The Oldest Engine-Powered Metro
Did you know that it is the oldest engine-powered metro line in the world? The line and the vehicle fleet were well ahead of their time in terms of technical quality.
Reconstruction in 1895
The tunnel was dug out, not drilled, using the cut and cover method and was built just below the surface to prevent any problems that the groundwater could have caused. The metro cars were also designed to adjust for the low headroom.
It was Franz Joseph, emperor of Austria-Hungary, who inaugurated the underground railway on 2nd May 1896 as part of the Millennium Exhibition the same year.
Back then the greatest possible speed was 40 kilometres / hour (25 miles / hour) and today it is 50 km / h (31 miles / h). Not a major progress, right? But there have been plenty of other changes since then.
All the stops used to have ornate entrance pavilions but unfortunately these were removed in the beginning of the 20th century due to being too fancy.
Changes in the Line in 1955
It is now used as the Underground Museum which is a permanent exhibition that is part of the Transportation Museum. The entrance costs the price of a metro ticket.
Changes in the Line in 1973
Have you ever been in City Park and wondered what the meaning behind the bridge that doesn’t seem to cross anything is? It’s close to Restaurant Gundel and the Museum of Fine Arts, just next to the lake.
Well, the underground line used to emerge to the surface after leaving Heroes Square and continue its way towards Széchenyi Bath and thus the bridge used to be a pedestrian bridge above the line.
However, in 1973 the line was extended and was made to be completely underground, the surface section was buried, and the line now runs under the city park lake.
As the pedestrian bridge was the first reinforced concrete bridge of Hungary, it was not destroyed unlike all other retained elements.
Metro line 1 became a Unesco World Heritage Site in 2002 as well as Andássy út (the avenue) that runs above it.
Suggested Route with Metro Line 1
Hop on at the terminal Vörösmarty tér (5 minute walk from Katona Apartments) and after 8 stops hop off at Hősök tere (Heroes Square).
Sights to see there:
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About the authors: Virág and János
Virág, a native of Budapest, and János, who’s been living in the city since 1997 are real fans of the capital of Hungary and try to awake the enthusiasm of others. They are dedicated to helping tourists to make most out of their stay.
Here you can read more about them: http://katonaapartments.hu/