The Shortest Metro in the World

Serfaus, Austria place of the shortest subway line

For most of the metro standards, this metro is out of one of the greatest characteristics which are the number of kilometers that this one travels from the beginning of the line to the end of it. 

Located at a thousand meters altitude, the metro in Serfaus Austria is far most the shortest line in the world. Its inhabitants have to travel an hour and a half to the city which is Innsbruck. 

But you may be asking why a locality in the Alpes of at least a thousand inhabitants has a metro line?

Serfaus metro line

For most of you, the answers come immediately for tourism. Serfaus is the typical town at foot of the ski station which lives from the thousands of skiers that visit the place during the snow months which are from 4 - 5 months during the year. There are at least 50 hotels which are 5,000 beds available. 

How the metro idea born in Serfaus?

Kirche Station - Dorfbahn - Serfaus

Next to the little plateau where the town is there is a ridge of 3,000 meters high (9843 ft). 198 kilometers of ski tracks with 70 lifts that are waiting for skiers at the hillside. The rise of tourism in the '70s provoked a traffic collapse that ended 4 o 5 streets away from the town. The hall answer to that problem was to prohibit cars in the town area and inaugurated a bus service between the parking lots recently built for that purpose. Nevertheless, that did not resolve the problem since they had to deal with the great number of passenger trips simultaneously.

After studying various solutions for the problem including a train, they came out with an underground funicular with some stations in between.

Serfaus Metro (Dorfbahn)

The locals called it Dorfbahn ("Dorf" means village or town), is only one line of 1,300 meters long (4265 ft), and runs inside a rectangular tunnel of a width of 3 meters (9.84 ft). By itself the is the 1st shortest metro line but the 3rd shortest line on the planet (the 1st one is in Estambul which has 600 m (1968.8 ft) and the 2nd one is in Madrid which is Ópera-Príncipe).

Dohnbahn metro station in Serfaus

Serfaus Dorfbahn techinical data

Opened in 1985, only has 4 stations: Starting at the parking lot and then goes to the church, then downtown, and finally to the ski tracks. The capacity is for 270 passengers that are going up and down, skiers can use it without paying nothing. It handles up to 1,500 persons per hour by way.

The travel intervals are 9 minutes and the composition of each train is 3 wagons each of the 44.50 m long, the driving speed is of 11 min/sec. It transports 800,000 annually. The cost of building the Dorfbahn was 10 million euros back in 1985, 20 million euros in 2019.

Many of you might be asking why a funicular is considered as a metro line, this is because the line goes underground and contains various stations along its line, each station is signposted with a U over a blue background which symbolizes U-Bahn (which is Metro in Germany and Austria).

Serfaus - Dorfbahn - Shortest Metro Line

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