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The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 10, Issue 11 (February 1, 1936)

Some Famous Mountain Railways

Some Famous Mountain Railways.

While New Zealand has been enjoying its glorious summer, winter sports have been in full swing in Europe. The winter sports habit brings good business to the railways, and this is especially true of the mountain railways of Central Europe.

Germany possesses an unusually large number of unique mountain lines. Perhaps the best known is the Zugspitze Railway, running from the town of Garmisch-Partenkirchen, in Upper Bavaria. The Zugspitze Railway climbs to a height of 9,718 feet, and is a technical masterpiece, with its combination of rails, sprocket-wheels and suspension cables. The line is operated by electricity, on 1,500 volt direct current, and is capable of carrying 7,200 persons up and down the mountain daily. Altogether, no fewer than five mountain railways have been brought into operation in the Bavarian Alps during the last ten years. In Western Bavaria there is operated the Allgau Cable Railway—the longest suspension cable railway in the world
St. Gothard Railway, and Amsteg Power Station, Swiss Federal Railways.

St. Gothard Railway, and Amsteg Power Station, Swiss Federal Railways.

— just over 2 ½ miles in length.

Another outstanding line is the Oberweissbacher mountain railway, near Schwarzburg. This system, although used only for goods traffic, claims to be the steepest railway in the world. It is 4,460 feet long, with an ascent of 1,049 feet. Goods wagons weighing 8 cwts. are placed on rollers, and drawn up this “precipice” by means of cable!