FUNIMAG, the magazine of the funiculars

The drawbridges of the funicolare San Antonio - Passo Mendola
(Standseilbahn St. Anton - Mendelpass)

Text and photos by Michel Azéma

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The drawbridges

The funicular San Antonio - Passo Mendola included a special feature which is most probably unique in the world! It included two drawbridges to allow vehicles to pass over the track of the funicular. The bridges were vertically raised when the cabins of the funicular were passing.

The two drawbridges are not used anymore since the seventies. Only the bridge A is still there but it is fixed in the vertical position, the bridge B has been completely removed and replaced by an underground passage under the track.

San Antonio
The two drawbridges (A and B on the map) are located near the church of San Antonio (St. Anton) where two small roads are crossing the track of the incline railway.

Drawbridge A

The drawbridge A is frozen in the vertical position to permanently allow the passing of the cabins. The vehicles cannot pass over the rails anymore, only a small passage can be used by the pedestrians.

At the end of the rails, the bottom station of San Antonio with one of the two cabins of the funicular.


Drawbridge A and church
The drawbridge A is composed of two half of a square diagonally cut in two parts.
Each half is composed of a metal structure with a wooden floor.
On the photo the part of the bridge on the right is still with a useless guardrail.

The drawbridge A

Between the two parts of the bridge you can see the Mendola Pass (Passo Mendola, Mendelpass).

You can also note the small hole, in the concrete on the right part of the road. The hole is used to pass the cables which commanded the two drawbridges (see next page for more details about the commands of the drawbridges).

Drawbridge A and Mendola Pass

Drawbridge B

The drawbridge B

In fact it is the remains of the drawbridge B.
In the seventies the drawbridge B was destroyed by a cabin of the funicular !!!... The opening of the bridge was activated too late and one of the cabins of the funicular broke down the bridge.

Since this accident, the two drawbridges were not used anymore. The drawbridge B was removed and replaced by an underground passage for the pedestrians and the bicycles.

Note, on the right of the track, the cable which was used to command the bridge.


Menu | Introduction | The drawbridges | How the drawbridges were working | The funicular

Michel Azéma, Paris (France)
Photo Copyright © by Digimarc