Swiss technology is due to hit new heights on Friday when the world’s steepest funicular line opens at one of its Alpine resorts.
Swiss President Doris Leuthard will officially open the $52.6 million project running from Schwyz to the mountain village of Stoos, which lies 4,300 feet above sea level in central Switzerland.
The barrel-shaped carriages adjust their floors so passengers can still stand upright even as they climb towards the Alpine plateau at inclines of up to 110 percent.
The train, which will go into public service on Sunday, will climb 2,437 feet over a span of 5,702 feet, at speeds of up 32 feet per second.
The modern carriages will have a level adjusting function that will allow all the passengers to stay in a horizontal position as the train speeds up the steep mountain at a speed of 10 meters per second.
The train, that looks like beer barrels, will ensure that the passengers are sitting upright throughout the 1,720-meter track when the train is ascending and descending.
The train will be running about 50 km south of Zurich from the valley station near Schwyz into the mountain village of Stoos.
“After 14 years of planning and building, everyone is very proud of this train,” said Ivan Steiner, spokesman for the railway.
According to the Gondola Project, a website dedicated to cable propelled transport systems, the project had faced many challenges even before the work began and it faced hold-ups when the construction finally began in 2013.
“Designers analyzed 15 different options before selecting the existing route alignment and technology,” it wrote.
The design of a traditional aerial gondola funicular was not an option as it would have had to pass through an active shooting range.
“The Stoos funicular is designed with an inclination adjustment system. This means that the four 34-passenger rotating cabins on each train remain horizontally level throughout the journey.”
Previously, the Gelmerbahn funicular at Bern was the steepest in the world, with a maximum gradient of 106%.
Information and images sourced from hindustantimes