Prague metro

Prague metro

Prague’s Metro underground railway system is recognized as part of one of the top public service networks in the world. Operating on three specific lines, trains run in five car units and at a frequency that means passengers rarely have to wait as long as ten minutes for the service. It is an economic, reliable and efficient system that transports more than 400 million passengers a year along its 59.4 km (95 miles) of track.

Ladislav Rott first proposed the idea of an underground transport system as far back 1898. He recognized that the opportunity to build the tunnel network was present while the underground sewerage system was being constructed. Unfortunately his foresight wasn’t shared and the scheme went down the drain, only to be revisited in 1926, again in the 1930’s and 1940’s, until those in power saw sense in the early 1960’s and construction of the first station began in 1967.

In a strange twist of the alphabet, Line C was opened before Lines A or B, in 1974. Comprising twenty stations and 22.7 km (36.3 miles) of track, Line C runs roughly north-south with tails at either end to the east. At the northern end it passes close enough to Troja to make it an access point for the Prague Zoo and crosses line A close to the National Museum in the city.

Metro enter

Line A was the next to begin operation in 1978, with thirteen stations and 11 km (17.6 miles) of track. The line carries passengers from the north-west of the city to the south-east and crosses both the other lines, C near the Museum and Line B at Mustek at the opposite end of Wenceslas Square. Within a few hundred metres of the Mustek Station is also the Sex Machines Museum which was established in 2002 near the Old Town Square which attracts its own quota of interest from locals and visitors alike.

The third line of the Metro to open was Line B, which started functioning in 1985. With 24 stations Line B is the longest line covering 25.6 km (41 miles) in an east-west direction. This line is the most convenient for travel to or from the Ruzyne Airport.

To interchange between the three lines of the Metro, there are Transfer Stations at the intersections of the lines. The transfer station of lines A and B is at Mustek and Line A then continues beneath Wenceslas Square to meet Line C at Muzeum. Line B and Line C converge at Florenc and this Transfer Station allows passengers to change from one line to the other.

Due to the depth of the Metro, escalators operate at all stations. Beside these are the orange ticket validation machines that are essential for travelling on the network. Tickets should be purchased before travelling and validated before boarding the train. In the event that it is impossible to purchase a ticket, travelers can buy one through an SMS system on their mobile telephone.

The Metro is a remarkable and exciting means of moving around Prague. Costing as little as 110CZK ($US6) for a whole day of travel, the system offers a cheap and convenient alternative to battling the roads of Prague.

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