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Can you hear the philistines, Francesco?

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In my wild (but discerning and award-winning) aesthetic fancy I have always argued that one way to think of the dashing, crimson trams of our coming light rail network is to look at them as city-enhancing works of art.

The bean counting opponents of light rail have never been able to appreciate this. They know nothing about art. Culture is wasted on them.

The National Gallery of Australia unveils a major new acquisition.Credit:Karleen Minney

And sure enough, now that one actually sees them, the Fabulous 14 trams, being trialled, beetling to and fro along Northbourne Avenue, my fancy is vindicated. Over and above what light rail achieves as a practical people mover there is something about it, in its Civic to Gungahlin manifestation that gives our city (still in so many other ways bogged down in the olden days of the 1960s) a swish, 21st-century feel. The vermilion trams give metropolitan gaiety and enable the city to at last swagger a little.

The 14 Light Rail Vehicles (LRVs) were made in Spain by Constructions y Auxiliary de Ferrocariles and for me are works of art just as surely as if our National Gallery had somehow (at many, many times the cost of these LRV bargains) bought our city 14 Spanish masterpieces, seven, say, by Velazquez, and seven........

© The Sydney Morning Herald