A special local train operating in the High Tatras, called Kométa (Comet), transports passengers from the city of Poprad to the nearby mountains and local villages. The 100-year-old engine was struck by lightning two years ago, and was rendered inoperable. On December 16, 2012, the historical tram was brought back to its Poprad depot from the Railway Repair Service.
“The feelings are fantastic and the joy is enormous, in spite of the chilly weather,” Ján Sabaka of the Railway Veteran Club – which deserves a lot of the credit for saving Kométa – told the SITA newswire. “We are glad that we, together with our partners, managed to bring Kométa back home before Christmas.”
However, the engine still has to undergo the so-called “revitalising treatment”, which includes attaching all necessary parts, testing all electric circuits and air systems, as wells test rides. If all goes well, Kométa will be allowed to resume safely transporting visitors to the Tatra mountains, the TASR newswire wrote. This is expected to be completed some time during the first half of 2013.
In addition to the numerous and extensive repairs, Kométa was given a new coat of paint to match the colour used when it was originally manufactured. “In Poprad, the decoration will be completed by an artist,” added Sabaka, and will resemble how it looked back in the years of the Austro-Hungarian monarchy. “I believe that all of the parts will serve for 100 more years,” he concluded.
Kométa was made in 1912 and has been out of service since 2010, when it was hit by lightning. Many companies, including Siemens, contributed to its repair, along with various public fundraising initiatives. “We are happy that Kométa could be saved,” Martin Noskovič, Siemens’ spokesman, told SITA. “It is a personal joy for us, as this tram is part of Slovakia’s historical heritage – it was made 100 years ago in the Bratislava factory.”
21. Jan 2013 at 0:00 | Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská