First Energetically Independent Cable Car in the World
13 August 2018

First Energetically Independent Cable Car in the World

Mountain and valley station built with Dyckerhoff white cement

The new Staubern railway is the world's first mountain railway that operates independently only with solar power and braking energy. Both the valley station and the mountain station of the cable car, which is located in the north-east of Switzerland, were optically elaborately designed with in-situ concrete based on Dyckerhoff WEISS.

The cable car connects the Staubern Inn at the "Staubernkanzel" (altitude 1861 m above sea level) with the village of Frümsen in the Rhine valley of St. Gallen (altitude 500 m above sea level). The solar power is produced on the roof of the mountain restaurant, a copper wire in the carrying cable transports it to the valley, where it is stored in a battery for days without sunshine. Also, the braking energy that arises when driving downhill, is reused.

In total, 200 tons of Dyckerhoff WEISS DECOR (CEM I 42.5 R) were used for the mountain and valley stations. In a mobile mixing plant specially purchased for the project, Marty Sennwald construction company produced about 500 cbm of white exposed concrete. White quartz sand from Cramberg in a grain size of 0 to 2 mm and gravel from the region in a grain size of 4 to 16 mm were used as aggregates. For the construction of the mountain station, a grain mixture of 0 to 16 mm of sand and gravel was premixed in the valley and filled into big bags, which were then transported together with big bags full of white cement with the material ropeway uphill.

The suspension cables of the two gondolas also contain wires that supply the mountain inn with electricity. At the base station electric cars can be charged. The new cable car can carry up to 75 people per hour. It has more than twice the output of the old Staubern railway, which dates from 1979 and was demolished.