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March 2, 2020

The World’s Oldest Electric Elevated Railway: 20 Vintage Photos of Wuppertal Schwebebahn in Germany in the 1940s

The Wuppertaler Schwebebahn (Wuppertal Suspension Railway) is a suspension railway in Wuppertal, Germany. Designed by Eugen Langen to sell to the city of Berlin, the installation with elevated stations was built in Barmen, Elberfeld and Vohwinkel between 1897 and 1903; the first track opened in 1901. It is the oldest electric elevated railway with hanging cars in the world and is a unique system. The Schwebebahn is still in use today as a normal means of local public transport, moving 25 million passengers annually (2008).

Construction on the actual Schwebebahn began in 1898, overseen by the government’s master builder, Wilhelm Feldmann. On 24 October 1900, Emperor Wilhelm II participated in a monorail trial run.

In 1901 the railway came into operation. It opened in sections: the line from Kluse to Zoo/Stadion opened on March 1, the line to the western terminus at Vohwinkel opened on May 24, while the line to the eastern terminus at Oberbarmen did not open until June 27, 1903. Around 19,200 tonnes (18,900 long tons; 21,200 short tons) of steel were used to produce the supporting frame and the stations. The construction cost 16 million gold marks. The railway was closed owing to severe damage during World War II, but reopened as early as 1946.

Due to an accident in November 2018, the Schwebebahn was closed down for nearly nine months. It re-opened on August 1, 2019.


  1. Amazing what people can do,When they set mind's,hearts and hands to work.Love these old photo's

  2. ๐“๐ก๐ž ๐–๐ฎ๐ฉ๐ฉ๐ž๐ซ๐ญ๐š๐ฅ ๐’๐œ๐ก๐ฐ๐ž๐›๐ž๐›๐š๐ก๐ง
    Germany (Glider - Hanging Train) History of the special transport track.
    ๐‘ฐ ๐’‰๐’‚๐’—๐’† ๐’•๐’“๐’‚๐’—๐’†๐’๐’†๐’… ๐’Š๐’ ๐’•๐’‰๐’Š๐’” ๐‘ฎ๐’๐’Š๐’…๐’†๐’“ ๐’Ž๐’‚๐’๐’š ๐’•๐’Š๐’Ž๐’†๐’”.

    The Schwebebahn Wuppertal is the most important public transport system in Wuppertal. Mounted on a 13.3 kilometer long, 7- to 13-meter-tall iron bridge, the monorail provides a nice view to all who ride on it.
    Despite looking like something out of the future, the suspended monorail is quite old. Originally proposed in 1824, the cars were to be pulled by horse teams on the ground. While a prototype was built, the full system was never constructed for political reasons. But in 1898 the idea of a suspended monorail was dusted off, this time to be powered by electricity. Building started in 1901, and by 1903, at a cost of 16 million Goldmark, the monorail was open. Emperor Wilhelm II took the inaugural ride.




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