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[Slovakia] Bratislava


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As this week is my semester break, I decided to do a day trip to Bratislava, the capital of Slovakia (not to confuse with Slovenia – that's were Melania comes from), which is just a train ride of one hour away from Vienna. Vienna and Bratislava are the closest capital cities in Europe (excluding the Vatican and Rome), since Czechoslovakia split up in 1993. Anyways, this trip was planned for some weeks in advance, so my friend and I were partly happy and partly not so about the onset of winter in the plains of Lower Austria and Bratislava. So, here are some snowy pictures from this gentle city.


Let's start with an upgraded Tatra K2 – 7107 to be precisely – on line 2 heading for the main station (Hlavná Stanica) in Radlinského/Vazovova junction near Blumental stop.


Next is a Tatra T6 set of 7925 and 7926 on line 5 in Radlinského in front of Blumental church. The streetcars run on 1,000mm (1m; 3ft 3.37") gauge tracks, but there's an oddity concerning the gauge  to which I will come back later.


Bratislava also has a vast trolleybus network, of which a large part was closed down due to the snow on Wednesday ... Škoda 30Tr SR 6022 on line 208 at Kollárovo námestie (námestie means square).


Until a few years ago, the streetcar system's rolling stock only consisted of high floor Tatra cars. However, the European Union funded to 85% the acquisition of 30 Škoda 29T ForCity Plus one-directional trams as well as 30 Škoda 30T ForCity Plus two-directional trams as part of a larger network extension project, which was also financially supported by the European Development Fund.


Another K2 (7131) as workshop service in Obchodná shopping street at Poštová (surprisingly "Post office") stop.


The oldest rolling stock are the Tatra T3. Here's one set of 7837 with 7838 at Hurbanovo námestie on line 9 to Karlova Ves (ger: Karlsdorf, "Charles town").


Another set is 7845 with 7846 on line 5 to Dúbravka in Kapucínska, with the same named church in the background.


The typical subject for streetcar related photography in Bratislava is Kapucínska stop with Bratislava Castle in the background. Bratislavský hrad (that's the Slovak name) is Pressburg in German, of which a similar name (Prešporok) was the official name of the city until the end of WW1. It was only changed in 1919, after politicians thought the name to be too Austrian or Hungarian. Prior to that, there was the idea to name the city after Woodrow Wilson (Wilsonovo mesto). Today, Bratislava gains the upper hand in German over Pressburg, although the latter is still more common in Austria than in Germany. Whoops, I'm getting off topic again. So, here's the unique set of T3S (colloquially called "Tetris") 7301 and 7302 on line 5 to Rača.


T6 7915 with 7916 on the same line at Park Kultúry stop in Nábrežie armádneho generála Ludvíka Svobodu (Army general Ludvík Svoboda causeway). A handy street name, in case you didn't know who said man was ... 


Coming to the oddity concerning the gauge of the tracks I mentioned earlier: The city government once planned a normal gauge streetcar line from Austria into Bratislava. So they applied for funding by the European Union – however, when they started to build the extension from down the square in this picture across the river Danube to Petržalka, this idea had long been scrapped. However, as the funding was requested as part of the original plan, it had to have normal gauge tracks. So the solution was to built three rails per direction, so that 1,000mm gauge and 1,435mm streetcars could run on them. There were even some disused normal gauge bogies of Prague Tatra T3s bought for a site acceptance test. Škoda T30 ForCity Plus 7510 on line 1 headed to Petržalka on the ramp to Starý Most (Old Bridge) at Šafárikovo námestie.


Škoda T30 7523 on line 3 after crossing the Danube. Here you can see the third rail in the snow. 

I hope you enjoyed this little reportage from Bratislava!

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Beautiful!! I love that Tatra T3 and the Skoda trolleybus!!!! Beautiful designs. The snow makes everything look even better.

Man I miss Europe. Amazing stuff; it makes me wish I visited Bratislava. Someday maybe lol.

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