New Tram Cabins Coming to Snowbird

The iconic red and blue tram cars which first came to Little Cottonwood Canyon in 1971 are being replaced. “After 50 years of a job well done, it’s finally time for the original Tram cabins to become literal snowbirds and enjoy some much-deserved retirement,” Snowbird announced today. It is estimated the original cabins have traveled 794,994 miles, or the equivalent of traveling to the moon and back over one and a half times.

Manufactured by CWA in Switzerland, the new cabins will feature floor-to-ceiling windows and a modern design. During the summer months, the tram will sport three 3-foot by 3-foot glass floor panels and an open air rooftop balcony for up to 15 people. “The new Tram cabins pay homage to the original Red and Blue Trams while incorporating a fresh, sleek design and a few extra bells and whistles,” said Snowbird.

The last day to ride the current tram cabins will be April 3rd. The new cabins are already complete and currently being shipped to Utah. Upon arrival in April, the cabins will be installed and tested with re-opening of the tram planned for late June.


23 thoughts on “New Tram Cabins Coming to Snowbird

  1. Matthew Huerta March 1, 2022 / 11:04 am

    Thank you for your service, old tram cars. You have earned a well-deserved retirement. Very excited to ride the tram in its newest incarnation!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. themav March 1, 2022 / 11:22 am

    I wonder if these new tram cars will use the newer existing hanger arms which were replaced a couple seasons ago.


      • John March 1, 2022 / 3:10 pm

        The hangars were put on a few years back as part of the cabin replacement.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Zach March 4, 2022 / 1:16 pm

      They will. It’s a multi year upgrade that started with the new hangers and carriages.


  3. charlie (theincsupport) March 1, 2022 / 1:33 pm

    Not a giant fan of the new cabin design compared to the old, but if it means that the lifespan is increased, then that is good

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ryan March 1, 2022 / 2:22 pm

      Yeah, the new cabins will take a little getting use to, but if they are red and blue like the old ones, they will do well. The Tram is older than I am but I do remember as a young lad growing up in Utah how proud Utahns were of the Tram. It was a huge.. “advertisement” or representative if you will, of Utah’s Ski culture. My boyhood friend even built a neat setup of the tram out of legos, inspired after he got to ride it.


  4. Doppelmayr FTW March 1, 2022 / 2:19 pm

    These look like the same cabin design as the Zugspitze in Germany. I think they are the same capacity (120 pers) aswell.

    Also looks like Big Sky’s new tram will have the same shape as well! Seems to be a popular alternative to the classic shape we’ve seen for so many years.


    • Axewolfe17 March 1, 2022 / 3:13 pm

      This might be the only shape that they offer, as I believe it is used on Garaventa’ “Peak Line”.


  5. Kurt Buzzo March 1, 2022 / 9:49 pm

    It appears there is no longer the highly sought after open window spots Kind of a downgrade if you ask me. I’ve been skiing Snowbird since it opened. I always hope to get the open window spot.


  6. Kurt Buzzo March 1, 2022 / 9:49 pm

    It appears there is no longer the highly sought after open window spots Kind of a downgrade if you ask me. I’ve been skiing Snowbird since it opened. I always hope to get the open window spot.


    • Philip Keeve March 3, 2022 / 3:50 pm

      Upon closer inspection it looks like they do at least have some hopper windows on the ends.


  7. Toni Keppen March 2, 2022 / 3:06 pm

    What will happen to the retired trams?


  8. carson March 2, 2022 / 3:09 pm

    they were talking about making them into a bar or something they aren’t sure yet but they will be keeping on to it ill try to talk to some up there and try to get video of the inside of the tram


  9. 9412vcummins March 2, 2022 / 6:36 pm

    The new cabins are technically a downgrade, If the new ones hold 120 vs the old 129. Usually they only load 100-120 anyways. I do not see any problems with the current cabins and I like the old look much better. Waste of money to me. They need to spend money on upgrading mineral basin to a six pack.


    • Everett March 2, 2022 / 7:01 pm

      They most certainly won’t reduce capacity with the new cabins. Even though the old ones were designed for 125 ppl, code and design has changed in the past 50 years and the design square feet per person has gone up by some percentage.

      The “smaller” capacity number just reflects the change that has apparently already been implemented in operations. The glass floors and balcony will also be awesome new features!


      • Peter Landsman March 2, 2022 / 7:14 pm

        Snowbird confirmed for me the capacity will remain the same.


  10. PP$92 March 3, 2022 / 8:46 am

    Someone please get a picture of the new passing the old when they are halfway done with the conversion.


  11. Zach March 4, 2022 / 1:19 pm

    The tramway is also getting all new controls and a hydrostatic drive as a backup and losing the rescue rope ( which was almost never used and was a danger to catch on the slack carriers during rime events)


    • 9412vcummins March 4, 2022 / 7:19 pm

      Whats the advantage of a hydrostatic drive vs a diesel/combustion engine?


      • Chase March 8, 2022 / 12:44 pm

        It’ll still likely be a diesel engine, but instead of turning a gearbox the diesel will drive a hydraulic power unit and one or more hydraulic motors acting on a ring gear on the bullwheel. This eliminates common points of failure between the primary motive source and the backup, things like the gearbox and drive shaft. Being hydraulic also allows the diesel and hydraulic pump to always spin at their optimal speed, using valving to control the speed of the tram. Simple flow controls can also help control the speed of the tram under many different loads or even stop the lift outside of other brake mechanisms if needed.

        Liked by 1 person

  12. ah March 8, 2022 / 9:58 am

    Do the cabins have a “roof deck” outside observation platform on the top, as in the summer picture?


  13. Nathan March 9, 2022 / 2:13 pm

    Anyone know if skiing will be closed under the tram due to these upgrade?. I am planning a trip in April and if all of Peruvian gulch is closed, I may go elsewhere. Accessing these runs from the chairs is a slight pain but no big deal


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