Nerobergbahn – Wiesbaden, Germany - Atlas Obscura

Wiesbaden, Germany

Nerobergbahn

A rare water-powered funicular, it uses a huge tank of water and gravity to do its work. 

A 440 metres long funicular railway in the city of Wiesbaden linking Neroberg hill to its north, Nerobergbahn opened in 1888, and is one of the few remaining funiculars to use water propulsion.

At the upper station, tanks on the downbound car are filled with up to 7,000 litres of water in order to ensure that it is heavier than the upbound car. The downbound car then pulls the upbound car uphill under the power of gravity and by means of a 452 m long steel cable. When the downbound carriage arrives at the lower station, the water is discharged and pumped back uphill.

In 1939, it was planned to convert the line to electric propulsion, and to provide larger cars, but the outbreak of World War II prevented this. The line was taken out of service in 1944 due to war damage, but service was restarted in 1948. In 1988 the line was protected as a technical monument by the State of Hesse.

Nerobergbahn is operated only in the summer months as there is danger of freezing in the winter.

Know Before You Go

There is an automated ticket machine at the base that can change to read in many languages.