The tiny village of Stoos, Switzerland just opened the world’s steepest funicular on Sunday. The new transit line will cover 1,720 meters from a station in the Schwyz-Schlattli valley up to Stoos, which sits at an elevation of 1,300 meters (4,265 feet). 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 10 meters a second to scale an incredible 743 meters (2,438 feet) 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.
Previously, The Gelmerbahn funicular at Bern was the world’s steepest funicular, with a maximum gradient of 106%.
Via The Guardian
Images via Stoos Muotatal Tourism