Tram, bus, trolley, underground. The most common transportation vehicles in almost every city. They play an important part in making the city vivid and to transfer passengers and tourist from one point to another. Budapest’s transportation system is used by millions of people almost every day. Some vehicles although are a bit out of the ordinary and worth traveling with. Let us find out more about these hidden transportation treasures in the Hungarian capital.
Millennium Underground Railway
Metro Line 1 (Kisföldalatti = Small Underground) was the first ever underground railway system on the European continent. It was built for the Hungarian Millennium and was one of the greatest novelties of the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy. Its construction was becoming necessary by the turn of the 20th century because the traffic on the surface was becoming too heavy for the capital to handle. Also, the government did not want to ruin the beautiful look of Andrássy Avenue with trams on the surface and that is how the idea of the underground born.
It was finished by April in 1896 by Siemens and Haske, and it was inaugurated by the emperor of Austria-Hungary Franz Joseph on May 3.
The 4.4 kilometers long line contains eleven stations. The currently operating stations of the yellow line are the following: Vörösmarty Square, Deák Ferenc Square, Bajcsy-Zsilinszky Street, Opera, Oktogon, Vörösmarty Street, Kodály Circus, Bajza Street, Heroes’ Square, Széchenyi Bath, Mexikói Street.
Cogwheel Railway (Tram line 60)
In the 19th, Sváb-hill (part of Buda) was an area covered by forest and most of the people went there to haunt. There were no houses, roads, shops and even lightning, only nature. After a while, people started to realize that the modernization of Sváb-hill with a railway would be beneficial for the capital. In 1873, the contrary about building the railway was born and the construction works started one year later, April 22.
On June 24, 1874, the first train set out to its first journey between Városmajor (still one of the end stations of the railway, located next to Széll Kálmán Square) and Sváb-hill stations. In 1890, the railway was extended with more stations until Széchenyi-hill (the other end station).
In 1929, the first modernization happened on the railway but after World War II, the cogwheel railway had to be completely rebuilt. The second big modernization project happened in 1973 and after the 1990s the railway was completely integrated into the capital’s transportation system.
Buda Castle Hill Funicular
The development of the line took place between 1868 and 1870. The complete track was 95 meters long and the elevation between the bottom and top stations reached 50 meters. The idea of building the railway (Hungarian: Sikló) was initiated by count Széchenyi Ödön, who had seen similar construction in Lyon and thought that on the hillside of the Castle a steam-powered and rope-towed railway could make the transport between the city and the Buda Castle easier.
The first test run of the Sikló was conducted on 23 October 1869. The unique cars of the Sikló consist of three boots, assembled together like three steps, each with space for eight passengers.
Following the complete reconstruction, which was necessary due to the damage of World War II, it has been put on the List of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 1987. In the beginning, the cars made three meters in one second, however on the request of the passengers this speed halved in 1988 so that passengers could enjoy the ride on this spectacular vehicle a lot longer.
Danube Heritage Tram
Tram Line 2 is considered to be the part of the world’s top 10 most beautiful tram lines. Built after World War II, the line goes by the incredible Vigadó Square, with the amazing view of Gellért-Hill, Buda Castle, Fishermen’s Bastion and the Várkert Bazár, but passengers also receive a stunning close look of the Hungarian Parliament and Kossuth Square. For those who loved and enjoyed traveling by heritage vehicles, BKK came up with the greatest idea, which was operating some heritage buses and trams on the most popular lines of the capital.
One of them is the incredible Danube Heritage Tram which operates each year between May and October on every Sunday on tram line 2.
Thermal Heritage Tram
Budapest is not just Europe’s Best Tourist Destination but also the city of baths in Central-Europe. The capital has many historical thermal baths where people can enjoy the healing thermal water and other services as well. The most famous baths are of course the Széchenyi and Gellért Thermal Baths.
Besides these two baths, there are many other ones especially on the side of Buda, for example, Rudas, Király and Szent Lukács Thermal Baths. To reach these historical and magnificent baths the Thermal Heritage Tram is the best option between May and October on every Sunday from Szent Gellért Thermal Bath (Liberty Bridge).
Featured image: www.facebook.com/bkkbudapest