The Niesen funicular runs on steep metal rails, but there are no cogs. A metal cable running around two wheels, joins two separate wagons together. The 3'499 meter ascent is divided in two sections with two wagons playing the Mülenen-Schwandegg section and two between Schwandegg and Niesen Kulm.


How the Niesenfunicular works

The maximum gradient is 66 % in the first and 68 % in the second section. For some guests the steep ascent looks rather precarious, but it is very safe. Firstly, the rupture strenght of the cable is 8 times the actual weight load it has to carry, and secondly the automatic brakes on the carriage to a full stop within one meter.

100 years Niesen Funicular

26th August 1906 was the first day of work on the construction of the new funicular railway to the Niesen summit. Until 1910, an average of over 200 men were employed on this challenging construction. In those days there were neither cranes nor helicopters. This complicated construction was achieved with the use of an auxiliary timber structure and manual labour. The Niesen Railway began services on 15th July 1910 and the first guests were carried up the mountain.


See a few historic pictures in our gallery


Valley Station Mülenen 693 meters
Middle Station Schwandegg 1669 meters
Terminus Niesen Kulm 2336 meters
Summit with viewing plattform 2362 meters
Travel time Mülenen - Niesen Kulm 30 minutes

Technical facts

  1st Section 2nd Section
Length of installation 2111 meters 1388 meters
Gradient max. 66 % max. 68 %
Duration of ascent 14 minutes 12 minutes
Cable breakage resistance 80 t

80 t