A bridge or a tunnel – these are usually the only options considered when possible ways of crossing a river are discussed. Not in the Polish city of Wrocław. The local Technical University has decided for a compact cable car instead. “Polinka” has been connecting the new campus located west of the river Oder with the “old” university grounds on its east bank since 2014.

2,100 out of the 32,000 students and 4,200 members of staff use Polinka daily. Around 900 tourists and locals join them in making use of the compact cable car built by INAUEN-SCHÄTTI. Two 15-seat cabin shuttles, each running along its own cable, travel back and forth between two stations. This compact cable car has a transport capacity of 360 persons per hour and covers the 373-meter-route in just two minutes.


Before the cable car, students and university employees had to take a twenty-minute detour across a bridge. This disturbed the teaching and research activity schedules. “A direct connection was absolutely necessary. But building a bridge or a tunnel was for us, as a university, not financially or legally feasible,” explains Thadeusz Więckowski, who commissioned the cableway in 2013 as the University’s rector. The idea came to Więckowski in 2012 when he was skiing in Austria. He quickly won over the university committee to this atypical transport solution.


“At first, there was resistance from the authorities and big discussions going on in the media, but now, the politicians complain when Polinka happens to be out of operation,” smiles Więckowski. The transit route and the station locations were determined by the university. A tender was launched and INAUEN-SCHÄTTI, in cooperation with DOPPELMAYR, were awarded the contract.

Thadeusz Więckowski, Rektor A.D. Politechnika Wroclawska

“Which other university has its own cableway? Our Polinka is unique and that means it is also a great advertisement. It already ranks among the five most popular destinations in Wrocław. The construction of the installation was considerably easier, faster and more economical than construction of a tunnel or bridge. Thanks to Polinka, students and university employees can switch river banks in two minutes which is the only way how the proper teaching schedule can be maintained.“Photo: Bartek Sadowski

Free Entry with Identity Card

Both manufacturers set up the installation in just a few months. Since then, up to 700,000 people use Polinka annually. Students and employees can travel free of charge with their identity cards. Więckowski explains: “For me, the cable car is like a horizontal lift – and there is no charge for using such a lift either.” Only external passengers have to pay. They either use a city-bus ticket or pay directly at the station at vending machines. “Thirty per cent of the passengers are local residents and tourists, Polinka is a fantastic advertisement for us and the city“, says Więckowski.

Manager Thomas Galas:

“If we were to close down Polinka, it would be a tragedy for everyone. Up to 3,000 people use the cable car every day. That is why it is only closed for two days a year when inspections are performed.”

...and west banks.

Polinka runs 363 days a year; it is only closed for inspection for two days. Its manager, Thomas Galas, explains: “A total of ten employees look after the cable car, during each work shift there are two people at the main station and one at the secondary station.” During the academic year, the cable car is open from 7 a.m. until 9 p.m., during holidays from 7 a.m. until 6 p.m.



“A double motor- and brake system, as well as an integrated rescue system allowing the cabins to return to the station at any time, guarantee Polinka’ s safety,” describes Galas. The manager is evidently proud of his Polinka: “The cable car is a great idea, I can recommend it.” ts

Anna Adamczak, Student:

„The cable car is a super idea. For me, it is the fastest way to go from lecture to lecture. Without Polinka, I would not be able to attend some of the classes.”

Gregory Tarchalka, lecturer:

„I like to park my car at the Oder bank and take Polinka to get to work. It is mainly the sightseeing aspect that makes the cable car so special.“

Basia Michalska, Student:

„I use Polinka all the time because it helps me to avoid a 20-minute foot march several times a day and it’s the only way I can keep to my study plan.“

Sergio Nistal, ERASMUS-worker:

“I like Polinka and take it every day. A cable car is really a very special means of transport. The trip is much faster for me than with any other means of transport.”

15-ATW Wroclaw

  • Drive station height: 119,00 M
  • Outstation height: 119,70 m
  • Height difference: 0,70 m
  • Inclined length: 373,19 m
  • Number of towers: 2
  • Number of cabins: 2
  • Cabin capacity: 15 P. / 1.200 Kg
  • Max. Speed: 5 m/s
  • Transit time: 1,95 Min
  • Transport capacity: 366 P./h
  • Investment amount: 3 Mio. Euro