Slovakia, Poprad: Tatry Railway I.
Tatra electric railway as we know it today, keeps only a piece of the rich history of this unique monument. In the following lines we look at the development of the first trolley in the world to contemporary electrified railway.
Doesn’t make you a sense of connection trolley and rail? So let's look at it.
Beginning of the railway network in what is now Slovakia, former Hungary, start to be written in 1867, when the Hungarian Parliament asked the Minister Imre Miko to develop a proposal for the construction of Hungarian railway network. The project involved 25 railway lines, of which more than 5 went through Slovakia. It is interesting that after approval of the project in 1868, Poprad almost got out of the railway network. Fortunately, in the events entered Poprad´s business structure. Peculiar merit belongs to Poprad Mayor David Husz and Evangelical priest Karl Wünschendorfer. Their strongest argument for the build the railway junction right in Poprad were Tatry and their connection to the then single settlement of Smokovec, but also north to Kežmarok and father to Poland. This argument was strong enough that in December of 1871 inaugurated the first railway station in Poprad, named Felka and welcomed it as a long-awaited steam locomotive. Due to the railroad from the peasant - handicraft town suddenly became a city competing for long time the most developed eastern city - Kežmarok.
Later came need of mobile interconnection Poprad with the Tatras how this connection only provide fiakristé (coaches) who, fearing for their jobs boycotted any rail links. Dozens of applications for construction were served since 1885. It succeeded to 2 August 1904, when the company Stoll from Dresden to the approval request assembled trolley, which served as the first interurban trolley line in the world. With two masters entrepreneurs (Vincent Matejka and Viliam Krieger), who had more courage than the business of money, the project "Electric Railway" could possibly make. Krieger had rented a hydropower plant, which produced more electricity than it could sell, and the problem with power supply has been resolved. Connect Trolleybus was bold and innovative solutions. In 1903 rethink everything. In early 1904, submit a project on a public committee for approval under the name of the new company (Tatry electric wagon transport) and in two months it has been approved permits for construction. Three months later trolley bus worked.
The vehicle had a wooden structure with a total length of 7.2 meters and upholstered seats for 14 passengers. Track up over 13 kilometres long, beating for 75 minutes. The vehicle served three members crew and driver, guide and using the power cord. Later in the "fleet" was added and costly trolley. Passengers experienced adrenaline ride, especially when striking trolley with horses. But technical problems and high costs were about to cause shutdown. An interesting fact is that this vehicle did not have a good name, till in the magazine's Karpathean Post appeared the name: electric track without rails, but do not confuse it with the omnibus, which was replaced the service of this technical unique.
Of course, as is reportedly on the Slovak habit, from this technical world unique left almost nothing. A few old photographs and components. Today this monument reminds forgotten board at the railway station in Poprad and one book, issued by enthusiasts.
What was the omnibus, and how today's Tatra Railway was start to build, will discuss in the next part in a week.
Text/photo: Oskar Mažgút
I spent two day in the High Tatras while on my way from Kosice and east Slovakia. I was lucky to spend there the most beautiful days of autumn. Even though sun shined only in the morning the weather was very good. It did not rain, snow, and it was not cold nor hot. Perfect when you go to mountains.
It is not much long since we have visited the town of Svit, famous for its Bata brick houses. Then we said that we would like to return here. This summer it happened. Instead of exploring the town we set off in the nature.
We visited the town of Master Paul last week – Levoca. We move 11 kilometers to the south to Spisska Nova Ves. This town is considered the gateway to the national park of Slovensky Raj.
Last week started an autumn in the town of Svit, and we will continue in it even today. We told you some basic facts about the foundation of one of Slovakia’s youngest towns. We walked among its typical brick houses and found there a mark pointing to a nature trail.
Autumn is the most colorful season of the year and it is ideal for family trips. During one sunny day we set off to the town of Svit. We know about it that it is one of the youngest towns in Slovakia.
City of Vysové Tatry is in terms of cadastral area the largest city in the Slovak Republic. It consists by fourteen settlements, of which perhaps the best known and most sought after tourist are two villages called Smokovec.
In the first part of articles about Tatra railway we wrote about the beginning of its history and we learned about the technical world unique -"Tatra intercity trolleybus." Today we will focus on the modern railway history from the early 20th century to the present.
Tomorrow starts great and unique (in Slovakia) 7th year of Horalfest, which takes place in the High Tatras. The festival is devoted to amateur production on mountains and the event will take place in Teniscenter in Tatranská Lomnica during two following days (November 23rd and 24th 2012). The event is under the patronage of High Tatras mayor Ing. Ján Mokoš.
Again after two years had been held a popular and extraordinary Slovakian festival devoted to amateur production on mountains – Horalfest. Dozens of visitors, Slovakia movie premieres, interesting workshops, and amazing atmosphere – this is what enhanced the motto of the festival – Found yourself in mountains.
From the list of cities we traveled throughout on our way from Prague to High Tatras Poprad seems to be one of the most beautiful cities. Its beauty is even bigger thanks to a background performed by High Tatras, hanging above the city as some kind of poster.
Today we head to eastern Slovakia in the former village Strážky, which is currently part of the local Spišska Bela. Strážky lies on the main route between the Royal City Kežmarok and the previously mentioned city Spišska Bela. Known for its spectacular castle, an English park and a unique bell tower. And for these unusual sights pointed our steps.
The Tatranian National Park offers many beauties. High and steep mountains, deep valleys, majestic falls, unseen beautiful fauna and flora and also beautiful things hidden in depths of the area such as various caves. Only one of them, though, is open to the public.
Autumn weather is ideal for biking, so today we introduce routes that are suitable for the whole family. We head to the east of Poprad in Slovakia and from there pure adventure awaits.
At Huncovska road by the royal city of Kezmarok there is a small, hardly noticeable building. It hides a mysterious history within. It is the oldest small water power plant in Slovakia. Today it provides locals with electricity.
Just at the end of last year, I came to an understanding with my friend that this year's St. Valentine holiday we would prepare for our partners an unrepeatable experience in a form of so called „long weekend“ in High Tatra Mountains.
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