Did you know that the 2nd funicular railway on the world was built in Budapest?
The mentioned railway is our beloved Budapest Castle Hill Funicular (“Sikló”) which is on the list of UNESCO’s World Heritage list since 1987.
The creator of the Széchenyi Chain Bridge István Széchenyi’s son, Ödön Széchenyi came up with the idea of building a funicular railway after he saw the first one in Lyon.
The fact that the railway carried 1,5 million passengers in 1873 proves that it was very popular from the beginning.
The incline railway was open on 2nd March 1870 and has become one of the most prominent part of the riverside cityscape.
The path which connects the Chain Bridge and Buda Castle is 95 m long and the height difference between the two stations is 50 meters. The two rigs – „Margit” and „Gellért” – run uninterruptedly for 75 years until World War II when a bomb destroyed the upper station building and one of the rigs. Though the other station and the steam engine – which drove the railway – remained unharmed the BSZKR (~ city management) decided to solve the transport with buses instead of restoring the railway.
But the railway’s history took a turn for the better when the so called „Sikló Bizottság” (~Funicular Railway Committee) set up and initiated the restoring of the railway in 1968. After almost 20 years and many many plans Margit and Gellért set off again 4th June 1986.
The „Sikló” is still very popular not only among tourists but the citizens too; it carries 500.000-1.000.000 passangers a year.
(source of pictures: https: BKV, //budavar.btk.mta.hu/