City with a Steampunk Spirit

The city I’m talking about is Wuppertal in western Germany. It’s home to Schwebebahn or suspended monorail which was opened in 1901. Its full name is the Eugen Langen Monorail Suspension Railway (Einschienige Hängebahn System Eugen Langen). Of course the city doesn’t have a steampunk look now. However, the old pictures of the town tell us a different story.

Here are some numbers and details about the monorail.

The route is 13.3 kilometers (about 8 miles) long, about 12 meters (36 feet) above the surface of the river Wupper between Oberbarmen and Sonnborner Strasse and 8 meters (24 feet) above the streets.

The train consist of 2 cars like trams in Eastern Europe. The cars are 24 meters long and have 4 doors. One carriage can seat 48 and stand approximately 130 passengers. The top speed of the monorail train is 60 km/h (40 mph).

The last 2 photos are of modern Wuppertal.

{ 26 comments to read ... please submit one more! }

  1. Why is there an elephant in photo #6, being pushed off the car?
    Just wondering.

  2. Very very pretty but ummmmmm what is up with picture 6….. is that an elephant falling?

  3. That’s an elephant being pushed out of the carriage in pic #6, right?

  4. So uh… What’s with the elephant?

  5. I fail to see where the ‘Steam’ part comes in, Punk.

  6. FYI:
    The elephant incident happened on 07/21/1950.

    Elephant Tuffi rode the Schwebebahn to promote a performance of the Circus Althoff.

    After a short ride Tuffi broke through the side panels and landed in the River Wupper below.

    No serious injury, only a scratch on his buttocks.

    Source: Website of the City of Wuppertal (

  7. You should upload the picture of the elephant jumping to wikipedia to be part of the entry on the elephant who jumped — her name was Tuffi.

    Having a picture of the jump that made her famous in her article would fantastic!

  8. Wow, I think you may well be onto something here!

  9. Why is there an elephant hanging off the car in the 6th photo?

  10. What is that elephant doing in the sixth image?

  11. What’s with the elephant in pic 6? Am I seeing things?

  12. That’s pretty cool, but what’s with picture #6? Is that an elephant?!?

  13. Amazing construction, but why the diving elephant in the 6th photo???

  14. Ok, so what is with the elephant jumping out of the train over the water?

  15. Germans rock!

  16. Is there an elephant falling out the carriage in picture 6?

  17. Is there an elephant falling out the carriage in picture 6?

  18. What the Hell? Is that an ELEPHANT jumping/falling out of the cart in pic #6?! Someone pls explain.

  19. Please just have a look three rows above :-) –> YES, it is an elephant…

  20. Guy who can't read the older comments for the answer

    Why is there an elephant?

  21. Remember when this used to be a cool, regularly updated blog?

  22. whats up with blog?

  23. So uh… What’s with the elephant?

  24. The 6th response answered the question about the elephant…yet the next 16 responses ask the same question over and over again.

    How so friggin’ difficult is it to first check what others have written before you pipe in with your own redundant comments?

    I swear, this world is coming to an end much more quickly than I had hoped !

  25. how can I get a photo of the elephant jumping from the monorail?

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