Prague Semmering – The Most Picturesque Railway Line in Prague

The railway line between Prague’s Smíchov and Řepy is rightly considered the most beautiful on the capital territory. The trains have run since 1872, and because of its profile and the surrounding natural sceneries, the railway soon earned the sign of Prague Semmering, according to the Austrian mountain railways registered on the UNESCO list.  Leading it to be protected as a cultural monument.

The section was built in the years 1872 (of which the viaducts were built in the last two years) by the Buštěhrad Railroad as part of a line connecting the former Smíchov Common Station and Hostivice. The operation at Prague Semmering was launched on 3 July 1872 for freight transport (mainly coal and wood). Passenger trains started here on September 16, 1872. The Buštěhrad Railways were nationalised on 1 January 1924.

In the seventies, the modernisation of this track started, which consisted mainly of it becoming a double track, with plans for it to be electrified. However, at the end of the 1990s, reflections on its abolition appeared, and connections were reduced. During the floods in 2002, the track served as a form of substitute transport for the non-functional route B of the Prague metro, while it was also used for diverted freight trains.

Points of interest on the route

Unique view of Prague – If you are traveling by train from Smíchov, sit on the right in the direction of travel. When the train crosses the Dalejske Valley after two arched viaducts, look out of the window. A fascinating view of the metropolis opens before you at the Prague-Žvahov stop. You will see the Vltava river with Podolská waterworks, Vysehrad with towers of the Peter and Paul temple, the skyscrapers at Pankrác and the Žižkov Tower.

Scenic Nature – We recognize that natural beauties are better enjoyed in the spring or summer. But if the meteorologists do not get confused this time, we could see snow in January. And the area between the stops Prague-Cibulka, Prague-Stodůlky and Prague-Řepy station when the train passes through the Košíře-Motol Nature Park it being covered with a white blanket would certainly be an unforgettable experience even in winter. This section of the track can be compared with the romance of the countryside, so you might forget that you are still in Prague.

Hlubočepské viadukty – Summary designation for two railway bridges. Longer and higher of the viaducts, the southeast (also referred to as the bottom) is 115 meters long and 23-25 meters tall. The bridge has seven arches and partially lying in an arc. The field between the third and fourth pillars is filled with a steel structure. The Northwest Viaduct (also referred to as the upper) is 500 meters from the southeast and crosses Hlubočepská Street in the area before the beginning of the Prokop valley. The bridge has five arches and is 92 meters long and 20 meters tall.

Rail notch – This protected area was proclaimed in 1988 mainly because it is an important fossil fauna and flora site. So, if you’re a fan of trilobites, it is definitely worth the walk. But be careful. The track is still in operation. Even if you just have a glance, the railway notch is visible from Prague Semmering in the crossing points with the track from Smíchov to Slaný.

This unique railway line is now the first stage of extensive reconstruction. From June to December 2018, heavy bays had to be carried out on both bridges, and the steel supporting structure was replaced on the southeast viaduct. This part is completed and now the workers move under the viaducts, where they will repair mainly the masonry.

If you want to enjoy this unique railway, you can take it from either the Central Station or to Smíchov (or anywhere afterwards, but the downside is you would lose all the experience). There are classic prepaid coupons or you can buy a ticket for public transport. From Zličín you can go back either by subway or wait for a return trip.

Author: Lilato Madiri

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