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Schwebebahn Dresden

From: Dresden, Germany

Schwebahn cable car Dresden LEFT: The Schwebebahn ascends 84.2 meters or 276 feet from the River Elbe. The one-of-a-kind monorail overhead railway was built in 1901.

Schwebebahn carriage The German word "Schwebebahn" means "suspension railway," and Germany has two famous examples of the overhead monorail concept: The Schwebebahn Wuppertal, which runs some 13 km or 8 miles through the streets of an industrial city in North Rhine-Westphalia, and its smaller but even older predecessor: The Schwebebahn Dresden, which opened for business in 1901 and is the oldest suspension railway in the world.

Dresden's Schwebebahn is unique for another reason: Unlike other monorail systems, it's a Bergbahn or mountain railway that runs 273.8 meters or 898 feet up a steep hillside, with an elevation difference of 84.2 meters or 276 feet between its lower and upper stations.

Schwebebahn Dresden guide railsAt first glance, you might assume that the Dresdner Schwebebahn is just another funicular railway, but a closer look will reveal its one-of-a-kind design: Instead of riding on tracks, the counterbalanced cars are suspended from overhead girders or guide rails. (It's worth noting that the system was designed by Eugen Langen, who went on to build Wuppertal's monorail transit system.)


Elbe River from SchwebebahnThe Schwebebahn Dresden is located along the River Elbe in Loschwitz, next to the "Blaue Wunder" bridge a few kilometers downstream from Dresden's city center.

You can reach the Schwebebahn from central Dresden with the DVB, the city's public-transportation network. Download the DVB Route Timetables for the Schwebebahn, or simply ride tram 6 or 12 to Schillerplatz, then cross the Elbe via the bridge to the Schwebebahn's lower station at Körnerplatz.

More information:

See the DVB's "Hillside railways" page, then view our captioned Schwebebahn photos on page 2 of this article.

Next page: More Schwebebahn photos

In this article:
Schwebebahn Dresden
More Schwebebahn Photos

Also see:
Dresden Travel Guide
More Articles About Dresden

2nd inset photo copyright © Martina Berg.