Lonely Planet Writer

World’s steepest funicular railway opens in Swiss mountain village

The world’s steepest funicular railway has officially opened to the public in the alpine resort of Stoos in central Switzerland, featuring a futuristic design with rotating cylindrical carriages created to keep passengers upright throughout the entire exciting journey.

The Stoos Bahn climbs to over 2,400 feet over a distance of 1,738 metres.
The Stoos Bahn climbs to over 2400 feet over a distance of 1738 metres. Image by Stoosbahnen AG

Called the Stoos Bahn, the railway took 14 years to build, and cost approximately 52 million Swiss francs (€45 million). Running from the town of Schwyz to the car-free resort of Stoos, the funicular adjusts to the changing steepness of the slope with a tilting hydraulic floor, and climbs to over 2400 feet over a distance of 1738 metres. Travelling at approximately ten metres per second, the journey lasts between two and five minutes in total, and hits a maximum incline of 110%, breaking the record for world’s steepest funicular.

The eye-catching track lights up in a display of colour in the evening.
The eye-catching track lights up in a display of colour in the evening. Image by Roland Baumgartner

“The funicular railway from Schwyz to Stoos is the steepest in the world, and is a technical marvel that already turns the journey into an experience. Arriving on the Stoos Bahn, guests will discover a holiday paradise in summer and winter,” said Stoos-Muotatal tourism. As well as serving as a truly memorable experience for visitors and tourists, the railway was designed to connect local communities in the area.

The new attraction has broken the record for steepest funicular in the world.
The new attraction has broken the record for steepest funicular in the world. Image by Roland Baumgartner

With four cars, the funicular has the capacity to carry 136 people, with the track lighting up in a bright, eye-catching display of colour in the evening time. “After 14 years of planning and building, everyone is very proud of this train,” said Ivan Steiner, spokesman for the railway.