Prague Zoo's historic children's tram is back in operation

After two years of repairs, Prague Zoo has resumed service on its legendary children's tram, first launched in 1976.

Jason Pirodsky

Written by Jason Pirodsky
Published on 06.06.2021 13:45 (updated on 09.06.2021)

The popular children's tram at Prague Zoo has been out of operation for about twenty months due to repairs, but is now back in service. The tram carried young passengers at the Zoo yesterday for the first time since November, 2019.

The repairs were the first significant renovations done to the tram and its tracks at Prague Zoo since it was first built in 1976.

"During that time, she drove perhaps over two and a half million children around her circuit, so it's no wonder that she needed overhauls," Zoo director Miroslav Bobek told journalists yesterday during a ceremonial relaunching.

When the tram was first launched in 1976, it ran along tracks at the Zoo's children's corner, where a sea lion enclosure now stands. In 2001, the 97-meter-long tracks were moved to the new Children's Zoo, near the Zoo's Gaston Restaurant.

The attraction was built by Vratislav Paldus and his wife Jaroslava Paldusová, who both owned and operated the tram within the confines of Prague Zoo. Mrs. Paldusová personally ran daily service on the tram until 2019, punching tickets for 43 years.

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In 2019, the tram was purchased by Prague Zoo, who then initiated the repairs. Mrs. Paldusová attended the reopening ceremony yesterday, where she handed her ticket punch over to new staff.

"This rare tram set corresponds to actual models of [Prague] trams, and consists of a number 2172 motor car, which was manufactured at the Prague Ringhoffer plant in 1929, and 1200 and 1201 [rear carriages], which were created in 1930 in Kolín," said Bobek.

According to Bobek, Paldus gave the tram the number 11 and final stop of Liboc, Divoká Šárka because he lived near Prague's real line 11 at the time, which terminated at Divoká Šárka. One of Prague's first animals also happened to be a lioness named Šárka.

A ride on the children's tram costs 20 crowns per child. Adults can accompany younger children for 40 crowns. The ride lasts about three minutes, and makes three laps around the set of tracks.

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About 30 children can ride the tram at once, though the age and weight of passengers is taken into account for each ride.

Prague Zoo will operate the tram from March through October each year, as well as in November and December when weather allows.

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