The Children’s Railways (Gyermekvasút) which operates at Buda Hill is run mainly by children aged 10-14 under the supervision of adult railway workers. Besides engine being driven by adults, children handle jobs like tickets sales, traffic management, and various other railway operations. Sounds interesting enough for me and so I made my way from Kossuth Lajos tér station to the first stop of Children’s Railways at Széchenyihegy to experience this unique attraction.
The world’s longest railway of its kind has been running since 1940’s and was initiated by the Soviet for children to learn about railway operations as an extracurricular activity. The communists wanted children to have a taste for responsibility. And perhaps also meant to be an avenue for propaganda as well. But I think it’s laudable for the Hungarians to keep the heritage railways running after the fall of Iron Curtain.
So I bought the tickets from the ticket counter and all ready to hop on.
I sat back and relax while the train slowly made its way through the forestry parts of Buda Hills till the last stop at Hűvösvölgy. I have planned to alight at János-hegy to take the chairlift (Libegő) and descend down to Zugliget.
But decided otherwise as the wind speed that afternoon was crazy like this;
The ride offers some great city views at a distance from the top. But most of the times, it’s just trees and more trees…
So I spent more time watching how the children went through their duties. The young operators are neatly dressed in uniforms and are serious about what they do. Not all of them can converse in English but many of them were willing to pose for the camera. One of them told me he enjoys meeting foreigners like me. That’s because he can then practice his English and it’s more fun here compared to school LOL!
And finally, the train reached Hűvösvölgy of Children’s Railways around 45 minutes later but I didn’t explore too far away in case I miss the last train back.