Sometimes it is amazing the level of competition that some humans will dedicate themselves to. There are some who would spend a lifetime training to ride a horse really fast in a circle, or drive a car really fast in a circle. There are others still who have trained to become the best tram conductors in Europe. As such, there was a competition this weekend in Brussels wherein tram operators from all over Europe come to compete in a series of tram-based challenges. Tram bowling is but one of the challenges, though unequivocally the best of them.
The competition involves a series of four trams and four different challenges. The first tram has the objective of stopping without hitting a cone. The second challenge is to get as close to a placed statue without hitting it around a curve. The third challenge is an effort to stop the tram doors at the exact right point on a platform. Then a fourth to operate a panic stop within a certain stop box. But then comes the best of the bunch to end it where two judges hold a giant inflatable ball and the tram is accelerated toward the ball as quickly as possible to hit it into a group of weighted and inflated pylons. And the whole thing is timed. It’s amazing.
The objective is to operate a wide variety of trams spanning the history of the host city’s tram network. In this case it was hosted in Brussels and celebrates the 150th anniversary of tram transport.
You can watch the full competition below, including live commentary in English, as it was broadcast live on Facebook stories. It’s an absolute gas. Maybe not for the full three hours, but you can hop around a bit. The commentary begins about 1 hour in.