This is not a good week for tramways in Europe. An incident last night on the highest mountain in Germany severely damaged one of two Eibsee Cable Car cabins during a practice exercise. Apparently a rescue carrier broke loose due to a broken chain hoist and crashed into the 120 passenger tramway cabin below at high speed. Like with the fire at a French tram on Tuesday, the lift was free of passengers and luckily no one was injured. A Zugspitze spokesperson says the Garaventa-built tram will be out of service until further notice.
The lift became the pinnacle of ropeway technology when it opened last December, breaking world records for the tallest lattice tower (416 feet), longest ropeway span (10,541 feet) and highest vertical rise (6,381 feet), making this a truly stunning setback. When a cabin on the Alyeska, Alaska tram hit a tower in 2013, technicians were able to replace it with a counterweight in just a few weeks until a new cabin could be manufactured. We’ll have to wait and see whether CWA can repair the Zugspitze cabin or must fabricate a whole new one.
Poma wins monster $47.1 million contract for five lifts from the company that operates Val d’Isère, Tignes, Meribel, La Plagne and Les Arcs in France. Last year’s three-lift, $29.4 million contract from the same group went to Doppelmayr.
An Australian teenager is lucky to be alive after doing pull ups on a moving chairlift cable.
Just weeks after opening two record-breaking aerial tramways on the Italian side of Mont Blanc, the Doppelmayr/Garaventa Group has begun construction on an even more remarkable tramway to Germany’s highest summit. Replacing a 1963 jig-back tram, the new 120-passenger Eibsee Cable Car on the Zugspitze will leave a base terminal at 3,337 feet and top out at 9,718 feet with only one tower in between. Two other aerial tramways that reach the same summit, the Tyrolean Zugspitzebahn and the Zugspitze Gletcherbahn, will remain unchanged.
The new cable car will maintain the old version’s record for the largest vertical rise of a single tramway span at 6,381 feet, down slightly from 6,398 feet. Its lone tower will be the tallest in the world at 416 feet – 43 feet taller than the current tallest on Austria’s Gletscherbahn Kaprun III. The new cableway will also have the longest unsupported span at 10,541 feet, breaking the current record of 9,941 feet on the Peak 2 Peak Gondola’s middle span.