The World's First (and only) Double-Decker Open Cable Car

Interesting Engineering

stanshorn [Image Source: Maverick Baker/Interesting Engineering]

Hitch a ride aboard the world's first - and only - double-decker open cable car.

The “CabriO” cable car located in Stanserhorn, Switzerland,  is the world’s first (and only) cable car featuring a roofless upper deck. The cable car hosts some of the world's most impressive technology, able to carry 60 people in one trip while escalating 2,320 meters, rising 1139 m in altitude.


The cable car has a conveying capacity of 465 guests per hour, reaching a top speed of 8 meters per second. A massive 465 kW motor powers the cables which pull the car up two other supporting cables. The construction of the cable car required special consideration into how the machine will function. The massive 5-meter wide car carries up to a maximum capacity of  16,500 kg. In order to sustain that weight, the car rolls along two 66 mm steel weighing 3.53 kg per meter. Because the supporting guide wires are incredibly heavy and difficult to wind, the car uses alternate cables to pull it up the mountain. The journey will take you about 6 and a half minutes.

engine roomAn inside look at the engine room [Image Source: Maverick Baker/Interesting Engineering]

The cable car first launched in 2010 and is entirely Swiss-made - down to the last screw. The project cost about CHF 28.1 Million (about US 29 million).

To get there, however, you get to ride up the once record-breaking funicular- the longest cable car built in 1893. The old funicular was also the first mountain-railway to be powered by electricity. It took three separate sections to reach the top, taking a whopping 55 minutes (fortunately, with the new cable car, it has been cut down to a much more reasonable 15 minutes). In the case of a power failure, a steam boiler was available to power the cars.  One part of the old cable car is still in operation- even after 120 years of operation. In 1970, however, a lightning strike caused a massive fire which burnt down a 100-bed hotel and restaurant saw the operations get shut down.

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While the fire caused massive damage, one section of the railway has remained unchanged for over 100 years, the same one which you get to enjoy on the way up to the CabriO.

The new cable car lets you enjoy the breeze through your hair with a 360-degree panoramic view of the surrounding beautiful lakes and mountains. You can book your trip to the top of Mount Stanserhorn aboard the CabriO on their website.

SEE ALSO: 42 Km Long Abandoned Limestone Cableway

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