Cologne Rheinseilbahn

23
Jun

2017

Photo of the Week: Cologne Cable Car (Kölner Seilbahn)

#seilbahnköln #köln #seilbahn#cologne

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21
Sep

2010

The Cologne Rheinseilbahn

The Cologne (Köln) Rheinseilbahn

The Cologne (Köln) Rheinseilbahn. Image by Stephen Burch.

Given last week’s dedication to the new Rheinseilbahn in Koblenz, a reader of The Gondola Project drew my attention to another Rheinseilbahn.

This one, located in Cologne, Germany also crosses the Rhine River and – like the one in Koblenz – was built as a supplement to the annual BUGA horticultural fair.

Unlike the Koblenz system, however, the Cologne Rheinseilbahn was built in 1957!!!

According to the system’s wikipedia entry, the Cologne Rheinseilbahn is less than 1 km in length, carried 14 million people between 1957 and 2004 without accident, and now carries roughly 300,000 people per year. It is considered to be Cologne’s safest means of transport.

Now, yes, this must be taken with a grain of salt. It is, after all, a wikipedia entry. There is no reference for who feels that it’s Cologne’s safest means of transport. Further, the system doesn’t transport any where near as many people as a bus or LRT system would during a given year.

According to the official Kölner Seilbahn website, the system only runs from 10 am to 6 pm, from April 1st to November 1st. That basically means the system carries 300,000 people per year while operating just 8 out of 24 hours a day, 7 out of 12 months of the year.

Yet even with these low ridership figures, a near perfect safety record is something to admire and contemplate. Cologne’s public transit network is, after all, multi-modal. It combines light rail, bus, commuter rail, water ferries, bike trails and (of course) the private automobile. That a 53 year old BDG tourist-based gondola should be considered the safest of all is worthy of consideration.

(Note: I say “near perfect safety record” because the wikipedia entry doesn’t address safety issues post-2004. It is entirely possible that the system has maintained it’s perfect record since 2004, but without that information, it’s impossible to say.)

I hesitate to hold up the Cologne system as any sort of standard-bearer. There is too little research and information available in English for me to make any sort of qualitative judgement about it. At the same time, I think it’s a system that could lead to some interesting insights.

So…

If anyone out there has ridden this system; has more information on it; or can just generally help expand our understanding of it, please contribute in the comments below.



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