The Innsbruck Hungerburgbahn

Post by Steven Dale

The Hungerburgbahn "Hybrid" Funicular

I’m in transit today to visit the Innsbruck Hungerburgbahn. This should be a fascinating system to explore given that it is one of only a few so-called Hybrid Funiculars in the world.

As I understand it, the beauty of a Hybrid Funicular is that the chassis and the cabins align themselves separately from one another. That is, while the vehicle’s chassis is parallel to the track below, the cabins are parallel to the horizon. This allows a vehicle to move from a 0 degree gradient up to whatever maximum gradient is required but the passengers, meanwhile, are afforded maximum comfort without excessive leaning either forward or backward.

No spilled coffee in other words.

The embedded video below should help illustrate the concept, especially beginning at around the 0:50 mark. When watching the video, notice that the videographer has placed his camera on the vehicle’s dash; he/she’s not holding it. As the vehicle shifts through various inclinations, the camera is consistently oriented parallel to the horizon. This is only possible because the vehicle’s cabins orient themselves separate from the orientation of the chassis. If not, the camera would tilt forward or backward and fall from the dash.

Creative Commons image by Adam Sporka

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Funiculars / Innsbruck Hungerburgbahn / Urban Planning & Design
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