ONE HUNDRED years after it first opened, the tram that once connected Bratislava (then called Prešporok, Pressburg or Pozosny) with Vienna resumed service on the streets of the Slovak capital to celebrate the anniversary.

On February 5, the Bratislava City Transport company (DPMB) organised two rides on the historical tram for the public, to commemorate the local Prešporok- Land’s Border-Vienna line. In Ľudovít Štúr Square, the site of the original tram’s first terminal station, passengers boarded tram number 18 at 13:00 and 14:00 for a ride along the historical centre while listening to facts about the old tram.

“The atmosphere of the historical anniversary was also enhanced by the uniforms of the drivers and ticket-collectors, and the passengers were able to learn interesting facts about the Vienna tram during the ride,” DPMB spokesperson Adriana Volfová told the TASR newswire. The rides were organised by the DPMB and the Club of Friends of City and Regional Mass Transport.

The Prešporok–Land’s Border–Vienna line was 69 kilometres long, and opened in February 1914. The route, designed by engineer Josef Tauber in 1898, started in the centre of Vienna and went through Schwechat, Fischamend, Petronell, Deutsch Altenburg, Hainburg, Land’s Border, Köpcsény (today’s Kopčany), Legetfala (today’s Petržalka) and across the Franz Joseph Bridge to Prešporok, where it ended at Coronation Hill Square. There were also stops at the Carlton Hotel and along Jesenského and Štúrova Streets, the SITA newswire wrote. In Petržalka (then a municipality of its own, now a borough of Bratislava) there were eight stops.

The Prešporok-Vienna line ended after the split of the Austro-Hungarian Empire in 1918. It was partially re-opened on the Slovak side in October 1919 and on the Austrian side in December of the same year. However, the line now went through a border patrol station. The operation of the Vienna tram was stopped by the Second World War. The electric locomotives and carriages were sold to Austria in 1941. After the war, the connection remained permanently closed.