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Schwebebahn salvage begins

:Thursday, April 15, 1999

Germany: Work has begun to salvage the Wuppertaler Schwebebahn train which fell into the River Wupper on Monday killing 4 people.
Click to enlarge
Photo: WSW
Raising the centre part of the train over the monorail infrastructure
Because of its situation, in the river and part of the train lying over piping for a district heating system, heavy lifting equipment has had to be brought in to remove the wreckage. It is thought that the train is irreparable.

Investigations are proceeding into the cause of the accident. A metal bracket was found lodged in the rail, which had been used by contractors carrying out restoration work at the weekend. The bracket should have been removed before the first train ran on Monday morning. It is not certain at present if this played a part in the derailment.

In a press statement WSW, operators of the railway stated that the contractors had informed them that the infrastructure and all the electrical and technical equipment was in a safe condition. The first train of the day was therefore allowed to proceed under this assurance.

The historic Schwebebahn, or "floating railway" has had an enviable safety record since it was opened by Kaiser Wilhelm in 1901. Although there have been a number of incidents with the monorail system, this is the first which has resulted in any fatalities. The most bizarre occurred in 1950 when a circus elephant was travelling in a train as a publicity stunt. The animal panicked, kicked through a door and jumped into the river below. It survived.

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Links

Shwebebahn Info
from WSW corporate website
info in english


Die Wuppertaler Schwebebahn

The Wuppertal Floating Train
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created on:   Thurday, April 15, 1999 11:33 PM

Copyright © David Fry 1999

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