Sikló (Funicular)

The Budapest Castle Hill Funicular (Budavári Sikló) was the second funicular in Europe transporting public in urban area. The first funicular was built in Lyon and was opened in 1862.

Five years later in 1867 Count Ödön Széchenyi presented his proposal to build a steam-engine operated funicular to the responsible offices of Budapest. Széchenyi had received the concession to build and operate the funicular for 40 years.

The initial plans of the cable railway were developed by Ödön Juraszek and construction works started in July 1868. From 1869 Henrik Wolfarth supervised the construction and he also made significant modifications of the plans (e.g. he changed the slope of the funicular likely for safety reasons). The first test run of the funicular took place on 23 October 1869 and the funicular was inaugurated on 2 March 1870.

A 30 HP steam engine operated the funicular nearly for 75 years (transporting more than 2 million passengers in 1943), when in it was severely damaged by bombs on 20 December 1944. After 42 years of shutdown, the funicular was redesigned, rebuild and was reopened for public on 4 July 1986.


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Copyright ©: Text and photos by Károly Teleki Industrial Heritage Hungary

Source: 1) Budapest műszaki útmutatója 1896 (reprint). Edvi Illés Aladár (szerkesztő). TERC Kft., 2005. 2) Technikai fejlődésünk története 1867-1927. Magyar Mérnök- és Építész-Egylet, Stádium Rt., 1928. 3) A Visegrádi Négyek országainak technikai műemlékei III. PZITB I PIIB, Warszawa, 2007 (ISBN 978-83-903760-1-1)