VIDEO: Watch Prague's Petřín funicular debut its flirty new features

After using the same carriages for over 90 years, the revamped, roomier funicular, with glass ceilings for better views, will 'wink' at modernity. Staff

Written by Staff Published on 10.11.2023 11:11:00 (updated on 10.11.2023) Reading time: 2 minutes

Glass ceilings, folding seats, more room, and “winking” indicators – these are just some of the changes planned for the revamped Petřín funicular (Lanová dráha) the designs for which were revealed on Thursday by city officials.

According to a press release from the Prague Public Transport Company (DPP), Operations with the new models are expected to commence within three years.

While eager passengers won't be able to take a ride for awhile, the transit authority has also released a video visualization of how the new funicular will look in action.

A flirtier funicular

Project lead Anna Marešová, well-known in the transport-architecture sphere for designing the Prague T3 Coupé tram, said her vision blends tradition with modernity while enhancing passengers’ views of Prague during the cable car’s ascent and descent.

The innovative features include folding seats to accommodate automatic standing during movement and an increased capacity. The cars will boast a distinctive blue glass ceiling, offering passengers an enchanting view of Prague, especially at night when the city is illuminated. The cable car's operational space has been strategically minimized, ensuring an unobstructed view of Prague Castle.

Marešová’ has also added a particularly whimsical touch to the new design: when the carriages converge they’ll be engineered to exchange a wink and turn red, as though blushing. The funicular flirtation won’t just be visible to passengers, but also to onlookers at the Nebozízek station at Petřín Park.

Timeline for new upgrade

In addition to the cable cars’ upgrade, the entire track is set to be torn apart and replaced with a new one. The DPP has also confirmed plans to make the three stations on the funicular route barrier-free. Work is estimated to be completed by the second quarter of 2026.

“We expect the construction itself to start in the spring of 2025. We will do our best to maintain traffic with the existing cars on the existing track until then. The reconstruction of the track will most likely take 12 months, during which the cable car to Petřín will not run. After fitting and testing the new cars on the renovated line, we expect to resume operations during the second quarter of 2026," said Petr Witowski, Chairman of the Board and CEO of DPP.

A detailed 1:25 scale model of the new cable car is currently on display at Marešová’s studio in Prague 7. The figure, illuminated for round-the-clock viewing, will remain on exhibition until spring 2024, offering a sneak peek into the future of Prague's beloved Petřín cable car.

The vehicles will be manufactured by Austrian-Swiss group Doppelmayr/Garaventa. The project cost of the renovation is CZK 150 million.

The current funicular carriages date back to 1932 and are still in use today. The cable car runs through three stations: Újezd (at the bottom of the park), Nebozízek (in the middle), and Petřín (at the top). The Petřín cable car is currently the most visited Czech monument. It carries an average of 1.7 million people a year.

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