The second funicular in the world, the Buda Castle Hill Funicular is 145 years old
The most spectacular vehicle of the transport in Budapest, the Buda Castle Hill Funicular (so‑called Budavári Sikló) turned 145 years this year.
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 Sikló was initiated by count Széchenyi Ödön, who had seen a similar construction in Lyon. He 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 power was provided by a 35 HP steam engine placed at the bottom station. The unique cars of the Sikló consist of three boots, assembled together like three steps, each with space for 8 passengers. (The photo from Fortepan shows Clark Adam square and the Sikló from 1929.)
Following the complete reconstruction, which was necessary due to the damage of the Second World War, it has been put on the List of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 1987. At 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.
Last year we have counted 800,000 travels on the Sikló. Nowadays passengers mainly use the Sikló, which is located in the heart of Budapest, for nostalgic experience and of course for having a view on our beautiful capital city.