Rope railway to Petřín hill in Prague
Rope railway to Petřín hill in Prague
Nerby the river: Vltava
Rope railway to Petřín is land-rope railway, securing transport of persons to Petřín Hill. The traffic is guaranteed by means of traction rope systems. Total length makes 511 metres. The operation is in charge of Traffic Company of Prague-capital, Ltd. This rope railway forms a part of town-public transport. Prevailing part of this line is placed in Malá Strana quarter, the upper station belongs to Strahov, Hradčany town-quarter.
History.The construction of this rope railway was started in 1891. The operation was cut twice within its history, and the line undergone complex reconstruction. So, the history of this popular Prague attraction could be divided into three independent time periods, as follows:
1st time period
The construction begun in February 1891, on base of suggestion of Petřín Look Out Tower Cooperation. This rope railway would secure suitable traffic connection to look out tower on top of the hill. The look out tower as well as rope railway were built, on occasion of Jubilee Country Exhibition. At the same time, there was constructed also new land-rope railway to Letná Hill. The carriages were manufactured by Ringhoffer Company, and there were transferred here subsequently on 6th and 10th July 1891. After technical-police tests were made, so first passengers could be transported on 25th July in the afternoon. The drive on the line, 396,5 metres long, took, upstairs 6 minutes, and it cost 12 Kreutzers in 1891. The drive downstairs cost 6 Kreutzers, return ticket made 15 Kreutzers, later 12 Kreutzers (according to time press announcement). The rope railway operation worked ahead, without any change, till 1st World War period, when the line was to be stopped.
2nd time period
On 2nd March 1931, this line, out of order, was transferred into possession of Electric Companies of Prague capital. In 1932, the rope railway had to be prolonged at both end stations (the reason was: organization of Sokol Festival). Project documentation was offered by two companies: Škoda Factory, Pilsen and ČKD (Českomoravská Kolben-Daněk), Prague. Both projects were similar but Škoda factory wished to demolish house in Baroque style at low station and replace it by new building. Finally, on 30th October 1931, there was approved and realized ČKD suggestion.
The reconstruction (Prague workers participated on this construction exclusively) was effected quite quickly. So, on 2nd May 1932 there was transported here (by means of provisional rails) the first carriage. After necessary tests, the rope railway started, on 5th June, its regular traffic. However, on 7th June 1965, there occured here, as a consequence of permanent lasting heavy rains, landslip, and rope railway body was seriously damaged. Two years later, another landslips came, and so, the rope railway traffic had to be stopped for another 16 years.
In 1981, there was decided, after extent salvation of Petřín slope, to re-open rope railway traffic. Its character, in its complete range, remained unchanged, only the carriages were changed and substituted. Rail upper part was completely renovated, central landsliped part of original body was overarched by monolitic bridge construction. Solemny re-opening of regular traffic was effected on 15th June 1985. The rope railway in this execution is functioning without difficulties till now.
Opening time table
The rope railway is operating daily since 9,00 till 23,30 approx. The interval changes, in accordance with day or season period, from 10 up to 20 minutes. Each year, always in April and in September, the trafic is temporary closed, owing to regular controls and revisions.
Text: Václav Zamba
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