The opening of a new mountainside railway in the Swiss town of Stoos has broken records and awed riders. The €44.6 million ($53 million) funicular is hailed as the world’s steepest, carrying riders up nearly 2,500 feet at the mind-boggling incline of 110 percent.
The not-so-secret to its success is an innovative carriage design featuring four cylindrical cars that automatically adjust their horizon line as the tram ascends up its steep path. So the 34 passengers in each carriage cabin are never tilted in the orientation of the rails, but remain stable on the Stoosbahn’s 22-mph trip from Schwyz to the winter village of Stoos.
The cable-pulled tram was designed and installed by the Doppelmayr/Garaventa Group, which specializes in rope-based transport systems like cable cars, funiculars, and gondolas.
This particular funicular at Schwyz-Stoos took four years to complete, and replaces an older system that had been in operation since 1933.