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New life for Barcelona’s Tibidabo funicular

Die Tibidabo Standseilbahn wurden in den vergangenen zwei Jahren vollständig erneuert und wird mit neuen Leitner Fahrzeugen betrieben I © UTM

Cable Car builder Leitner revitalized the Funicular del Tibidabo in Barcelona. The reopening took place on 12 June 2021. The modernisation project included the delivery of two new vehicles, new infrastructure, platform screen doors and the refurbishment of both stations which welcome all passengers and visitors in their historical entrance halls.

But let’s have a look into the history of this very special transport mode first: A pioneering event took place in the Catalan capital 120 years ago, when the Tibidabo Funicular opened at Barcelona’ local mountain in 1901, thereby establishing a modern transport link to the popular summit overlook of Tibidabo, where an amusement park is also located. As part of a comprehensive revitalization of the excursion destination, which is particularly popular with tourists, the historic funicular was modernized by Leitner from 2019. Now the funicular was ceremoniously opened. The historic tramway that connects the valley-side station with the metro is still out of service. We reported here.

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Originally, wooden cabins were operated to make the journey to the top of the Tibidabo at 501 m. Over the past decades, several upgrades were carried out, the latest of which took place in 2008. The existing vehicles, dating from 1958 have been replaced. Now, as part of a comprehensive revitalization program, a completely new chapter has been opened. This already started with the name, which has been chosen in 2019: Thus, the funicular will be integrated into the existing amusement park as “Cuca de Llum” (Firefly) as a modern attraction.

Ultramodern technology creates a special experience

Leitner was responsible for the modernization of the funicular control system, the delivery of two carriages, and the installation of the sheaves, tracks, station equipment, and automatic platform doors. The introduction of a new safety system ensures compliance with current regulations governing ropeway and funicular transport. Additional safety features include the use of fireproof elements, improved door opening and closing systems, and the installation of video surveillance and emergency lighting. The funicular’s traveling speed increased from four to ten meters per second and its transport capacity increased from 120 to 252 people per journey.

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Panoramic views, interactive information, and futuristic lighting

Along with the installation of numerous new technical systems and equipment, the project was focusing on design aspects that create more space in the carriages and offer more comfort and a better panoramic view thanks to panoramic windows and partial glass roof. In addition to a noticeable reduction in noise and vibration, air conditioning systems, barrier-free access and ergonomically designed seats contribute to a relaxed funicular journey. The seats are semi-transparent, and thus have the effect of making the cabin space appear even larger. Tactile door-opening push-buttoms have been delivered by eao and passenger communication system by Vingtor-Stentafon (Zenitel).

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The funicular makes an impression at night, especially after the installation of a distinctive futuristic exterior lighting system. The interior is also particularly innovative, as the cabins are outfitted with tablet computers that offer passengers entertainment and information about the recreational park’s history and the development of the funicular ropeway. Leitner implemented the project via its Iberian subsidiary “Telèfericos y Nieve” and in cooperation with the Barcelona-based architectural firm “MIAS Architects”.

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