Oct. 30, 1929: Stuttgart Cable Car opens

Christy Karras

The Stuttgart Cable Car (also called the Standseilbahn Stuttgart) is a funicular train built to carry passengers up a hill about 300 feet high to a forested historic cemetery that also makes for a nice walking spot. The train is now a popular tourist attraction, partly because it still uses the same teak wood passenger cars it did back in 1929. Cables pull them up a narrow track on a wooded hillside, going from a city world to a rural-feeling one in three minutes.

Railway fans often visit this and Stuttgart’s other unique railway, the Stuttgart Rack Railway (a rack railway, or cog railway, has teeth along the tracks to help carry the train up hills), which gives passengers the bonus of expansive views over the city.

These kinds of trains come in handy given the hilly landscape. Set in southwestern Germany on the edge of the Black Forest, Stuttgart is a jumping-off point for exploring surrounding castles and small towns as well as a destination for both tourists and business travelers.

If you’re the engineering type, go beyond the trains and check out another form of transportation Germany is known for: cars. Both Porsche and Mercedes-Benz have headquarters in Stuttgart, and the city is home to impressive car museums. You can reach them and the city’s other attractions via the city’s extensive (and mostly traditional) public transportation system, which integrates local and regional trains as well as buses. You only need one pass for all buses and trains, including the cable car and rack railway.