Cable Car Zugspitze
Since December 2017 the state of the art Cable Car Zugspitze whisks passengers up to the highest mountain in the country in unparalleled comfort. Six years in total of planning and construction work, sometimes under the most challenging of conditions at 3,000 metres above sea level, have been invested in this superlative project and resulted in an indisputable highlight, not only for Bayerische Zugspitzbahn Bergbahn AG, but the entire tourism dominated region.
Two fully glazed high-capacity cabins transport up to 580 passengers per hour to the peak, banishing queues to history. Along the journey, they traverse the world’s highest steelwork pylon for aerial tramways at 127 metres, the world’s greatest overall height difference of 1,945 metres over one section as well as the world’s longest unsupported span, measuring 3,213 metres. Three incredible records - without even mentioning the magnificent panoramic views offered by the spacious cabins with floor-to-ceiling glazing. Thanks to heated windows, unobstructed visibility can also be enjoyed in bad weather. Views extend even as far as Munich on clear days.
Germany’s highest elevation is home to three glaciers, a unique 360° panorama including mountain peaks from four countries and an attractive range of activities.
This incredible cable car experience will transport alpinists, summer hikers, winter sports enthusiasts and tourists from all over the world to the Zugspitze Peak in first-class comfort. The old cable car previously managed to transport around half a million visitors annually to the Zugspitze; however the historic Eibsee-Seilbahn cable car built originally in 1963, reached its transport capacity limits on busy days. "After installing the cogwheel train, the tunnel to the Sonnalpin and the Eibsee-Seilbahn cable car to make the Zugspitze accessible to the public, the new Cable car Zugspitze forms one of the biggest milestones in our company history," says Peter Huber, Technical Director of Bayerische Zugspitzbahn Bergbahn AG (ret.), with pride about this enormous boost in service quality. The company has invested 50 million Euros into this project - and what a great investment this has proven to be: “The new cable car offers maximum comfort with no queues either on the mountain or down in the valley, which will ultimately attract 10% more users”, estimates Commercial Director of Bayerische Zugspitzbahn Bergbahn AG Matthias Stauch. An increase that represents a positive development for the entire predominantly tourist orientated region.
“State of the art“ - from valley to peak
The fully accessible and disabled-friendly building will provide access to and from the cable cars in a spacious entrance area on one single level. Thanks to a central sliding platform, passengers are able to board and exit the cabin more comfortably and efficiently. The cable car journey culminates at the new mountain terminal, where three passenger levels facilitate access to the glacier cable car, gastronomic infrastructure and the summit terrace, with 360 ° panoramic views. Visitors can also access Münchner Haus and the Tyrolean Zugspitzbahn via the terrace. Fully glazed platforms provide an eye-catching feature and unexpected views on entering and exiting the facility. The south side of the mountain terminal features a spacious and fully glazed stairwell, modelled along the same lines of the existing sundeck seating steps built between 1963 and 1990 between the 2nd and 3rd upper floors, offering stunning views of the Alps and a place for quiet reflection.
As impressive as the new mountain terminal may be, the technical masterpiece it houses at almost 3,000 metres above sea level is its pièce de résistance. The greatest challenges encountered during its creation were the altitude and weather conditions. These included everything from snow and ice in high summer to fog and incessant rain. Fair days, however, compensated the construction workers with the highest and most panoramic workplace in the country. Logistics were also an exciting theme, as limited storage space on the summit meant everything, ranging from cement supplies to steel girders, had to be delivered on a “just-in-time” basis. The past three years on the Zugspitze have provided an incredible spectacle for interested visitors. After construction began in autumn 2014, the creation of the new Cable Car Zugspitze was closely monitored by means of a webcam, online construction diary and a little later, tours of the construction site.
This phase now belongs to the history books. The vision of a new cable car on Germany’s highest peak has now come to fruition. She will commence duty, whilst meeting the highest demands of mountain loving visitors for many decades to come.
Facts & Figures
Aerial tramway (manufacturer ID: 120-ATW)
ᴓ 4 x 72 mm │Weight: 150 tons per cable
Securely braced in the valley and mountain stations
1 hauling cable loop comprising top cable (47 mm, 39 tons)
and lower cable (41 mm, 30 tons)
|Number of pylons
1 steelwork pylon (127 metres in height)
|Zugspitze top station
2.943,75 metres above sea level
In the valley station │ Two drive motors each with a nominal rating of 900 kW
|Eibsee valley station
998,50 metres above sea level
|Cable car manufacturer
10.6 m/s (8.5 m/s when crossing pylons)
Fatzer AG Wire Ropes
120 + 1 attendant
|Cable car control
|Number of gondolas
Two, with glazing down to the floor
CWA Constructions SA/Corp.
|Capacity per hour