Articles  >  Visit  >  On the rails overhead: Wuppertal cable way

On the rails overhead: Wuppertal cable way

Author: 14.03.2018 | Germany, travel, technology
The German city of Wuppertal, according to statistics, is not included even in the top ten most popular tourist destinations in Germany. In addition to the legendary dancer Pina Bausch, the same-name football club and the world-famous film director Tom Tykwer, whose career began in city movie clubs, Wuppertal seems to have nothing to boast about, but as soon as you learn about local transport - the city with its unique suspension monorail, it becomes so coveted for travelers.


Located in the west of the country, in the urbanized region of North Rhine Westphalen, the industrial and 400-thousandth Wuppertal is now a classic western European city - modern, well maintained with a relatively quiet rhythm of life. In its current borders it was formed only in the 20th century, by merging several settlements that specialized in industry - coal, machine building, brewing and energy. No wonder this part of Germany is called the industrial heart of the country, stretching along the Rhine. The golden age of factories and factories in these parts was at the end of the twentieth century, when the population and the cities themselves grew at an incredible rate, turning from settlements around industrial objects to the megacities of that time. Wuppertal did not share this destiny as this fate in the 1890s it was bigger and more important strategically than, for example, Cologne or Dortmund, so the city transport became a serious issue for the authorities once the river Vupper flowing here made the communication between the districts quite difficult.


Initially, the citizens waited for the subway, as because of the terrain and the remoteness of the areas from each other, the tram was problematic to stretch. Unfortunately, the geological reconnaissance proved that there is too much water in the ground, and the terrain itself is very rocky, so the only way out is to build such a half meter, half-tram, half train that will go ... in the air. Just say that the German engineers would not be German, if the fantastic project, which still amazes with its scale and flight of fantasy, would not be maximally thought out. Its author is Karl Eugen Langen, who headed the creative group. Unfortunately, he did not live quite a few years before the launch of his brainchild, although it was built in record time - in just two years from 1898 to 1900, when the transport was officially tested successfully by Kaiser Wilhelm II himself. In the following year Wuppertaler Schwebebahn was open to everybody.

This cable road is the oldest active monorail in the world and unlike other "analogues" (similar one is in Dresden, as Langen also worked on its development), it performs today not a tourist function or "only lift", like funiculars, and full-fledged - transport. Annually, an air tram carries more than 25 million passengers, and this is in a city where the population does not even reach half a million. Wuppertalians simply adore their Shwebeban, because its line passes through the most important parts of the city and stretches for more than thirteen kilometers.


The way itself, which passes both over the busy business center, the historic quarters of Barmen, and over the outlying districts, consists of twenty stations. Towards the platforms there are lifts or steps, delivering passengers to special platforms for landing. All the most technologically and safely - it's hard to believe, but the first serious incident here happened after almost one hundred years of continuous operation. In April 1999, one of the trains along the way jumped on forgotten construction claws, as a result of which the wagons collapsed into the river. The accident killed five people, more than forty were injured. According to the results of the investigation, it became obvious that the reason for the incident was the human factor, and not the problems with the transport itself. But again, after this inspection and modernization in Shvebeban began to pass more and more and today's updated trains and security systems reduce risks to a minimum, and the tramway is used even more actively - it is included in all world tops, with regard to safety in the public transport.


What is interesting, the Wuppertal people saw another terrifying event connected with their cable road, but, fortunately, no one was hurt. On July 21st, 1950, the ambitious circus director Franz Altofoch decided, in the framework of an advertising campaign, to ride on Shwebeban ... an elephant from his circus and thus invite the townspeople to a performance. He rented a car, where the animal was planted, but only Tuffy - that's the name of the elephant, transport was not appreciated, and on the way between the stations "Alter Markt" and "Adlerbrücke" fell out of the car directly into the river from about 12 meters high. Tuffy plunged into the water successfully - he received no injuries or serious injuries, but the director had to justify himself from the animal defenders. The fact of the falling large animal inspired local artists to paint a picture on one of the houses nearby, but as for the photos - almost all of them, according to experts – represent photomontage, since nobody had time to shoot the moment of "fallout", but on the Internet there are a lot of photos.


Interesting figures and facts connected with the cable road:

- The ticket price for an adult is 2.80 euro, for children it is 1.60 euro.

- The journey time on the whole line is 28 minutes. The average speed of trains is 30 kilometers per hour, the maximum speed is just over sixty.

- The platforms at the stations differ from the traditional ones for the underground, since their width is only three meters, but the length is more than twenty.

- The average height of Shwebeban over the river is twelve meters, over the city streets it is eight.

- The rolling stock is usually designed for transportation of 178 people, while only 48 have seats.

- During twentieth century cars were produced by a well-known German company MAN, but in our time, a gradual transition to the Spanish cars designed in Valencia.


- The local just-married couples have a tradition to rent one of the "Kaiserskie compounds" preserved in the depot of the very beginning of the twentieth century and arrange a part of the celebration right there during the trip. Wooden textures, antique seats and rarities are perfectly preserved thanks to careful care, so the atmosphere during the trip is unforgettable, especially if you do not look down on the modern city, but consider the bends of the river, the roofs of cathedrals and the town hall.

- The Wuppertal pendant road worked and even avoided serious damage in the early years of the Second World War. Only closer to the defeat of Germany and because of the increased bombardment, it was decided to close it. She resumed work in 1946, by that time finally becoming one of the symbols of the whole country. It is difficult to count all the films, wherever it was captured or the number of souvenirs with its image sold to tourists.

Main photo

It will be interesting:
Someone compares Jaipur with lace tablecloth; others with a box of pink marshmallows; and some admirers claim this is a hive densely inhabited by bees. However, everyone agrees on one thing: there is the wonderful air full of freedom which cannot be found in Europe. It fills the lungs and breathing it a traveller loses count of hours and even centuries.
When planning a trip to Ligurian coast, even do not hope that within several days you will manage to explore the length and breadth of it. So you would only irritate your craving for travelling. Each ingredient of Liguria coast can only be savoured forgetting about the existence of the rest of the world. The port city of Genoa (Italian: Genova) is the chief city of the Liguria region.
Countries often flaunt their natural beauties: they invite tourists allowing them to examine closely every detail of jewellery coined by the nature. Among beauties, there are some that are the most extravagantly bright, showy and bizarre, and sometimes even wild for our eyes. African Ethiopia grabbed one of the most beautiful accessories - Dallol volcano.
If you have 10 dollars and you are in New York
Finally, one of our favorite categories reached the city, where dollars are considered as the main currency. Thus, we will not have to go around exchange offices and constantly convert prices. So, we go to such a different and exciting New York to spend our 10 dollars.
Gobi Syndrome. Mysterioius Land of Mongolia.
When winds start wandering among those stone, caressing peaks of sand barchans and forcing down rare vegetationm entire space around gets filled with marvellous sounds. Herdsmen, who happen to spend nights in one of the most mysterious deserts of the globe, tell about drumrolls, enchanting sounds of flute and voices, murmuring something indistinguishable.
Today our story is about one of the most amazing combinations one can imagine, that is Italians and Englishmen, so we expand number of our articles dedicated to the ethnic ghettos of the world. Get ready to follow us to the cold and rainy Bedford, where we will plunge into the warm Mediterranean atmosphere.
Chan Chan. Peru city from clay
Experienced travelers tell that one could watch the ruins of ancient settlements in the Andes during several months, moving from one region to another. Particularly, the richest one in archaeological complexes of is the western coast of the Southern continent. A long time ago, some of them, such as Machu Picchu, have become popular with tourists, others are just beginning to open their doors to curious people.
10 facts about Serbia
Balkans is the travel destination that is becoming more and more popular year by year. Perhaps, every traveler has its own favorite countries of the region, however, we cannot avoid telling about the main state of this semi-island Serbia.
Canberra is the capital of Australia
Australia flies instinctively into our ears with a loud intro from shell of the Sydney Opera, and only after that we recall that the capital of this country is Canberra. Though the city is often seen as a stopover between Melbourne and Sydney, Canberra is not only considering, but has been already implementing into reality a plan how to win hearts of all tourists.
Interesting not Only in City Centers. Residential Districts of the World
There are hardly many travelers who would go somewhere further than city centre where their hotel is situated when on a short-term journey. And if location is a metropolis on top of everything else, such “outside” trips are sure to be put on hold till better occasions. And vainly so because it is in residential districts where one can have a look at a foreign country with the eyes of its citizens which is far more educative than hurry-scurry tours around castles and squares.
Once upon the time, Pygmy peoples lived on the west coast of Africa. They did not have any conflicts with anyone. When they were hungry, they went hunting, picked up nuts and bananas. Then the Mpongwé and the Fang tribes came. After them, the Portuguese arrived and named these lands Gabon. They were followed by the French who acquired the land and declared it as their colony. Only in the middle of the past century, when Pygmies were very few, Gabon gained independence from foreigners…
Story of some street: Spiegelgasse
Spiegelgasse is originated from German collocation ‘Mirror street’ or ‘Mirror alley’. However, it is not the biggest and the most important street in Zurich. Moreover, it is vice versa, incredibly short and narrow… Well, being situated in the quiet nooks of the old city in such a way that no tourists could see it, Spiegelgasse is simply ingenious in its history. It is alive legend with the width in only 160 meters…
Impressions of this city depend much on what you have visited before being introduced to it. After Los Angeles it may seem very business-like and culturally rich, after New York – provincial and old-fashioned somehow. In any case, it has a bright and memorable face of a gentleman from Massachusetts. People with completely different interest will discover something to their tastes in it – there is a facet for each.
Despite many pessimistic forecasts of urbanists of the 20th century, on-street trammanaged to stand up competition withsubways, cars and other means of public transport, and even found a second wind in modern city.
The Japanese are very creative people, especially when it comes to rice. If they have some extra spare time and large spacious rice paddies, then routine process of growing an agricultural crop turns into art...
When you first hear about them, you do not believe your ears; when you first see them, you do not believe your eyes. Their passports have no photos, they do not pay taxes, do not do military service, they wear plain clothing, drive horse-drawn buggies, insulate themselves from modern conveniences, and, of course, have the most delicious food in the USA. Would you like to learn more?
Don’t get lost: the most interesting markets of Istanbul.
Eastern cities are hard to imagine without a huge number of the commercial places. It is in the genes of the local citizens to sell and buy regardless their age and status. Despite the fact that Istanbul is semi-European city, the metropolis has prominent oriental features. So as to know exactly where to go and what to buy, OUTLOOK talks about the most spectacular markets after returning from Istanbul.
Today we invite you to join our trip to the resort part of Georgia, to vicinity of the beautiful and cosy Borjomi town, the birthplace of the legendary Borjomi mineral water. One of the most popular and healthy mineral waters of the world, has been bottled here for several centuries.
VIDEO. Bethlehem: perfect holiness
The Embassy of Palestine in Ukraine and personally Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Mohammed Al-Assad organized a trip for journalists to Palestine. OUTLOOK team was among them. We launch a series of videos about this country and start with Bethlehem!
Concert "Dedication" by singer Viktor Rud was held in Kiev with the support of the German Embassy
The National Philharmonic of Ukraine with the support of the German Embassy hosted a concert of opera and chamber singer Viktor Rud. The event was held within the framework of the "Week of Germany in Ukraine" from 10 to 26 November in 14 cities of our country.
Outlook facebook page