The first and only suspended monorail train in the world can be in Wuppertal, Germany. It is called Wuppertal Schwebebahn or Wuppertal Floating Tram with a full name of “Electric Elevated Railway (Suspension Railway) Installation, Eugen Langen System” (Anlage einer elektrischen Hochbahn (Schwebebahn), System Eugen Langen). It is even dubbed as one of the world’s oldest monorails that is operating up to this day. Another unique thing about it is that, the train’s model was NEVER copied for “public transit” anywhere else in the world.
The Schwebebahn was opened in 1901 were industrialization was at its peak in Wuppertal. Even with all the construction of roads for all the carriages ad pedestrian, there is still really hard to make underground subways because of the presence of rocks and lots of groundwater. And the only solution for the engineers is to go aerial.
The hanging train really became a trademark for the city and up to this day, it’s still the easiest and the fastest way to roam around the city.
The suspension railway stretches about 13.3 kilometers (8.3 miles). Most of the track runs at about 12 meters above the Wupper River.
From its opening in 1901, the Schwebebahn operated over 98 years before it recorded its very first fatal accident and thus quite correctly, can be considered one of the safest public transit system in the world. It was on April 1999 when the train first derailed and crashed down into the river Wupper, taking away the lives of 5 passengers and 49 injured.
Today, the Wuppertal Schwebebahn still carries up to 82,000 passengers per day through the city. Reconstruction of te frames have been already done to maintain the structures and safety of the passengers.
Here’s a video of the operation of the hanging train in Germany.
It would be really amazing to go and ride on this train anytime soon.
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