Slovakian amateur football club TJ Tatran Cierny Balog has one-of-a-kind stadiums in the world. It comprises a railway track and a steam engine running right in the middle of it.
Cierny Balog is a small Slovakian town with a population of 5,100 people. It has become a tourist spot in the last seven years because of its football stadium. In 2015, a video of a steam engine passing through the stadium went viral online. It left a lot of people in awe. The ?iernohronska Railway goes right through Cierny Balog stadium, and a steam-powered tourist train passes through it all summer long. It was not a one-time thing!
Cierny Balog stadium was built sometime during the 1980s, at a time when the old railway was not in use anymore. It’s unclear why the municipality chose that exact location to build a football stadium, but for an entire decade, the train tracks passing through it were just part of the decor. In 1992, it was officially reopened as a heritage railway for tourists.
During the summer, tourists wanting to admire the beauty of the Lower Tatras mountains from aboard a train can buy tickets for a vintage steam engine-powered train that runs on a 17-km-long line between Chvatimech and Vydrovo. This passage is a highlight of the trip for tourists.
Seeing the steam train rolling through the stadium during a football match is quite an unreal experience. The players try to ignore the train and its powerful whistling signal, while in the grandstand, some spectators wave to the train, while others try to keep their focus on the game.
Cierny Balog is the only stadium in the world with an active railway track passing straight through it.