Tram in the garden – the lost tracks of Zugliget
Tram number 58’s route is definately the most sorrowly missed “lost” tram line in the history of Budapest, mostly because of the picturesque neighborhood it was running in. Zugliget (or Auwinkel as it was called in German), at its outer end, was a noble hillside covered with forests which became a popular pleasure resort in the mid-19th century. People were getting out here to have a nice day in the green, and this generated a call for some means of public transport. Horse tram service of BKVT from the center of Buda to Zugliget was launched in 1869. 27 years later it was electrified. The original terminus - firts was the end of the horsetram line - was located in a nice wooden frame house, which still exists.
By the way, the line had the steepest accent of all the Budapest lines, so after a terrible accident of a runaway car, the vehicles were re-fitted with stronger brakes, and in 1911 the matter went even further: they were equipped with cross-inducing electric brakes - the cars could not run lose on their own. The decay of the line started in the early seventies: the city council wanted to experiment with trolley buses here, so they did not spend money on track maintenance. This led to the worst conditions, so in the first says of 1977 the line was converted to one-track operation. In 1980 the closure of the route became official. Still before, the line was extended, so the building of the terminus lost its role.
The old terminus house still stands. By the seventies it had flats in it, and people were actually living between the two tracks. The downhill track went through the garden of the house, where the children of the inhabitants were playing - for someone who was crazy about those fake wooden trams on playgrounds, I sure envy those kids: they had real trams in their garden!