Fribourg / Neuveville-Saint Pierre

Fribourg, Switzerland

Text and photos by Michel AZEMA
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Fribourg / Neuveville-Saint Pierre (NStP)

The Société du Funiculaire Neuveville - Saint-Pierre was established the 1897 April 22nd to link together the two areas of Fribourg: Neuveville and Saint-Pierre.
The opening for the passengers was on 1899 February 4th. The funicular was managed by the Brasserie du Cardinal (brewery) from 1901 until 1965. In 1965, the city of Fribourg became the only shareholder of the company.
In 1970, the city of Fribourg gave up the installations to the public transportation of the city (Transports en commun de Fribourg).
The Transports en commun de Fribourg had the idea to renovate the funicular, to transform it into an electric funicular or an automatic one. Fortunately each time the project was gave up!

Today the Funiculaire Neuveville - Saint-Pierre is exactly in the state as in 1899, same cabins, same kind of energy. Neuveville - Saint-Pierre is the last Swiss funicular with water counterbalanced energy. This kind of energy is now very rare in the funicular world. It is now a very a rare species. I think all the funicular and railway lovers must protect and act to preserve the last ones.

The employee is holding the handle which regulates the brake. This brake operates a cog wheel onto a Riggenbach cog between the rails. The only thing the emplyee has to do is to turn the handle during the way down depending on the speed of the cabin.
Details of the wooden cabin. The funnel to fill the tank.
Detail of the tracks. The entire line is built on a bridge.
A very cute cabin!
The cabin is composed of two compartments of 10 persons each. One is open the other one is closed. Note the funnel.
The new station (1965) at Neuveville.
Detail of the tracks and the siding. Note between the rails the cable and the Riggenbach cog.
Saint-Pierre station. Note the Riggenbach cog between the rails.
Saint-Pierre station.
Explanation of the system of water conter-balanced funicular. The tank A is filled by the used water of the city of Fribourg.

Other photos of Neuveville - Saint-Pierre

fribur03.jpg (79Kb)
On 1991 August 29th, the two cabins were moved to the TF depot for renovation.
Collection: archives Club du Tramway de Fribourg
fribur04.jpg (95Kb)
The same day (1991 August 29th), the two cabins are removed from the tracks.
Collection: archives Club du Tramway de Fribourg
fribur05.jpg (148Kb)
Old picture of the original state.
Collection: GFM
Type of funicular
Type of tracks
Lower stationNeuveville (552 m)
Upper stationSaint-Pierre (610 m)
Diff. of levels58 m
Length121 m
Gradient (maximum)55 %
Gradient (minimum)49,5 %
Gauge1,2 m
Time of a ride2 mn
Number of cabin2
Passengers per Cabin20
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Copyright © 1996 by Michel Azéma, Paris (France)
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