by Jeff Smith
https://amp.cnn.com/cnn/travel/article/ ... index.html
Wuppertal Schwebebahn, Germany
If ever a railway was perfectly suited to its environment, it's the legendary Schwebebahn monorail in Germany's North Rhine-Westphalia region. Built to link several industrial towns along the narrow, twisting valley of the Wupper river, the suspended monorail was completed in 1901 and was instrumental in the growth of the towns, which eventually merged to become the city of Wuppertal in 1929.
Current holder of the record for the world's steepest public railway, Switzerland's Stoosbahn opened in December 2017 and has become a global tourist attraction in its own right.
The unique cars with their rotating "barrels" allow passengers to stay level and travel serenely up the mountain at gradients of up to 110%. On a route of just over one mile (1.74 kilometers), the railway climbs almost 2,450 feet (744 meters) from the valley station in just five minutes.
Hythe Pier Railway, England
Hythe Pier Railway, on the south coast of England, has always been a little different though; it provides a unique link between dry land and the Hythe Ferry, which has shuttled to and fro across Southampton Water since the Middle Ages.
The current pier opened in 1881 and a quirky 2,100-foot railway was added in 1909. It is the oldest continuously operating pier railway in the world. Wagons were initially propelled by hand but in 1922 a new narrow gauge electric railway replaced the original track. Two Army surplus electric locomotives, originally built to work in a World War I mustard gas factory, have worked the trains ever since.