Suspension Railway - Monorail

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The Suspension Railway/Monorail since Emperors time till now

Around 1890, the inventor, design engineer and business man Carl Eugen Langen started working on the development of an overhead railway rail system for public transportation. He came upon the idea in a sugar factory in Cologne, where material was transferred through small passages on a hanging, overhead railway.

Once the counties of Berlin, Munich and Wroclaw rejected his idea of a “hanging railway system” for public transportation, the courageous council of the narrow valley along the River Wupper (a river in the north-west German region) decided to build the “Schwebebahn” (suspension railway/monorail) to handle the rising local traffic. Above the Wupper there was enough space but the construction of underground railway was not possible due the to the inconvenient condition of the ground.        

In summer of 1898 construction of the suspension railway/monorail scaffold began, 19,2000 tons of iron were distributed and 17 train stations were evolved. His majesty, Emperor Wilhelm II, with spouse Auguste Viktoriana along with companions floated on October 24, 1900, from train station “Doppersberg” through the valley of the Wupper.

This affectionately restored train with wagon number 5 runs on weekends for promotional trips or to morning pints with beer and snacks. In additionm a number of couples have married in the emperor’s wagon above the River Wupper.

The first stretch between the train station Kluse and Zoo was opened for public transportation on March 1, 1901. The total 13.3 km long route between the terminus - with turning areas-Oberbarmen and Vohwinkel, was completed on June 27, 1903. A train transports up to 200 persons with an average speed of 27 km/h. The transportation time of the complete route takes 35 minutes. With a short train distance, the suspension railway can transport approx. 50,000 people a day. At present, all scaffolds, support frames, and trains station are gradually being replaced with new more stable materials in order to compensate for the increasing local traffic with shorter train distances and greater speeds by 2003.

Klick here for the models of the Wuppertal Suspension Railway in differnt versions from Lutz Hielscher!


© Peter Bosbach

On the 100th anniversary of the opening of the Wuppertal Suspension Railway/Monorail, the manufacturer, Lutz Hielscher, Wuppertal (Germany) began the series production in small scale H0 (1:87) and N (1:160) gauge models. In 2002 the “Eisenbahn” (“Railway”) magazine awarded its annual prize in its “remarkable technology” category to this suspension railway model.

 Suspension Railway (Hinge Train)

 Suspension Railway (Emperor's Wagen)


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