A new funicular railway featuring a revolutionary design has opened in Switzerland with the world’s steepest gradient – up to 47.7 degrees – and impressive views across the Schwyz-Schlattli valley.
The tiny village of Stoos, Switzerland just opened the world’s steepest funicular. The new transit line will cover 1720m from a station in the Schwyz-Schlattli valley up to Stoos, which sits at an elevation of 1300m.
While the stretch the train will cover is surely impressive, it’s actually what happens between point A and B that’s the true feat. The funicular will hit a top speed of 10m a second to scale an incredible 743 meters along gradients as steep as 110% (47.7 degrees). Despite a brutal incline, the train, which is made up of four futuristic-looking cylindrical cabins, will automatically level to allow its 34 passengers to remain fully upright throughout the entire ride.
The new line cost €44.6m to build and replaces an older system that had been in place since 1933. Construction on the project started in July 2013 and, according to The Gondola Project, 15 different options were evaluated before officials decided to build a new route (rather than repurposing the old) using state-of-the-art technology.
“After 14 years of planning and building, everyone is very proud of this train,” Ivan Steiner, a spokesman for the railway, told the Guardian.
Stoos, a mountain village of roughly 100 people, sits just 30 miles south of Zurich and high above Lake Lucerne. The alpine locale is best known for its ski resort and being completely car-free.