Not in Zurich?
Experience a virtual ride on the Polybahn
Not in Zurich?
Experience a virtual ride on the Polybahn
News

Polybahn news

The Polybahn is running again!

Ride

Schedule

Every 2 to 4 minutes
Monday to Friday
6:30 a.m.–9:00 p.m.
Saturdays 
7:30 a.m.–9:00 p.m.
Sundays
9:00 a.m.–9:00 p.m.

Schedule

Every 3 to 4 minutes
Monday to Friday
6:30 a.m.–9:00 p.m.
Saturdays 
7:30 a.m.–9:00 p.m.
Sundays & on
public holidays
9:00 a.m.–9:00 p.m.

Prices

Price for a single journey per person
Polybahn special price

CHF 1.20

Polybahn multi-trip card (6x)

CHF 7.20

The Polybahn special ticket is available at the ticket machine in front of the Polybahn (Central and ETH Polyterrasse). The Polybahn is a member of the ZVV. The ticket price is included in the ZVV tariff zone 110 (City of Zurich). No additional ticket is required.

Please note

The Polybahn is not wheelchair-accessible.

All passengers aged 12 and above must wear a mask (as of 19 October 2020)

DISCOVER

Sightseeing in Zurich? Discover all the city has to offer on board the famous Polybahn.

Polyterrasse viewing deck: The Polybahn takes you to the Polyterrasse in less than 2 minutes. Enjoy a unique view of Zurich, including the renowned Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) and the University of Zurich (UZH) – a great trip for the whole family!
Altstadt (Niederdorf): Why not combine your ride on the UBS Polybahn with a stroll through the lively Niederdorf district? Discover this historic heart of Zurich and let the magic of the old town enchant you!
Lindenhof: Take a trip to an oasis in the middle of the city – located on the other side of the river, just opposite the Polybahn. Enjoy the peace and quiet of Lindenhof as you take in the beautiful views of the Altstadt, as well as landmarks like the Zurich City Hall and the Grossmünster church.
Grossmünster: A must-see if you’re in Zurich – legend has it that this church was built on the former tomb of the city saints Felix and Regula.
Fraumünster: Crossing over the Limmat river will take you to another attraction in Zurich: the Fraumünster. Built on the site of a former convent, this church is famous for its glass windows designed by Augusto Giacometti and Marc Chagall.
Bahnhofstrasse: Discover some of the many boutiques, department stores and watch shops on Bahnhofstrasse, located in the city center. This famous shopping district used to be part of the moat that fortified the city 150 years ago. Today, it connects the main railway station with Lake Zurich.
Zurich National Museum: Experience Swiss culture and history in the country’s most popular historical museum. Relax in Platzspitz park, a historic jewel nestled in the heart of the city next to the main railway station.
LEARN

The sky’s the limit: the popular UBS Polybahn has been running from Zurich Central Square to the ETH Polyterrasse since 1886. Along with the Dolderbahn rack railway, the Rigiblick funicular and the Adliswil Felsenegg overhead cable car, the Polybahn is a Zurich transportation icon.

The two-car funicular can transport up to 50 people per car. The institute at the top of it – the former Eidgenössisches Polytechnikum, now the ETH – gave the Polybahn its name. Operated directly from the control center, the iconic red funicular has been driverless since 1996. Those interested in technology can learn more about the UBS Polybahn here:
Download factsheet (PDF)
HISTORY

From its inauguration in 1886 and first successful journey, through to its timely financial rescue in 1976 by the then SBG and a new lease of life following a total rebuild in 1996, the Polybahn has had an up-and-down history! Today the popular funicular, also known as the “student express,” transports around two million passengers a year. It is more than a piece of nostalgia – it is a Zurich landmark.

Scroll
On 1 July 1886, engineers H. A. Ruge and E. Stauder were granted a concession to construct and operate the Zürichbergbahn (“Zurich Mountain Railway”), running from Limmatquai...
1886 – Concession is granted
The first section of the line, known as Bahnhofbrücke-Polytechnikum, was built in just under a year. The Zürichbergbahn from the Swiss Locomotive and Machine Works based in...
1889 – The first section of the track is opened
Despite operating for years without a problem, the railway was badly affected by a fare hike in 1948, as well as the general economic situation at the...
1950 – In the red
After several years of high operating deficits, Zürichbergbahn decided not to renew the concession. The association “Pro Polybahn” was founded in 1972 with the aim of keeping...
1976 – Rescue by Union Bank of Switzerland
After being incorporated into the ZVV, the “student express” saw a significant upturn in passenger volume, to more than 1.6 million riders per year. However, the rolling...
1996 – Full rebuild
As a result of the name change from Union Bank of Switzerland (SBG) to UBS, the funicular also became “UBS Polybahn.” Thanks to the commitment of UBS...
2000 – The Polybahn enters its 3rd century

Next departure


The Polybahn has gone home for the day, but will be up and running again in the morning


Supported by UBS

The Zurich Polybahn is more than a symbol of nostalgia. Every year, the UBS Polybahn transports more than two million people from Zurich Central Square to the ETH Polyterrasse and back again. The funicular railway is part of Zurich’s history. Back when it was in the red and about to be closed down, the former Union Bank of Switzerland – now UBS – acquired and refurbished it.

Together with the VBZ and ZVV, UBS has kept the Polybahn going ever since. UBS is committed to preserving culture and traditions like this beloved red Zurich landmark, which has been creating unique experiences for young and old since 1886.

You can find more information here.




Supported by UBS

The Zurich Polybahn is more than a symbol of nostalgia. Every year, the UBS Polybahn transports more than two million people from Zurich Central Square to the ETH Polyterrasse and back again. The funicular railway is part of Zurich’s history. Back when it was in the red and about to be closed down, the former Union Bank of Switzerland – now UBS – acquired and refurbished it.

Together with the VBZ and ZVV, UBS has kept the Polybahn going ever since. UBS is committed to preserving culture and traditions like this beloved red Zurich landmark, which has been creating unique experiences for young and old since 1886.
You can find more information here.

1886 – Concession is granted

On 1 July 1886, engineers H. A. Ruge and E. Stauder were granted a concession to construct and operate the Zürichbergbahn (“Zurich Mountain Railway”), running from Limmatquai to the Zürichberg. However, the route sparked major debate, with bridges and tunnels up for discussion. It was not until a 1:1 scale wooden model of the bridge was created that the city council agreed to the construction of a viaduct – the route still used to this day.
Mehr Infos

1889 – The first section of the track is opened

The first section of the line, known as Bahnhofbrücke-Polytechnikum, was built in just under a year. The Zürichbergbahn from the Swiss Locomotive and Machine Works based in Winterthur first ran on 8 January 1889. As early as 1894, however, the railway faced competition from electric-powered cable car trams. As a result, the originally planned Polytechnikum-Zürichberg section was no longer needed.
Mehr Infos

1950 – In the red

Despite operating for years without a problem, the railway was badly affected by a fare hike in 1948, as well as the general economic situation at the time. Despite making a profit every year until 1949, it went into debt for the first time in 1950. Löwenbräu AG took over the property along with the valley station, becoming the main shareholder of the Zürichbergbahn company.
Mehr Infos

1976 – Rescue by Union Bank of Switzerland

After several years of high operating deficits, Zürichbergbahn decided not to renew the concession. The association “Pro Polybahn” was founded in 1972 with the aim of keeping the funicular running. Though the Polybahn was due to stop operating at the end of January 1976, the Union Bank of Switzerland (SBG) acquired the railway company, rebranding it “SBG-Polybahn AG.” Decisive action was needed to meet the requirements for extending the concession for another 20 years. The railway line and both cars were refurbished in just 12 weeks.
Mehr Infos

1996 – Full rebuild

After being incorporated into the ZVV, the “student express” saw a significant upturn in passenger volume, to more than 1.6 million riders per year. However, the rolling stock and railway line were showing signs of wear as a result of the intensive use. A comprehensive analysis revealed that, to renew the concession, extensive technical and structural work would have to be carried out on the route, both cars and the mountain and valley stations. SBG-Polybahn AG, the operator VBZ and the ZVV therefore opted for a full rebuild – 107 years after the Polybahn began operating. This included completely automating the funicular, replacing the cars with two new ones featuring a number of safety improvements and reducing the number of tracks from three...
Mehr Infos

2000 – The Polybahn enters its 3rd century

As a result of the name change from Union Bank of Switzerland (SBG) to UBS, the funicular also became “UBS Polybahn.” Thanks to the commitment of UBS and collaboration with the VBZ Zurich line and the ZVV, this beloved railway will continue to chug forward.
Mehr Infos