Tuesday, 28 July 2020

Fast, Soviet and dangerous.

By Barbara Bindasová | Prague Daily Monitor |
7 July 2009

Lidové noviny reported on Friday that Prague metro stations have started slowing down the speed of their escalators. The original Soviet escalators often ran at 9 km/h (2.5 m/s); however, the regulations have changed throughout Europe and the permitted speed decreased to the maximum of 0.7 m/s for safety reasons.

Ondřej Pečený, Prague Public Transport (DPP) spokesman, said there are still 55 old-type escalators but are gradually being replaced. The slower escalators are almost all of the A-line. Most of the fast ones can be found on the B-line. The exchange of one escalator costs between CZK 50 million and CZK 100 million, and the DPP plans to have all of the Soviet types discarded within the next 6 years.

Escalators are not the only Soviet feature disappearing from the Prague metro. The last original Soviet train of the 81-71 type completed its final journey last Thursday. Some fans even took a day off work to say good-bye.

• Have you had trouble with the fast escalators?
• Do you run up the stairs when you feel they are too slow?
• Do you prefer the old or the new metro trains?

Barbara Bindasová is a staff writer and translator at the Monitor. She is a graduate student of literature at Charles University.
You can reach her at barbara@praguemonitor.com. See more of her stories here.