Schwebebahn – Suspension Monorail
The suspension monorail or in German called „Schwebebahn“ is a local public transport in the city Wuppertal (Germany). With a footage of 13,3 kilometers, it is the oldest electric railway with hanging wagons in the world. Crossing 20 stations and driving above the river Wupper and the motorway A46 it is a very exciting tourist attraction.
The idea of this electric railway was born in the 19 century because of a need of a fast public transport. A solution for this problem had found the Cologne Engineer Eugen Langen who developed and constructed the railway.
On the 5th December 1898, Kaiser Wilhelm II with his wife Auguste Viktoria did the first test driving. After some following tests, it had been an official public transport for every passenger.
During the second world war, many parts of the overhead railway had been destroyed by the bombs and so the local transport was closed for a long time. Not only people had traveled with the carrying but also an animal or better an elephant called “Tuffi” had been on the hanging wagons by doing publicity for the circus but it had jumped into the river Wupper while driving. The animal survived with a scratch on his backside.
About 85,000 passengers use this transport everyday like we use the underground but here, you drive in the “sky”. When you are entering the railway, or you are sitting on your seat, you get the feeling like you are on a ship because it shuttles a little bit. The Wuppertal suspension railway is a very amazing and interesting method to get to the place you want to.