photo.
    The Tide taking the turn on Bank Street. Fujifilm X-T1 photo.
    Lumix LX7 photo.
    Norfolk, Virginia is a tidy city. Plume Street. Lumix LX7 photo.
    At least one of the trams was dressed in a special livery. Lumix LX7 photo.
    At least one of the trams was dressed in a special livery. Lumix LX7 photo.
    At the east-end of the line. Old railroad tracks continue beyond this point and may someday carry the Tide further east.
    At the east-end of the line. Old railroad tracks continue beyond this point and may someday carry the Tide further east.
    Tide rules. Lumix LX7 photo.
    Tide rules. Lumix LX7 photo.
    Riding the Tide. Lumix LX7 photo.
    Riding the Tide. Lumix LX7 photo.

    Tide seats. Lumix LX7 photo.
    Tide seats. Lumix LX7 photo.
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2 thoughts on “Riding the Tide: Norfolk, Virginia’s Light Rail.”

    1. Dublin’s LUAS uses standard types of Alstom ‘Citadis’ trams, similar to those in many French cities. By contrast, Norfolk’s Tide features a Siemens-built tram type (not sure off hand which model). Both are modern low-floor designs with high capacity and relatively few seats per car.
      I hope that helps!
      Brian S.

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