On May 14, 2023, the Transport Company of the Capital City of Prague (DPP) will mark thirty years since the opening of its museum at the Střešovice Depot. As part of the anniversary celebrations, the MHD Museum will expand its collection by adding the historic Praga NDO tram. Simultaneously, the company announced plans to construct a new hall, scheduled to begin this autumn.
According to a press release by the DPP, the museum has welcomed over half a million visitors, and the collection of vehicles on display has nearly doubled.
The latest addition to the museum’s collection is the first Czechoslovak bus with a right-hand drive, the Praga NDO, manufactured in 1948. The buses were produced for two more years, with four hundred units leaving the manufacturing plants in Prague and Vysoké Mýto.
With the acquisition of this vehicle, the MHD Museum completes its collection of the most significant post-war buses supplied to and operated by the DPP in Prague’s public transportation. “Our technicians will restore the bus and strive to return its interior to its original condition. However, we aim for it to be operational by 2025 when we commemorate not only 100 years since the start of regular bus service in Prague but also 150 years of public transportation in the capital city,” informed Jan Šurovský, a member of the board and the technical director of the DPP – Surface.
At the beginning of this year, the DPP announced a public tender with an estimated 150 million Czech crowns for constructing a new two-story exhibition hall for historic buses and road-working vehicles considered national technical monuments. Twenty interested parties have registered for participation in the competition, and the winner’s announcement is expected by the end of June this year. The construction itself is planned to take twenty months.
“Historic buses and working vehicles of the DPP, temporarily stored in DPP depots, will finally have a dignified place. We anticipate the start of construction on the new exhibition hall during the autumn of this year. I would like to open it to visitors on June 20, 2025, to coincide with the 100th anniversary of the commencement of regular bus service in Prague,” says Zdeněk Hřib, the first deputy mayor of Prague for transport and the chairman of the supervisory board of the DPP.
The two-story exhibition hall for road vehicles will be built on the depot’s lower courtyard and embedded into a slope towards Cukrovarnická Street. The ground floor will serve as a permanent exhibition space for historic buses, while the upper floor will function as a showroom for smaller road vehicles on a rotating basis. The facility will include space for lectures, seminars, and exhibitions. Access to the upper floor will be directly from the courtyard.
In the thirty years of operation, the Prague MHD Museum has nearly doubled its collection of historic vehicles. It comprises 46 trams, 12 buses, and two bus wrecks, which will be restored and added to the exhibition, three trolleybuses, two metro cars, and six utility vehicles, including one fire truck and five maintenance vehicles for the tram network. The museum continues to expand its collection, preserving the rich history of public transportation in Prague for future generations to appreciate.