The oldest monorail in history to date appeared in Germany almost a century ago. It is called the "Wuppertal Suspended Railway" or "Schwebebahn Wuppertal". The monorail is notable for many features and facts. And the most striking case in its history was, perhaps, the incident with the elephant, which fell out of the marching composition.
The overhead railway is perhaps the most remarkable form of public transport in the German city of Wuppertal. The idea of creating a monorail came from local industrialists back in 1924. However, for a long time all projects of the suspended railway were blocked by the owners of local factories and plants. The fact is that one monorail was not able to cover all factories by route, while every industrialist wanted such a miracle technology to be available to him.
As a result, the monorail was built and opened only in 1901. The length of the railway was 13.3 km. At the same time, most of the path, 10 km, passes directly over the Wupper River, in honor of which the city got its name. The height of the engineering structure varies from 7 to 13 meters. Today, monorail trains accelerate to 60 km / h. There are 20 stopping points along the route.
The first incident on the Wuppertal Suspended Railroad occurred in 1917. Then one of the cars broke off here and fell into the water. By a lucky coincidence, no one was hurt. The passengers of the railway were much less fortunate in 1999, when the whole train fell off the rail. Then more than a hundred passengers received injuries of varying severity, and five more died in the hospital or at the time of the disaster. In 2008, train bogies collided with a crane passing under the train. That time there were no serious casualties, although the crane operator was seriously injured.
There were in the history of "Schwebebahn Wuppertal" and frankly comic plots. In the summer of 1950, Franz Althof, director of the Althoff circus, came up with an "ingenious" advertising campaign. He decided to take the elephant Tuffy through the entire city, loading the unfortunate animal into the monorail. The circus collective did not think of chopping an elephant with a sedative. As a result, as soon as the train started, the elephant went berserk due to the rolling of the carriage. First, the animal tore the entire cabin, and then broke through the wall and fell out of the train. The circus elephant fell from a 12-meter height. Fortunately, the same river Wupper turned out to be below.
As a result, the shocked Tuffy made his way to the shore after swimming for another kilometer and for some time wandered around the city until he was caught by the police and veterinarians. As a result of this incident, no one was killed on the monorail, but several employees of the circus and the railway, who were in the same carriage with the elephant, received bruises and abrasions. Today, at the site of Tuffi's "flight", there is a sculpture of an elephant made of a garland. It was installed on the 68th anniversary of the incident.
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