PHOTOS: Lisbon man breathes new life into city's historic trams | Hindustan Times
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PHOTOS: Lisbon man breathes new life into city's historic trams

Updated On Jun 27, 2021 03:18 PM IST
  • The clatter of Lisbon's trademark yellow trams has been echoing through the cobbled streets for over a century but, as more and more of them are retired from service, one man is on a mission to keep the tradition alive. In a warehouse north of the city, Paulo Marques has been collecting and restoring old, rusty trams since his first acquisition in 1996. "When I bought the first tram people didn't really care, but there is more respect now," the 48-year-old said as he stood inside the warehouse packed with 13 trams and equipment to fix them. "The tram became the city's postcard." Trams have been transporting Lisbonites up and down the city's hilly streets since 1901 and they are still popular. In recent years locals have complained about often being unable to use them for their daily commutes due to hoards of tourists eager to experience the most iconic routes. Before buses and the metro began dominating the city transport system from the 1960s onwards, hundreds of trams circulated on more than 100 km of tracks. Now there are about 50 historic trams left. Marques, who also owns a tram-themed restaurant in downtown Lisbon, became hooked on his journeys to school as a boy. With few resources and little equipment, he and his associates often use their bare hands to repair the trams, which date back as far as 1906. Their newest acquisition is from 1961. It can take up to five years to bring them back to life but it is always worth the wait to see them move along the short piece of track he has installed outside.
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General view of a window of one of Paulo Marques's collection trams to be restored in Carregado, Portugal, June 22, 2021. (REUTERS) expand-icon View Photos in a new improved layout
Updated on Jun 27, 2021 03:18 PM IST

General view of a window of one of Paulo Marques's collection trams to be restored in Carregado, Portugal, June 22, 2021. (REUTERS)

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Paulo Marques is seen near his collection of trams in Carregado, Portugal, June 22, 2021. (REUTERS) expand-icon View Photos in a new improved layout
Updated on Jun 27, 2021 03:18 PM IST

Paulo Marques is seen near his collection of trams in Carregado, Portugal, June 22, 2021. (REUTERS)

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A restored tram from Paulo Marques' collection is seen in Carregado, Portugal, June 22, 2021. (REUTERS) expand-icon View Photos in a new improved layout
Updated on Jun 27, 2021 03:18 PM IST

A restored tram from Paulo Marques' collection is seen in Carregado, Portugal, June 22, 2021. (REUTERS)

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Paulo Marques rides a tram from his collection, in Carregado, Portugal, June 22, 2021. (REUTERS) expand-icon View Photos in a new improved layout
Updated on Jun 27, 2021 03:18 PM IST

Paulo Marques rides a tram from his collection, in Carregado, Portugal, June 22, 2021. (REUTERS)

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Trams are seen on Paulo Marques' property in Carregado, Portugal, June 22, 2021. (REUTERS) expand-icon View Photos in a new improved layout
Updated on Jun 27, 2021 03:18 PM IST

Trams are seen on Paulo Marques' property in Carregado, Portugal, June 22, 2021. (REUTERS)

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A window of one of Paulo Marques' collection trams to be restored is seen in Carregado, Portugal, June 22, 2021. (REUTERS) expand-icon View Photos in a new improved layout
Updated on Jun 27, 2021 03:18 PM IST

A window of one of Paulo Marques' collection trams to be restored is seen in Carregado, Portugal, June 22, 2021. (REUTERS)

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Paulo Marques' son rides a tram from his fathers collection in Carregado, Portugal, June 22, 2021. (REUTERS) expand-icon View Photos in a new improved layout
Updated on Jun 27, 2021 03:18 PM IST

Paulo Marques' son rides a tram from his fathers collection in Carregado, Portugal, June 22, 2021. (REUTERS)

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Paulo Marques rides a tram from his collection as his son helps to clear the way, in Carregado, Portugal, June 22, 2021. (REUTERS) expand-icon View Photos in a new improved layout
Updated on Jun 27, 2021 03:18 PM IST

Paulo Marques rides a tram from his collection as his son helps to clear the way, in Carregado, Portugal, June 22, 2021. (REUTERS)

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An old tram is seen in Paulo Marques' property in Carregado, Portugal, June 22, 2021. (REUTERS) expand-icon View Photos in a new improved layout
Updated on Jun 27, 2021 03:18 PM IST

An old tram is seen in Paulo Marques' property in Carregado, Portugal, June 22, 2021. (REUTERS)

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General view of rails and a tram that's part of Paulo Marques collection, in Carregado, Portugal, June 22, 2021. (REUTERS) expand-icon View Photos in a new improved layout
Updated on Jun 27, 2021 03:18 PM IST

General view of rails and a tram that's part of Paulo Marques collection, in Carregado, Portugal, June 22, 2021. (REUTERS)

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Paulo Marques and his son stand near a tram from his collection, in Carregado, Portugal, June 22, 2021. (REUTERS) expand-icon View Photos in a new improved layout
Updated on Jun 27, 2021 03:18 PM IST

Paulo Marques and his son stand near a tram from his collection, in Carregado, Portugal, June 22, 2021. (REUTERS)

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An old tram is seen in Paulo Marques' property in Carregado, Portugal, June 22, 2021.(REUTERS) expand-icon View Photos in a new improved layout
Updated on Jun 27, 2021 03:18 PM IST

An old tram is seen in Paulo Marques' property in Carregado, Portugal, June 22, 2021.(REUTERS)

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