Les Avants-Sonloup Funicular | Accidentally Wes Anderson

Les Avants-Sonloup Funicular

Accidentally Wes Anderson - Les Avants-Sonloup Funicular Enlarge

Vaud, Switzerland | C.1912

Photo Credit: Frida Berg

In the tiny Swiss town of Les Avants, characteristic red cars travel up and down the funicular railway just as they have for over 100 years. Les Avants-Sonloup funicular was built in 1910, and though recently renovated, still uses its original carriages and machinery – unusual for a system this old.

The funicular links the railway station in Les Avants, part of the Montreux-Oberland Bernois railway, with an upper station at Sonloup. An electric engine powers the funicular for a distance of 532 meters (1,745 ft) on a gradient of up to 54.5%. Total one-way travel time is a mere six minutes. 

The route is quite scenic, passing a stone viaduct with 11 arches. In May, the hillsides are covered in flowering narcissus. 

Les Avants is also notable as a winter resort and host of the first Ice Hockey European Championship in 1910. Interestingly, Ernest Hemingway wintered in the village when he lived in Paris in the 1920s.

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