24
Jun

2010

The Koblenz Rheinseilbahn Is Open For Business

Post by Steven Dale

The vehicles of the Koblenz Rheinseilbahn. Not the clear effort to make the system more in line with standard transit vehicles. Image from Wikicommons by Azumanga.

Apparently the Koblenz Rheinseilbahn just opened to the public this past month. As is typical for the cable industry, this rather monumental opening came with virtually no publicity or media awareness.

In an earlier post I suggested that the installation is temporary, which apparently is a mistake. The system can be removed if need be, but the hope is that it will remain a fundamental part of the city.

As I understand it, the system is not fully-integrated into the public transit network, and has only two stations but it is certainly a fine example of an Urban Gondola system, given its environs. In fact, from the images so far, it’s probably the most “transit-oriented” system yet – at least from a design perspective.

Vehicles have the distinct look of transit and avoid that cheap ski lift appearance. The all-glass exterior gives the vehicles an airiness and slickness that prevents them from looking comical. Meanwhile, the stations are wonderfully slim in profile, and the towers appear to have a somewhat low profile, impressive, given the typical size of other 3S system towers.

Currently, there’s virtually no images on Flickr of the system, little in the way of publicly accessible research and few quality videos (the best I could find is embedded below). There is, however, a German Wikipedia page.

As many readers of The Gondola Project hail from Switzerland, Germany and Austria (thank you, Google Analytics), I’d be great if one or two of you could take the time to pull out some important details from the page and include them in the comments for English speaking readers.

With my limited German, I can glean that the vehicles hold 35 people and the system has a capacity of 3,800 pphpd, but not much more. I’ll keep an eye open for more information as it comes available. If anyone else out there, however, can find something, please post it in the comments below.

The Koblenz Rheinseilbahn's upper terminal. Wikimedia Commons image by Schängel.



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Comments

  1. The irony is that this thing was built for the Bundesgartenschau 2011 in that city, so it's very similar to a gondolar connecting an Expo. The German Wikipedia article says it is supposed to be torn down in three years because the site is a UNESCO heritage site. It also says there is a citizen's initiative called "Pro Seilbahn" (Pro Gondola/Rope train), which is working for the thing to stay. It says nothing about integration with the public transit system. This system is again a gondola that goes over a river. River crossings and getting up on a mountain seem to be the main uses for gondolas right now, so this project doesn't necessarily prove the general appeal of 3s for public transit.