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Budapest’s Cogwheel Railway Celebrates 150 Years of Operation

Cogwheel Railway

Did you know that Budapest is home to Europe’s third oldest cogwheel railway, which has been operational for an impressive 150 years?

The Cogwheel Railway, or “Fogaskerekű” in Hungarian, commenced operations on June 24, 1874, just three years after the world’s first cogwheel railway opened in Switzerland. This unique transportation system has been ferrying passengers from the city center to the lush hills of Buda for a century and a half.

Initially, the railway ran between Városmajor and Svábhegy, with steam trains pulling the carriages along the line. For the first 36 years, it operated only during the summer timetable. In 1890, the route was upgraded and extended to Széchenyi Hill, offering breathtaking views of the city.

The cogwheel technology, invented by Niklaus Riggenbach, was a groundbreaking solution for navigating steep inclines. The railway features a special toothed rack rail between the two running rails, into which a cogwheel on the locomotive meshes, allowing the train to climb the hill safely.

Over the years, the Cogwheel Railway has undergone several improvements. In 1929, the line was electrified, and the iconic “yellow trams” manufactured by Ganz Works began operating on the route. These charming vehicles served passengers until the early 1970s.

Today, the Cogwheel Railway is not only a vital part of Budapest’s public transportation system but also a beloved attraction for locals and tourists alike. Visitors can enjoy a nostalgic journey through the scenic Buda Hills, admiring the beautiful villas and lush greenery along the way.

To celebrate this remarkable milestone, the Budapest Transport Company (BKV) has opened a special exhibition at the Underground Railway Museum, showcasing the history and present of the Cogwheel Railway. The exhibition features a rich collection of photographs, models, vintage tickets, uniforms, and postcards spanning 150 years.

As a foreign tourist, you can travel on the Cogwheel Railway for free with your Budapest Card! Don’t miss the opportunity to experience a piece of living history and enjoy the stunning views of the Hungarian capital from a unique perspective.

Join the celebrations and discover the charm of Budapest’s 150-year-old Cogwheel Railway!

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Cogwheel Railway

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