FUNIMAG, the magazine of the funiculars

Dorfbahn Serfaus
Austria flag

Text and photos by Michel Azéma

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Dorfbahn Serfaus - Introduction

( Dorf = Village, Bahn = Train )

Unbelievable but true, since 1985 the small alpine village of Serfaus (Tyrol) conceals a real subway. In fact it is the smallest subway in the world and this subway is an air cushion cable subway!.. and it is free!!!

The small village, located on an alpine pasture above the Inn river, became a winter sports resort in the thirties with the beautiful snowfields of Komperdell.

In the seventies the council decided to transform Serfaus in a pedestrian village. A large parking was build at the entrance of the village and the skiers must have to get on buses to reach the ski lifts at the other end of the village. But with the success of the winter sport resort and the increased number of vacationers, the traffic quickly became unbearable.

In spring 1984, the Serfaus council began to think about a new way to transport this big amount of people and on December 1984 the 8th the council approved the new project of the Freissler-Otis firm:
a one-track underground train moved by a funicular system and leant on air cushions to eliminate the vibrations!

Click here to see the Dorfbahn Serfaus

Serfaus (Tyrol)
General view of the Serfaus village and its main street.
Difficult to imagine that just under this street operates a real subway!!
The name of the main street: Dorfbahnstrasse.

 On the main street of Serfaus, Dorfbahnstrasse, you can still see some traditional cow sheds (étable) like this one with the also traditional dunghill (tas de fumier).

On the door are fixed many agricultural show awards.

Above the door are fixed two cow decorations.

Just less than 2 meters under this cow shed runs the automatic air cushion cable subway!




Tyrol logo

The Tyrol province. Note that the area of Lienz (East-Tyrol) is separated from the area of Innsbruck since the end of the World War I and the treaty of Saint-Germain (1919). The South-Tyrol has been attached to Italy.

Serfaus map

 Map of Serfaus on the plateau above the Inn river.

(U-Bahn = subway)


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Copyright 1998 by Michel Azéma, Paris (France)
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