The history of the funicular railway at a glance

1873: Nikolaus Riggenbach, a Swiss engineer, is charged with planning a rack-and-pinion railway from a base station at Klingentor up to the castle and on via Molkenkur to Königstuhl.
1882: The first plans are produced for a combination of funicular and rack-and-pinion railway in Heidelberg.
1885: Establishment of the "Heidelberger Strassen- und Bergbahngesellschaft, Leferenz & Co.".
1887: Official memorandum on the railway project, which is to take the form of a combined rack-and-pinion and funicular railway from Zwingerstrasse, via the castle, to Molkenkur.
1888: Heidelberg city council grants the concession for construction and operation of a combined funicular and rack-and-pinion railway in Heidelberg. Kornmarkt is now planned as the base station.
1890: Grand opening of the lower funicular railway section from the base station at Kornmarkt up to Molkenkur via the castle.
1905: Groundbreaking ceremony for construction of the upper funicular railway section from Molkenkur up to Königstuhl. Replacement of the water-ballast drive system of the lower section by electric traction.
1907: The upper funicular railway section goes into service. Both sections now employ electric traction.
1961: The cars on the lower section are replaced; the railway is converted to a purely funicular system.
1990: Centenary of the lower railway section.
1997: Modernization work on both railway sections.
2004 The Heidelberg funicular railway is recognized as having particular historic cultural importance and is entered in the regional register of monuments.
2004/2005 The Heidelberg funicular railway re-opens to the public.
2010 Introduction of the Combi Ticket, later renamed the Castle Ticket, which includes entry to the castle grounds, wine cellar and German Pharmacy Museum with the train journey.
2014 A special inspection is carried out every ten years, which involves transporting the historic cars from the upper railway section to the manufacturer in Switzerland where they are checked and overhauled in March 2014.
2015 125-year anniversary of the lower railway section.


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Running speed, driving mechanism, gauge etc.

Find out what has changed since the renovation in 2005.

Maximum gradient:
43 per cent

Longitudinal profile of the funicular railways.
Longitudinal profile of the funicular railways.

© Heidelberger Straßen- und Bergbahn GmbH