Suchard chocolate factory funicular (Switzerland)



Les Battieux inclined plane

Les Battieux inclined plane is located at the bottom of the Serrieres dale, near the Serriere river spring, buried in the vegetation. In summer, it is possible to pass over the incline without seeing it! In winter, the leaves thin out and it is easier to see the track. The inclined plane is in relatively in good overall condition but it is really more mysterious as the Suchard funicular.

According to our research's the inclined plane was owned by the paper factory. It was used to bring down the wood shavings necessary to make the pulp. The wood shavings were produced in a building at Les Battieux, located above the incline. A wood grater produced the shavings which were loaded into the inclined plane carriage and taken down directly into the paper factory. The inclined plane was also used to take up employees and equipments.

The inclined plane could be built around 1912, may be after a disagreement between the paper factory and 'Bossy & Cie' mills. In 1912, 'Bossy & Cie' mills refused to the paper factory to use their trolleys on the track near the 'Bossy & Cie' mills because the paper factory trolleys were defective and damaged the Decauville track. With that banning, the paper factory was unable to ensure the supply of the factory. The paper factory could have decided to build an inclined elevator and an inclined pipe for the coal in the bottom of the dale near the Serriere rivers spring. Those inclined planes ensured the supply of the paper factory without using the Decauville rails and the Suchard funicular.

The inclined plane is entirely located into a cutting which follows an elbow before passing under the footbridge. On each side of the cutting, there is a rail which is fixed to the wall. On the external side of the elbow there is a second rail which doubles the other one. It seems that this rails were used to protect the carriage from the walls!

The Les Battieux inclined plane was in used until the 1970s.

The inclined elevator in its cutting.


Details of the cutting curve.
On the left, the two rails which protect the carriage from the wall.


Details of two vertical rollers which guide the cable in the elbow.


This plan shows how the inclined plane (yellow) could be used by the paper factory.
In blue, the Decauville track on which was pushed the trolleys.
The Les Deurres railway station was used for the supply of the wood. The station was linked to the Les Battieux building by a Decauville track passing over the street. Inside that building was the rasp machine which produced the wood shavings. The shavings were transported by the carriage of the inclined plane directly into the paper factory near the Serriere river spring.
The buildings near the river spring do not exist anymore.


Wood rasp machine inside the Les Battieux building. .


Today's state of the bottom of the Serriere dale.
The rails of the incline have been cut just after the footbridge.
The old buildings of the paper factory have been demolished and are replaced by a field.


The courtyard of the Les battieux building with the remaining's of the Decauville track.



Claude Roussinangue

Sugus and her blog Zebrabog Sugus 'Neuchâtel - Serrières : la vie ici et ailleurs...' for her precious help.

Le Musée d'art et d'histoire de Neuchâtel

Jean-Bernard Vuillème, Eric Gentil, "Suchard - La fin des Pères", Editions Gilles Attinger, Hauterive, 1993.

Looking for information's:

I am still looking for informations about that inclined plane and also the Suchard funicular!
Thank you if you have some informations, photos, etc



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# Funimag 27 #

Suchard chocolate factory funicular


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

Les Battieux inclined plane

Game 27