The steepest cable car in the world was inaugurated yesterday in Stoos, Switzerland. With a maximum gradient of 110% (47.7 degrees) in the most inclined section, the funicular sets a new inclination record for means of transport belonging to the category of cable transport. The previous record belonged to the Gelmerbahn funicular near Bern, which still has the remarkable maximum gradient of 106%.
The funicular in Stoos consists of a convoy of four barrel-shaped cabins that can carry up to 34 passengers each. An interesting and innovative feature of the cabins is that the ground rotates to allow passengers to always remain standing in a comfortably vertical position regardless of the inclination of the tracks.
It costed almost 45 million euros, and it reaches a maximum speed of 10 meters per second. It joins, with 1’720 meters of rail, the village of Schlattli to that of Stoos, a pleasant, car-free community, at 1’306 meters above sea level, on the slopes of the Fronalpstock mountain. The altitude difference covered by the funicular is 743 meters.
The engineers who designed it evaluated 15 different technical solutions before making the choice, discarding for example the traditional cable car. Built in 14 years, the funicular is expected to soon become a very popular tourist attraction.