Germany’s Incredible Hanging Railway

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Wuppertaler SchwebebahnPhoto:
Image via myinsterestingfiles

The hanging railway in Germany’s western central city of Wuppertal (pronounced Voopahtahl) is the oldest monorail system in the world. Built in 1900, the Wuppertaler Schwebebahn or “floating train” has been continuously operated since 1901, despite two world wars, various accidents and other turbulent events. Find out the stories behind this stylish and green mode of transportation.

Trial with 6 compartmentsPhoto:
Image: Unknown photographer

Schwebebahn then and now – trial with 6 compartments in 1903, and in 2004:

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the Schwebebahn todayPhoto:
Image: Oktaeder

What to do when a growing industrial region requires an efficient transport system yet geographical characteristics like hilly terrain, a flood-prone river and high groundwater levels prevent building of the same? This is the situation city planners faced in Wuppertal at the turn of the 19th century: The city region had reached an all-time population peak of 400,000 and quickly needed an efficient mode of transportation that would go beyond the requirements of traditional ground or subterranean transportation.

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