Commissioned in June 1889, a gradient of up to 48 percent, a height difference of 1635 m and about 30 minutes travel time:
that is the steepest cogwheel railway in the world in figures.
Meter by meter it scales the way from Alpnachstad to Pilatus Kulm, passing alpine meadows and striking rock formations.

Cogwheel Railway

When engineer Eduard Locher proposed building a railway on Mount Pilatus in the 19th century, many though he had gone mad. But in 1889 the 4,618-meter-long railway opened from Alpnachstad to Pilatus Kulm. With a gradient of 48% it is the steepest cogwheel railway in the world. Since its opening until today, that has not changed. It takes cleverly devised technology to move a train forward at such a steep gradient. The ingenious design with two horizontally rotating cogwheels made it possible. This masterpiece was exhibited at the World Fair 1889 in Paris. 

Panorama gallery

The Panorama Gallery features all-round glazing for uninterrupted views of the breathtaking mountains,

Myths & Legends about the dragon mountain

From time immemorial, the rugged cliffs high above Lucerne have been shrouded in mysterious myths and legends. People in the Middle Ages believed that a dragon with healing powers and spirits inhabited the rocky crevices. It was also said that the ancient Lake Pilatus harbored the restless soul of none other than the Roman Prefect, Pontius Pilate – now at peace. That explains why ascents of the Pilatus were forbidden for a very long time. Cursed be they, it was thought, who disturb the Pilatus! On Pilatus Kulm you will find the dragon path, which brings you closer to the myths and legends.

Golden roundtrip

From May to October experience the assorted delights of Lucerne’s landmark mountain courtesy of the Golden Round Trip – a half-day or whole-day excursion involving a boat trip, the cogwheel railway, the aerial cableway and panorama gondolas.

Fun and Action

Mount Pilatus is popular with sports devotees and fans of the great outdoors – all year round. Experience being part of a roping party in Central Switzerland’s biggest rope park. On Krienseregg there is the PILU-Land, a huge playground for kids.

Fauna and Flora

The alpine ibex on Mount Pilatus are popular tourist attractions. There have been ibexes on the Pilatus for more than 40 years. The waymarked flower trail between Pilatus Kulm and Tomlishorn takes you past upwards of 100 flowers, all labeled.