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FUNicular Railways

Lithuania 2004

The oldest known funicular is in Hohensalzburg Castle, Austria and it’s known as the Reisszug. It is used to transport people and cargo from the Nonnberg nunnery to the castle. The Reisszug has been in operation since the late 15th century. It is thought that it was originally built to transport building materials and workers during the construction of the castle. Today we focus on countries that have produced stamps featuring the funicular railway system. At top we have Lithuania’s Žaliakalnis funicular (on the stamp left) which runs between Kaunas and Žaliakalnis and began operating in 1931, with a capacity of 36 passengers. Seen on the stamp right are carriages from the Aleksotas Funicular railway, also in Kaunas. The Aleksotas began services in 1935.

Norway 2018

Norway’s Fløibanen is a funicular railway in the Norwegian city of Bergen. Connecting the city centre with the mountain of Fløyen, with its mountain walks and magnificent views of the city, it is one of Bergen’s major tourist attractions and one of Norway’s most visited attractions. Posten Norge issued the above stamps in 2018, the 100th anniversay of the railway.

Switzerland 2014

The steepest cog railway in the world is in Switzerland, climbing from Alpnach to Mount Pilatus, offering great views of Lucerne and in operation since 1889. A cog (or rack) railway is a steep railroad that has a track with cogs engaged by a cogwheel on the locomotive to ensure traction.

Luxembourg 2017

The stamps above, from Luxembourg in 2017, show the Pfaffenthal-Kirchberg funicular on the left. The funicular became operational in 2017. On the right is an example of a new generation of trams introduced in Luxembourg in 2017.

Hungary 2020

in 2020 Hungary commemorated the 150th anniversary of the Budapest Castle Hill Funicular or Budavári Sikló funicular railway in the capital city of Hungary, Budapest. It links the Adam Clark Square and the Széchenyi Chain Bridge at river level to Buda Castle above. The line was opened on March 2, 1870. In 1986 a stamp was produced with a view of the railway from its lower entrance.

Hungary 1986
Ukraine 2015

There are two funicular railways in Ukraine, one in Odessa and the other – featured on the stamp above that was issued in 2015 – in the country’s capital Kiev. The Kiev Funicular, which opened in 1905, links the district of Podil to the Upper Town city centre.

Hong Kong 1977

The transportation stamps seen here were produced by Hong Kong in 1977 and show the various forms of transport commonly seen in the region. The Peak, Hong Kong’s most popular attraction, can be reached via the Peak Tram funicular railway, featured on the $1.30 stamp, which carries passengers to the upper levels of Hong Kong Island.


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