The Budapest Millennium Underground_Chrsito_wikimediaBudapest Millennium Underground

Budapest Underground Named as IEEE Milestone

April 23, 2020

The world’s largest technical professional organization dedicated to advancing technology for the benefit of humanity, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) has named the Budapest Millennium Underground line as one of the technical milestones of the world.

Built between 1894 to 1896, the Millennium Underground Railway was the first underground line on the European mainland and the world’s first low-floor tram. This railway line was one of the main architectural features of the Hungarian capital celebrating one thousand years of the Hungarian conquest of the Carpathian Basin.

Originally, The line ran from Vörösmarty Square (in the center) to the City Park underneath Andrássy Avenue, the original terminus being the Zoo with eleven stations (nine under the ground and two above). The original length of the line was 3.7 kilometers, extended in 1973 to the present 4.4 kilometers to Mexikói út as terminus.

Administered by the IEEE History Center, the Milestone program recognizes outstanding technical developments around the world. The Budapest Millennium Underground Railway was "the first underground railway designed specifically to use electric power, rather than adapted from steam-powered systems. It offered several innovative elements including bidirectional motor carriages, the 'gooseneck chassis', and electric lighting in the stations and carriages. This line's design influenced later subway construction in Boston, Paris, Berlin, and other metropolitan areas worldwide," the IEEE website explains why the railway deserves to be one of the Milestones.

The Milestone dedication ceremony, originally planned for March 25 at the Budapest Underground Railway Museum, was postponed indefinitely due to the COVID-19 pandemic.


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