The Kiev funicular (Ukrainian: Київський фунікулер; Russian: Киевский фуникулёр) serves the city of Kiev, connecting the historic Uppertown, and the lower commercial neighborhood of Podil through the steep Volodymyrska Hill overseeing the Dnieper River. The line consists of only two stations and is operated by the Kiev city community enterprise Kyivpastrans.
The funicular was constructed during 1902-1905, and was first opened to the public on 7 May 1905. The construction cost, about 230,000 Russian rubles, was covered by a Belgian owner of the Kiev trams. The funicular was the project of Arthur Abrahamson, who received professional training on railroad engineering in Zürich, Switzerland and Saint Petersburg, Russia. The station vestibules were initially developed by N. Piatnitskiy, and the railway structure was designed by N. Barishnikov.
Due to its proximity to the St. Michael's Cathedral, it was once named the Mykhailivskyi Mekhanichnyi Pidyom (Ukrainian: Михайлівський механічний підйом, literally St. Michael's Mechanical Lift). After the cathedral was destroyed by the Soviet authorities in 1935-1936, the name of the funicular was changed.
In 1984 the lower station changed its outlook. It was redeveloped by architects Janos Vig, Valentine Yezhov, and others.
The funicular uses the two rail and passing-loop system. The two cars are designated with the Cyrillic letters Λ and П which stand for left and right. The funicular was renovated three times: in 1928, 1958, and 1984.
Track gauge: 1,200 mm (3 ft 11 1⁄4 in). Total track length: 238 meters (781 ft). The total gradient of the slope on which the funicular runs on is 36%. The cable cars are powered by an electric motor which is located inside the upper station.
The travel time between the stations is approximately 3 minutes. The route is from the Mykhailivska Square in the Uptown to the Poshtova Square in the Podil. The ticket price is the much like the other city-owned public transportation methods, 150 kopecks. The funicular provides daily service to 10,000-15,000 passengers, and annually to 2.8 million passengers.
The funicular was closed on September 25, 2006 for restoration, which is usually conducted every year. The total cost of the restoration was expected to be 455,400 hryvnias (about 90,500 US dollars). The funicular is operated by Kievpastrans.
- "Funicular". Wiki-Encyclopedia Kyiv (in Ukrainian). Retrieved February 26, 2006.
- "Kiev's funicular will be closed for reconstruction". Gazeta po-Kievsky (in Russian). Retrieved September 22, 2006.
- "Kiev's Funicular". Interesting Kiev (in Russian). Retrieved September 17, 2006.