Petřín funicular to be repaired for summer

Routine work will see the cable car on Petřín Hill out of service temporarily

The funicular at Újezd to the top of Petřín Hill will be closed again from March 20 to April 7 for regular maintenance so it will be in good shape for the summer, when it has its main season.

The funicular, which is operated by the Prague Public Transit Company, is routinely out of service in the spring and autumn.

Maintenance will include cleaning the winding chamber, and exchanging or repairing track rollers, electrical contacts and lights. An axle on one of the cars also needs to be replaced and a cable needs some work.

The drainage will be checked and some maintenance to the buildings will take place. There will also be an inspection to make sure everything is in working order along the tracks.

Last year, the funicular transported some 1,752,760 passengers. It is popular with both tourists and local people including residents of dormitories or hostels on top of the hill. From April to October, some 200,000 people a month use it.

The funicular underwent an extensive seven-month renovation from the September 2015 to April 2016. At that time, the bridge at Nebozízek was fixed, as it had been leaning slightly, and the tracks were rebuilt. The cars also got new wiring, new floors and anti-corrosion coatings.

Construction of the first cable car on Petřín Hill began in 1891, in connection with the construction of the lookout tower sometimes called the Little Eiffel Tower, which is still there.

The original one had a length of 383 meters, a track gauge of 1 meter and water balance propulsion. It closed in 1914 and did not reopen until the end of World War I in 1918, but shut down in the early 1920s. The current line opened in 1932 with a wider 1.435 meter track gauge, a longer 510 meter track and new equipment. A landslide in 1965 caused the service to be suspended, and it was not resumed until 1985. New cars were built and the track was renovated, but the original machinery was retained.

There were extensive repairs in the mid-1990s and 2006.

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