Wuppertaler Schwebebahn, or Wuppertal's suspended monorail, is one of the most impressive infrastructures of the first age of industrialization. It's at the German city with the same name, formerly called Barmen-Elberfeld, and undamaged survived to two World Wide Wars. It's still working, although the adaptations required by the nowadays rules of security, and it's one of the main attractions of a city where patrimonial elements of great interest aren't missing.
Conceived by the engineering Anton von Rieppel, around 1890, the monorail is a metallic structure along about 13km over the Wupper River course -- which named the city since 1930. A suspended monorail 12 meters over the surface of the river and 8 meters over the streets is the guide to two 24 meters length carriages which are able to transport 130 passengers at a 60 km/h speed. The infrastructure was the first big construction of MAN A.G. (Maschinenfabrik Augsburg-Nürnberg A.G.), company that was also responsible for the development of the famous Rudolf Diesel's diesel fuel motor, and took eight years to be concluded -- only in 1908.
In 1949, a report made by the famous LIFE magazine, with photographs taken by Charles E. Steinheimer, made this visionary and exceptional work known towards the eyes of the world. Until our days, it makes us wander that we're in front of some kind of retro-futurism science fiction movie scenery.
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