Every couple of minutes, a train from Lausanne-Ouchy by Lake Geneva runs almost silently uphill to the SBB railway station and onwards via the city centre (Flon) to Epalinges-Croisettes. The fully automated Métro trains are remotely controlled and spend half their time underground.
Stand at the front of the Métro and it feels like you're driving the train yourself.
The line almost six kilometres long covers a bigger altitude difference than any other underground railway – 336 metres, with a maximum gradient of 12%. In the coming years, another line is planned from Blécherette via Palais de Beaulieu to Flon and onwards to a new terminus in the SBB railway station.
Once comprising two funicular railways known as “La Ficelle” (the string), then converted to cog railways and now run on solid rubber wheels much like the Paris Métro, the Lausanne city railway has an interesting history of development that began way back in 1877. The Ouchy-Flon funicular railway was the very first in Switzerland, while the parallel line from the Lausanne SBB station to Flon was the world's first cableway. The ropeway carriages were also once used to push ordinary rail freight wagons.