The suspension railway in the city of Wuppertal, Germany, is a world-famous landmark that since 1901 has transported passengers through the air in hanging cars 40 feet above the ground. The designers of this special rail solution looked to the skies because of the cramped conditions at street level. When the railway was designed at the end of the 19th century, Wuppertal’s city center was densely built up, and the only place that could accommodate public transportation was the space above the Wupper River, the river that gave the city its name.
Today the railway runs along an eight-mile route, six miles of which are directly above the river. During rush hour, 22 three-carriage cars run at 10-minute intervals, often passing close to residential buildings. Thus the operator, WSW (Wuppertaler Stadtwerke) needs the cars to run as quietly as possible. To achieve this, the company is using an innovative solution from SKF – the EasyRail Airless wheel flange lubrication system, which reduces friction between the wheel flange and the rail edge, thereby cutting noise emissions considerably.