Text and Photos Michel Azéma

Funiculars of Switzerland

SthB - Stanserhorn Bahn

(photo Michel Azéma May 1992)

Located near Stans, in the south of the Lake of Lucerne (Vierwaldensee), the Stanserhorn is a 1898m summit. The funicular was built in 1892 and 1893. The distance was too long to reach the summit from Stans with one funicular, so it was decided to divide the distance in three sections, in fact three concatenated funiculars and two intermediate stations for the transfers between the sections!

The first section, from Stans (alt. 450m) to Kälti (alt.714m), rises gently (17%) throught fields and pastures. There is a level crossing in the middle of this section, that is not very usual in the Funiculars World!

The second section goes entirely throught the forest into a narrow pass with a 52,5% gradient. When the line emerges from the forest, it arrives at the Blumatt transfer station (alt. 1221m).

From this point, the third section climbs through the pastures like a big S with an 63% average gradient. The line goes through a tunnel (length 140m) before arriving at the top of the mountain into the basement of the Stanserhorn Hotel (alt. 1851m).

In 1970, a big storm striked the hotel which was completly destroyed in the same way the engine of third section. The use of the funicular was stopped. An aerial cable way (teleferic) was built between Kätli and the summit to replace completly the second and third sections which were left in this state. In 1975, the Stanserhon Bahn restarted with only two sections: Stans-Kätli with the last funicular section and Kätli-Stanserhorn with the aerial cable way.

Actual state:

Actually, the first section is still in use with the original wooden cars. The rest of the two other funiculars sections are still visible, quite intact. Rails and sleepers are still there, the cables and their rollers have been removed.

The second section is completly recovered by the vegetation. The building of the Blumatt transfer station is intact. Two original cars are still under the roof covering the transfer platforms but without any wooden parts. The engine and the pulleys has been removed and are now displayed on the top of the Stanserhorn near the restaurant which has replaced the hotel.

The third section has some small walls (dams) across the track to prevent avalances. The tunnel is obturated.

For the funicular lovers we may regret that the aerial cable way was choosen in the 70's insteed of the rebuilding of the funicular sections. The teleferic is most often the predatory of the funicular, but without its charm and attraction.

June 30, 2012

Opening of the new Stanserhorn aerial cable car.
it is quite a revolutionary aerial cable car: the CabriO® from Garaventa.
The CabriO® is a Funifor aerial cable car composed of double deck cabins. The top deck is an open air deck on which the passengers are able to feel the sheer drop and the fresh air. The open deck communicates to the bottom deck with a little stair. The open deck has a capacity of 30 passengers and 60 passengers for the bottom deck.
The CabriO®, as every Funifor, is suspended onto two carrying cables and pulled by two tractor cables. The cabins are not suspended anymore but they are supported by the cables which are at the middle level between the two decks.

Videos of the Stanserhorn Bahn and the CabriO Bahn (July 9, 2012) (Videos Michel AZEMA)




Technical Datas

  1st Section A 2nd Section B 3rd Section C










Type of funicular

Type of tracks


Length 1550m 1090m 1275m
Lower station Alt. Stans
Upper station Alt. 714m 1221m Stanserhorn
Diff. of levels 264m 507m 630m
Aver. Gradient 17% 52,5% 63%
Time 9' 18' 21,5'
Speed 9m/s    
Manufacturer Doppelmayr-Von Roll
    Since 1975, these 2 sections have been replaced by an aerial cable way.
Stanserhorn-Bahn Gesellschaft Stans


Tel: +41 (0)41 618 80 40
Fax: +41 (0)41 618 80 48



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Michel Azéma, Paris (France)
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