Funiculars are often to be found in touristic and hilly locations, but many are also used as regular public transport for locals in urban areas. Operating and maintenance of such systems can be costly and complex due to its specificity and accessibility. Therefore a complete overhaul of such installations is necessary from time to time.
In Augustusburg in Saxony, Germany, the 108 year old funicular which connects the city with its railway station Erdmannsdorf-Augustusburg is located down in a valley. Service was discontinued on 9 September 2019 to allow such overhaul of the infrastructure. The two vehicles have been sent to a specialised workshop in Güstrow. Operation is expected to resume in March 2020.
Spain: Barcelona – Tibidabo
In Barcelona the funicular to the Tibidabo mountain stopped service on 15 September 2019 and will undergo a complete renewal process which is expected to take until the end of 2020. The 1958-built vehicles will be replaced by new ones. The service connects with the vintage Tibidabo tramway providing a link to the Avinguda Tibidabo metro station. However, the tramway is out of service since January 2018 for reconstruction works. Both the tramway and the funicular are now 118 years old.
Again in the Catalonia region in Northeastern Spain another funicular has recently been refurbished: In Gelida the funicular is connecting the railway station down in the valley with the city of Gelida, located uphill. The funicular has been out of service for three years and reopened on 6 April 2019, but as a weekend-only operation only. A mini-bus route runs parallel and provides the daily connection for the commuters to the suburban train to and from Barcelona. The funicular is now 95 years old and the vehicles still show resemblance to the original wooden design of 1924.20.09.2019