Monday, 21 April 2014

Právo: New owner to turn Prague's pneumatic tube into tourist attraction

8 August 2012

Prague, Aug 7 (CTK) - The pneumatic post in Prague, the last preserved one in the world, has been bought by Zdenek Drazil, from Windcom, who wants to revitalise it and use it in education as well as as a tourist attraction at Prague Castle, daily Pravo writes yesterday.

The end of the pneumatic post, founded 125 years ago, came with modernisation and mainly with the devastating floods in 2002.

Cases with mail started to flow along three kilometres of the piping on August 6, 1887. In the 1930s the pipes had already five routes measuring a total of 50 kilometres, Pravo writes.

It says the pneumatic post was first only used by postal clerks, who were gradually joined by other clerks, businesspeople, bankers and also journalists. Still before the collapse of the socialist regime in 1989, up to 30,000 cases were flowing through the pipes at a speed of 100 metres per second, Pravo writes.

"The current pneumatic post of the teaching hospital in Prague-Motol is based on a similar principle. It transports biological samples and documents between individual workplaces. A Billa supermarket in Prague also uses the post in transferring money," Martin Jahoda, curator of the Post Museum in Prague, told Pravo.

"After the split of postal and telecommunication services in 1993, the pneumatic post was owned by Telecom, now Telefonica O2, which did not know what to do with it for a long time. Two months ago, an interested person who was long negotiating about the purchase of the post, has reached agreement with the firm and bought it," Pravo quotes CP spokesman Ivo Mravinac as saying.

"I would like the principles (of the pneumatic post) to be used in teaching the physical principles to students. I am also sure that the terminal at Prague Castle in the spaces of Ceska posta could be successful. Tourists could inspect it and send a postcard or a letter through it," Drazil told Pravo.

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