Switzerland has unveiled a new double-decker cable car, reportedly the first one in the world, near the city of Lucerne. The cable car, christened The Cabrio, soars up the Stanserhorn mountain at a dizzying height of 1.9km carrying 60 passengers at a time, with room for 30 on the open-air top deck.
According to SpotCoolStuff.com, however, Cabrio is not the world’s only aerial tram with double-deck cabins. There are two others: the Vanoise Express that traverses the Ponturin gorge in France and the Shinhotaka Ropeway that climbs Mount Hotaka in Japan. But both have enclosed upper floors. The Cabrio is the only one with an open-air deck that offers magnificent and unobstructed view of the valley below.
The journey starts in the village of Stans, about a 15-minute car or train ride from downtown Lucerne. The cable car base station sits at 711 meters above sea level, and to access it one must first ride one of the world’s oldest functioning funiculars. Dating from 1891, the wood and wrought-iron funicular that brings passengers from the village of Stans to the Cabrio base station has a charm of it’s own - its vehicles adorned with frosted glass and curtains.
The length of the new cable car is 2.3 kilometers - a journey the cable car will complete at an impressive speed of eight meters a second. Six-and-a-half minutes after hopping on the Cabrio aerial tramway, riders are brought to the top of Stanserhorn Mountain at a height of 1,850 meters. Along the way, up to 30 passengers per cable car can stand in the open air on the top deck. The lower deck is made entirely of glass wall and gives passengers an equal sense of vertigo, minus the whipping wind.
Speaking at the launch of the cable car in London, the Mayor said the Cabrio is a must-see destination in its own right. “Get on this cable car immediately. It’s beautiful, worth every penny and a stunning piece of engineering”, he added.
Jurg Balsiger, Director of the Stanserhorn Railway Company, said the cable car was about creating an 'unforgettable' experience: “Swiss state-of-the-art innovation has created a spectacular but safe new dimension in Alpine travel.”
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