World’s Steepest Funicular Railway in Stoos, Switzerland

Staking claim as the world’s steepest funicular railway is the Stoosbahn, a rail transportation system that lies on the steep incline of the picturesque canton of Schwyz, connecting the Hintere Schlattili in the municipality of Schwyz with the village and mountain resort of Stoos, above Morschach in Switzerland. Stretching some 1,738 meters (5,702 feet), this €44.6 million (around US$52 million) mountain tram system will see its unique barrel-like carriages climbing 743 meters (2,438 feet), scaling an incline of 110 percent at 10 meters/second (about 33 feet/second).

The unique aspect of this funicular railway is in the barrel-like carriages which feature level-adjusting cabins that maintain the interior on a horizontal plane as the carriages make its way up or down the intimidating incline. Unlike traditional gondola where it has sloping floor, the 34 passengers on each cabin will be able to move around freely because the floor they are on is always leveled. A glass construction with, presumably, steel frame, affords passengers with virtually unobstructed, breathtaking panorama view of the mountainous surroundings.

Construction of this engineering marvel began way back in 2013 and it is not until recently that Stoosbahn has thrown its doors open to transport folks between Hintere Schlattili and village and mountain resort up top. Now, here’s the thing. We are not quite sure if it is indeed the “world’s steepest” funicular, but to scale 110 percent is in itself an engineering feat. Why do we have a feeling that National Geographic will be making a documentary about it? Or did they already made it? Anyways, skip ahead for a couple of videos of this engineering marvel in action.

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Images: Standseilbahnen.

via designboom.