Straussee Ferry – Strausberg, Germany - Atlas Obscura
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Strausberg, Germany

Straussee Ferry

A unique, free-floating electric ferry may be the only of its kind in Europe. 

Straussee Ferry is the only free-floating electric ferry in Europe, getting its power through an overhead wire.

The Strausberg Railway launched the Straussee Ferry in 1915, a single vessel named “Steffi”. She may be the only vessel in a fleet of one, but she can transport 100 people at a time—more than enough to earn her keep in this picturesque German community.

While the U.S. has some passenger cable ferries like Steffi, in Europe she seems to be the only one. Running purely off of electricity, her overhead line is a power supply consisting of a single wire fed with a DC of 170 volts, using the lake as a return conductor.

Gliding across Straussee Lake, as she shuttles passengers between Brandenburg and Strausberg, Her travel distance spans a distance of about 800 yards, the journey lasting around 7 minutes.

Straussee Ferry travels daily, but only until the Straussee freezes, then Steffi ceases operation until warmer weather allows.