In the heart of Switzerland, a world-record technical innovation awaits you: the steepest funicular in the world, which climbs from Schwyz to Stoos.
This is Stoosbahn. A real miracle of Swiss engineering. Engineers have designed this fantastic train to carry passengers from the bottom of the valley on an almost vertical slope of 110% to the beautiful village of Stus and its bustling ski resort, according to a video by National Geographic.
For the people of Stoos, the railway is vital.
In winter there is no road to connect the village with the rest of the country. This is the only entrance and exit.
Marcel Elmer is a train technician. He manages it from the control room and is responsible for the train arriving on time in sun, rain and snow.
“This is an unusual railway not only for Switzerland and Europe, but also for the whole world. “Guests come from afar to ride the train,” he said.
On such a steep route, in an ordinary car, passengers will fall from their seats. That is why the train is equipped with ingenious solutions.
The wagons are connected by two hydraulic cylinders, which rotate them in sync as the train ascends. In this way, passengers remain in balance, whether the road is flat or steep.
No steps to climb
The new funicular railway in Stoos has achieved worldwide fame thanks to its futuristic design and innovative technology as well as its spectacular setting. The system of automatic balancing developed by the Swiss manufacturer Garaventa keeps the cabin floors level no matter what the incline. At the valley stations and in Stoos there are no flights of steps, which would be a problem for travellers with luggage, walkers or wheelchairs, explains Steiner.
“This was one of our particular wishes to facilitate transport of passengers and even goods too. There are other systems that can compensate for the gradient, but this is the only one that lets you have very compact cabins, something really essential since the railway has to go through three tunnels,” he says.