Soelden, Austria unveiled its record-breaking gondola today called Giggijochbahn, to open next winter with the ability to carry 4,500 passengers per hour. The ropeway will feature Doppelmayr’s next-generation D-Line components and two modern terminal buildings, one featuring panoramic images of the Alps and the other showing off ropeway technology behind real glass. The top terminal will have parking for most of the lift’s 134 CWA Omega IV-10-D cabins. Innsbruck architect Johann Obermoser designed the stations in collaboration with Soelden and Doppelmayr.
This will be an impressive system by any measure with 3,022 feet of vertical rise and an 8,688-foot slope length. Travelling at the record-breaking speed of 6.5 m/s (1,280 fpm) the ride will take just 8.87 minutes. The fastest monocable gondolas in the world currently top out at 1,212 fpm. The Giggijochbahn will have 26 towers and a 62 mm haul rope driven by a ~2,180 HP electric motor. The biggest innovation will be the capacity – reaching 4,500 passengers per hour, per direction. I believe 3,600 is the current capacity record for a monocable gondola, a record shared between many lifts including the 10-passenger Gondola One at Vail and the 15-passenger Village Gondola at Mammoth.
The Giggijochbahn replaces a Doppelmayr 8-passenger gondola of the same name built in 1998. Workhorse lifts like it are generally replaced every twenty years or less in Austria and Switzerland! You can read more about this big new gondola and view live construction webcams at Soelden.com/Giggijochbahn.
Edited to add: We’ve learned the top terminal will have an innovative arrangement due to the extremely high uphill capacity. Cabins will enter the terminal normally but follow the shape of a “T,” as if three detachable terminals were joined together. Up to a dozen cabins will unload at once. Cabin parking will be on the second floor as seen in the new photo below. The bottom terminal will have a standard arrangement due to limited space but will be extra-long.