Diana funicular railway in Karlovy Vary


August 12, 2022

Diana funicular railway connecting ul. Mariańska (Mariánská) with the Friendship Hill (Výšina přátelství) is the youngest of the three completed Carlsbad funiculars. It was established in the years 1911–1912. At the time of the uprising, it was the longest cable car in Austria-Hungary.


The construction of the cable car to the Friendship Hill (Výšina přátelství) was decided in 1911. The forested hill was crossed by a network of hiking paths used by patients, but accessibility from the town center in the valley, where most of the spa facilities were located, was a problem. The railway was built in the years 1911–1912 according to the design of the Swiss engineer H. H. Peter, the contractor was the Viennese construction company Leo Arnoldi, and the traction and rolling stock producer - the company Österreichische Siemens Schuckert Werke. Exploitation started on August 5, 1912, and in a few weeks it was Slovak - Imperial. The Diana lookout tower and the restaurant at the top of Friendship Hill were completed only two years later, on April 27, 1914, previously there were no buildings on the hill. The Diana Railway ran seasonally, from April to October, at 15-minute intervals. Unlike the two Hotel Imperial railways that were built and operated by a private company, Diana belonged to the city of Karlovy Vary. In 1954, the railway was taken over by the Transport Company of the City of Karlovy Vary (Dopravní podnik města Karlových Var), but it never became part of the public transport system (unlike the Imperial Railway). From 1960, Diana ran all year round. The renovation took place from October 1963 to September 1965, and the operation of the railway was suspended for that time. New cars were added, the tracks and the lower station were renovated. In the years 1972–1974, electrical devices were replaced. From 1 January 1976, the Diana railway, as well as all public transport in Karlovy Vary, was managed by the state-owned company ČSAD Plzeň - Karlovy Vary Transport Company (ČSAD Plzeň - dopravní závod Karlovy Vary). Due to the poor technical condition, the operation of the Diana railway was suspended in 1980, and its fate was uncertain. In 1984, a general renovation was started, which was carried out by the Polish company Budimex. New cars from the Polish Konstal factory were added, identical to the ones used earlier in the Imperial railway - the only difference was the door on both sides and the DIANA inscription at the top. The upper station was also renovated. The courses were resumed after the renovation on December 20, 1988. In the years 1992–1993 the carrier was the newly established MHD Karlovy Vary Transport Facility ČSAD Pilzno (ČSAD Plzeň - dopravní závod MHD Karlovy Vary, MHD stands for the Czech abbreviation of Municipal Public Transport - Městská hromadná doprava), transformed in 1993 as an independent municipal enterprise ČSAD MHD Karlovy Vary, renamed in 2001 the Transport Enterprise Karlovy Vary (Dopravní podnik Karlovy Vary).

About the railroad

The overground funicular railway connects ul. Mariańska (Mariánská) near Grandhotel Pupp (the station name is Hotel Pupp) with the Friendship Hill (Výšina přátelství) with the Diana lookout tower (station name is Diana). Exactly in the middle of the route there is the Jeleni Skok station (Jelení jump, the name comes from the hill to which the hiking trail leads next to the station). The length of the route is 453 m. The wagons cover 167 m of altitude difference (Hotel Pupp - 389 m above sea level, Diana - 556 m above sea level). The driving time is 395 seconds or approximately 6.5 minutes. The rail gauge is 1000 mm, the line is single-track with a passing loop at the Jeleni Skok station (the car going up and the car going down stop on it at the same time), from the beginning it had an electric drive. The route is crossed by three underpasses and three footbridges. The platforms are