More informatoin about the Niesenbahn


Although the Niesenbahn runs on steep rails, it has no cogwheels. A cable connects two railway carriages and is deflected by two pulleys. So it’s a funicular railway, or better two, because the 3,499 m long line is divided into two sections. Two carriages run on the Mülenen-Schwandegg section and another two carriages between Schwandegg and Niesen Kulm.

The maximum gradient is 66% on the first section and even 68% on the second. The rising tracks leave one or two guests with a queasy feeling. But safety is guaranteed at all times. On the one hand, the tensile strength of the wire rope is designed for a load eight times higher, on the other hand, several automatic brakes on the wagon and machines monitor the ride. In the unlikely event that the cable breaks, the safety brake on the wagon brings it to a standstill after only one metre, even under full load.

Over 100 years of the Niesenbahn

26 August 1906 was the first working day for the construction of the funicular railway up the Niesen. By 1910, an average of over 200 men were working on this demanding structure. At that time, neither cranes nor helicopters were available. An auxiliary construction made of wood and the manual labour of the workers made this difficult construction possible. On 15 July 1910, the Niesenbahn opened for business and the first guests were transported up the Niesen.


Valley station Mülenen 693 metres
Middle station Schwandegg1669 metres
Mountain station Niesen Kulm2336 metres
Niesen summit with viewing platform2362 metres
Travel time Mülenen – Niesen Kulm30 minutes

Technical data

1. Section 2. Section
Funicular length2111 metres 1388 metres
Gradientmax. 66 % max. 68 %
Travel time14 minutes 12 minutes
Wire rope load capacity80 tons (8-fold safety) 80 tones