Innovative mountain railway: Metro Alpin starts into the future

With the ceremonial opening of the new Metro Alpin, an important milestone was set in the infrastructural development of the local mountain railways. The event offered the shareholders, guests and media representatives present the exclusive opportunity to view the modernized facilities.

The Metro Alpin, which originally opened on December 19, 1984, runs from the “Felskinn” station (2,980 m above sea level) to the “Mittelallalin” station (3,456 m above sea level) on the northern slope of the Allalinhorn. Construction of this high-alpine funicular began on September 1, 1981 and was a pioneering achievement in cable car technology at the time. Since it was opened, the Metro Alpin has served primarily for ski and excursion tourism and provided access to the highest revolving restaurant in the world . With a tunnel section of 1,447 meters and a height difference of 476 meters, it has transported hundreds of thousands of visitors over the last four decades.

To mark its 40th anniversary this year, the Metro Alpin was extensively modernized after six years of planning . The modernization of the highest funicular in the world was made possible by the involvement of over twenty companies and authorities. The new, ultra-modern and comfortable carriages have space for a total of 95 people and take around 4.5 minutes to cover the 1,447 meter long route . In addition to the new carriages, the completely new platform doors make boarding and alighting much easier and reduce waiting times for passengers. These technical innovations underline the continued importance of the Metro Alpin as the heart of the tourist infrastructure of Saas-Fee and the Saas Valley.
The reconstruction of the Metro Alpin presented those responsible with some major challenges. Since the Felskinnbahn serves as a feeder to the glacier ski area, construction work could not begin until after the winter season. The tight schedule of two months and the cramped space required extremely efficient cooperation between all those involved. In particular, the transport of the new cars using the Felskinnbahn and the subsequent transport through the access tunnel left no room for error.

A highlight of the event was the first official ride in the new Metro Alpin cars, which was enthusiastically received by those present. Matthias Supersaxo, Tourism Director of the Saas-Fee/Saastal destination, explained: “The modernization of the Metro Alpin is a significant step to offer our guests even more comfort and an unforgettable experience. It remains a core part of our tourism offering.” Simon Bumann, CEO of Saastal Bergbahnen AG, added: “With the new cars and the improved infrastructure, we are setting new standards in the modernization of existing facilities together with our partner companies. The Metro Alpin is not only a technical masterpiece, but also an important contribution to the sustainable development of tourism in our region.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button