Text and Photos Michel Azéma

Funiculars of Switzerland

FüB - Fürigen Bahn

(photo Michel Azéma May 1992)

The west side of the Bürgenstock is not so steep and high as the north side where are the Bürgenstock Hotels and their funicular but, at Fürigen, the Fürigen Hotel operates its own funicular since 1924.
The small funicular links Fürigen and the hotel to the small cove of Harissen on the lake of the Four Cantons.

At the height of the season, the funicular operates each 20 minutes but off-season it operates on request only! How it works? If you want to go up to the top from Harissen the small wooden cabin is waiting at the bottom of the track (see photo on the right). You enter freely on the platform of the cabin. Then you have to press a button which is not the command of the funicular but it is in fact a bell to inform the hotel at the top that there is someone in the cabin who wants to go up. The cabin is watched by video camera and after several seconds the cabin goes up. When you arrive at the top station just in front the Hotel Fürigen, a person get out the hotel and then you have to pay your ride at this person.

When I used the Fürigen Bahn, in 1992, I remember that I found this "on request" way to operate very original. Since that day I have never retrieved such a way to use a funicular.


Technical Datas

Type of funicular
Type of tracks
Length 381,8 m
Harissen 437 m
Fürigen Hotel 640,7 m
Diff. of levels 203,7 m
Min. Gradient 53 %
 Max Gradient
 73 %
1 m
1,5 m/s
Time of a ride
2 x 16 pass.
Bell AG Kriens
Von Roll Habegger, Thun
Fürigen Hotel 
CH-6363 Fürigen am Bürgenstock
Tel. +41 (041) 618 69 69
Fax +41 (041) 618 69 00


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Michel Azéma, Paris (France)
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