The biennial Interalpin conference kicked off today in Innsbruck, Austria with alpine technology brands showcasing their latest and greatest to customers. I am just following from afar but this year’s show is already proving to be monumental with major new products and initiatives being unveiled.
Leitner launched a redefined 2S gondola which is being positioned as an economical middle ground between a monocable lift and a 3S. The reimagined bicable gondola utilizes standard monocable drive components, tensioning systems and cabins but with a single track rope added. This allows lifts to traverse much longer spans with more cabins than a standard gondola system.
The terminals are of modular design with the exterior designed by Pininfarina. A new carriage utilizes synthetic rollers and takes cues from the popular LPA grip. On the lattice-style towers, sheaves are isolated for vibration dampening and track ropes rest on synthetic profiles. Leitner has also developed a new system for track rope slipping which it calls “simple, safe and time saving.” I find this product exciting as 3S gondolas are simply too expensive for many operators, as evidenced by their complete lack of adoption in the United States.
Leitner also showed off its next generation premium chair called Evo. It comes with three bubble color options, three bar styles and two different kinds of upholstered seats.
Leitner has a new touchscreen and tablet control system called Leitcontrol, designed to interface seamlessly with its existing Leitdrive and DirectDrive products. All three are designed and manufactured in house by Leitner.
The Doppelmayr Garaventa Group has a massive booth anchored by its brand new 3S cabin called Atria. Building on the success of Taris, Atria features electromechanical doors, full height glazed windows, USB charging ports and indirect lighting. The cabins can comfortably carry up to 32 passengers with a variety of sports equipment carrying options.
Like with the recently-introduced Omega V, the cabin suspension is now integrated into the ceiling for a sleeker look. “New technology, modularity and premium materials round off this cabin of superlatives,” notes CWA. “It has been created for ropeway operators who want to give their passengers an exceptional ride experience with maximum vision.”
The first 3S systems to go into operation with Atria cabins will be the 3K Kaprun-Kitzsteinhorn-Konnection in Austria at the end of November 2019 and the Eiger Express in Jungfrau, Switzerland in December 2020.
Doppelmayr also unveiled its Smart Ropeway initiative. Rather than a product of its own, Smart Ropeway is the company’s strategic approach to digital technology across all of its products. As the video below shows, things like wireless device charging, in window digital displays and individual carrier communication are part of Doppelmayr’s vision for the future. Visitors to the booth can check out the Doppelmayr Connect control system and a new rope position detection system called Nexo.
The seven month old Omega V is also a star of the show, surrounded by some crazy audiovisual theatrics.
Smaller lift companies LST Ropeways and Bartholet are also at the show along with component manufacturers such as Fatzer, Chairkit, Frey and Teufelberger Redaelli.
I will be sure to update this post with any new developments as Interlpin runs for two more days. While the spectacle won’t return for two years, the similar Mountain Planet show is scheduled for next April in Grenoble, France.