Germany (Wuppertal ) | Transportation | noraplan® sentica

Wuppertal Suspension Railway

Classic railway with classic floors

It is the symbol of the city. And it is the only one in the world: the Wuppertal suspension railway. For more than 100 years, it has floated high above the city in North Rhine-Westphalia - even today passengers can take special trips in the historic “Kaiserwagen” (Emperor’s car) of 1901 to enjoy an impressive view of the streets and the river Wupper. The Suspension railway is now fully prepared to take on the future: Over recent years, the entire framework has been replaced and almost all the stations and rails have been replaced, and now a state-of-the-art vehicle fleet is ready to go. From the end of November 2016, the first new cars will be ready to take passengers on the 13.3 km journey and by the end of 2017, all 31 vehicles will float above the city and replace the old trains. A particular eye-catching feature in the cars is the coloured rubber flooring from nora systems. In red, yellow and green they are perfectly coordinated with the interior design and give the symbol of Wuppertal afresh, contemporary look. more

Modern inside, higher level of comfort

You will be impressed with the modern look and improved passenger comfort of the cars which have been designed by the renowned design agency, büro +staubach. For the first time, the seats are padded and the gangway in the middle of the vehicle is wider. Another new feature is the so-called multi-function area at both ends of the vehicle, which gives more space for pushchairs or wheelchairs. Larger windows mean that the internal area is lighter, modern screens show the next station. “When we were designing the new vehicle fleet our motto was ‘Evolution not revolution’”, explained Steffen Bank, one of the Managing Directors of büro+staubach. The design, which remains faithful to the basic dimensions of the range from 1972 to 1974, follows a clean line and is therefore so distinctive that it will last for at least the next 40 years.

Attractive design and the highest level of fire protection

The future flooring should also be able to withstand many decades of use - it was the logical next step that the decision was taken very quickly to use rubber floor coverings from nora systems. Both the Wuppertaler Stadtwerke (WSW) (Wuppertal public utility company) who operate the suspension railway and also the design agency büro+staubach have worked with the rubber specialists from Weinheim for decades. Alongside attractive design of the flooring, fire protection was of paramount importance. “The vehicles for the suspension railway must have the highest level of fire protection”, emphasised the Works Manager of WSW mobil GmbH, Thomas Kaulfuss. “As in some places we are twelve meters above water, essentially the same strict conditions apply as for aeroplanes.”

Durable due its extremely closed surface

As well the fire-resistance of the rubber floor coverings, another characteristic was also important for the operator: nora floor coverings are made entirely of rubber. Due to their extremely closed surface they are extremely durable and resistant to vandalism. “Because the rubber flooring is coloured right through and does not need coating, you can hardly see scratches or other damage”, Kaulfuss knows this from experience. This is because nora floor coverings were also used in the old suspension railway vehicles as well as in the historic “Kaiserwagen” (Emperor’s car). In addition, nora floorings are very easy to clean.

Floors in three different colours

The rubber flooring is both functional and also has an attractive appearance: “The noraplan sentica range has an extensive and finely graduated range of colours”, explains Bank. “That gave us more scope in the colour design of the internal space”. Added to that, noraplan sentica appears to be almost completely solid in colour and yet dirt marks are less likely to be seen. Ten cars have red flooring, ten have yellow and 11 have green flooring. “We liked all three floor colours proposed by the designers so much, that we didn’t want to exclude any one of them”, Works Manager Kaulfuss justified WSW’s decision to use the different coloured floorings. The colour of the rubber flooring is picked out in the seat covers. “The colour design should attract extra attention and create potential for identification”, Bank continued. The new generation of vehicles has successfully achieved a perfect synthesis between tradition and innovation, so that the symbol of Wuppertal is also in an excellent position to face the decades to come.

Data and facts

Building Suspension Railway
Owner Vossloh Kiepe, Düsseldorf
Market Segment Transportation
Products noraplan® sentica
Architect büro+staubach GmbH, Berlin
Installation Year 2016
Photographer Top picture / picture #12: André M. Hünseler. All other pictures: Dirk Wilhelmy


noraplan® sentica

Rubber floor covering with a changing base colour of harmoniously matched colour components.

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