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 to two.

These changes led to greater transport capacity, with the Polybahn now able to handle 50 people in each direction every 2.5 minutes.


Rebuild a unified visual system for the advertising agency, made of steel which can change the world in a while.