A Cable-Free Passenger Elevator That Smoothly Transitions From Vertical to Horizontal

Adventurer Tom Scott (previously) traveled to the railway station in Altbach, Germany to experience riding the Schmid Peoplemover firsthand. This incredible standalone elevator uses cogs instead of cables to pull passengers vertically up the tower, horizontally across the railyard, and set them gently down on the other side. This smooth transition is accomplished using an onboard motor and counterweights.

An elevator that can go smoothly from horizontal to vertical isn’t possible… right? Turns out that the conventional wisdom is wrong, and the Schmid Peoplemover has been doing that for many years.

Tom Scott Schmid Peoplemover
Lori Dorn
Lori Dorn

Lori is a Laughing Squid Contributing Editor based in New York City who has been writing blog posts for over a decade. She also enjoys making jewelry, playing guitar, taking photos and mixing craft cocktails.