Suchard chocolate factory funicular (Switzerland)

The 'Suchard' funicular



The Serriere dale

The Serriere river is with, the Seyon river, one of the two rivers which come from the Val de Ruz.
The Serriere river is one of the shortest river of Switzerland. Its spring, or re-emergence, is at 45 meters above the Neuchatel lake et its length is only 600 meters. The river dig a deep dale in the first foothills of the Jura mountain.

Since the XIVth century, factories were built into the dale so they can use the constant rate of flow of the river for their industries: sawmills, flour-milling industry, forges, paper mills, etc

In 1826, Philippe Suchard installed a chocolate factory in a building with a water wheel to grind the cocoa beans.

Philippe Suchard
Poster for the Philippe Suchard chocolate with as background, the Serriere dale.

The railway Les Verrieres-Neuchatel, part of the Jura-Simplon company,was unveiled in 1860. The railway line fly over the dale on a 27,40 meters high viaduct.

The fabrics in the dale cannot directly have the advantage of the railway which is too high. Several projects were examined to link the bottom of the dale to the new railway.

The Serriere dale in 1892.
The Jura-Simplon railway pass over the Serriere dale on the viaduct. The Suchard chocolate factories are smoking on the left bank of the river. Next, the Berthier bridge with the Tivoli street and in the backgroung the Neuchatel lake.
Note on the right bank of the river, the Decauville rails on which trolleys are pushed by the workers.
On the foregroung the building is part of the Serriere train station. It will be the upper station of the future funicular!

This is the Henri Ladame (1838-1926) project which was finally accepted.

The 'Société du plan incliné' company was created on April 22, 1890. The first works started on February 3, 1891. The first use of the new funicular was on June 2, 1892.


Map of the Serriere dale in 1896.

Click to enlarge!

Previous |  Next


# Funimag 27 #

Suchard chocolate factory funicular


The 'Suchard' funicular
- The Serriere dale
- Description of the funicular
- Today status

Les Battieux inclined plane

Game 27