The first route of Tatra electric railway opened 111 years ago

Easier transport helped to develop tourism.

(Source: TASR)
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The first route of the Tatra electric railway (TEŽ) from Poprad to Starý Smokovec opened 111 years ago, on December 17, 1908.

The High Tatras became more accessible, which created conditions for the development of tourism and hiking in the following years. Villages under Tatra peaks became a sought-after touristic area.

Railway transport was developed in the Hungarian Kingdom in the 19th century when the railways started to be built in the Slovak territory. In that time a part from Poprad to Kežmarok, from Studený Potok to Tatranská Lomnica and from Štrba to Štrbské Pleso were built.

New way of transport

The interest of visitors sparked the vast construction in this area. The visitors were transferred in barouches and sledges. The beginning of the 20th century brought a novelty to mountains – the electric omnibus.

They were not successful and two businessmen, Vincent Matejka and Viliam Krieger, who were behind the idea of omnibus, decided to built a 13.6 kilometre long electric railway between Poprad and Starý Smokovec.

It opened on December 17, 1908, and on December 20, 1908, visitors could take the first rides. Three years later, routes from Tatranská Lomnica to Tatranská Polianka also opened. The last and most difficult part to Štrbské Pleso opened in August 1912.

TEŽ underwent reconstruction in the years 1965 and 1969. From then, the railway has served only for personal transport.

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