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Germany’s first bicycle cablecar


Detailed description of the Good Practice

The section of the Fulda bicycle route between Malsfeld and Morschen (30 km south of Kassel) had often been criticized because of the curvy and steep course of the track along a dangerous road with car traffic. For this reason the local authorities decided to remove the bicycle route from the road and re-route it along the river. Thus, a new crossing over the River Fulda became necessary. Because of financial reasons, a new bridge wasn't feasible, and the suggestion of installing a cable ferry was also not regarded because of its complex operating conditions. A much cheaper alternative of a cable car was chosen.
Intium, an engineering company from Melsungen, developed the construction of the cablecar. It consists of stakes on both river banks and a cable rope stretched between them. A transport cage is hanging on the rope which can transport four cyclists with their bikes and their luggage (about 400 kg). The cage can be moved by handwheels to the other side of the river (over 50 meters). Handwheels exist on each river bank and also inside the cage. During this process, the cage “hovers” about 2 meters above the water level of the River Fulda. According to Mr. Schäffer from Intium it takes about three to five minutes to cross over the river.

The cablecar is in use from April 1st till November 1st. The cablecar is open during daylight hours for visibility in case of floodwaters or thunder storms. The cyclists have to take care that they don’t endanger any boats on the river. In case of emergency there is a button inside the cage to call for help.

Because this transport form to cross a river was unique in Germany, the planning process turned out to be very complicated and time-consuming. The Reisch company, (an expert firm for cablecars in Austria) Metallbau-Schmidt company from Malsfeld, and the local authority finally agreed to the terms of implemenation for the cablecar.

quality of life

Objectives of the Good Practice

to create a safer and cheap bicycle route

Participants of the Good Practice

Intium, an engineering company from Melsungen

Target group of the Good Practice


Funding of the Good Practice

The construction costs came to 134,000 euros. Financing was awarded by the federal state of Hesse and the municipalities of Malsfeld and Morschen.

More Details of the Good Practice

Available files

Contact details

Armin Schmauss
Intium Ingenieurbüro für Tiefbau- & Umwelttechnik

Data sources and references

European Local Transport Information Service
http://www.eltis.org/study_sheet.phtml?study_id=2508&lang1=en (Accessed December, 29, 2009)