Eibsee Cable Car
The Eibsee Cable Car, which opened in 1963, is a cable car which connects the lower station (973 metres or 3,192 feet above sea level) near lake Eibsee with the top station at 2,950 metres (9,678 ft) above sea level next to the summit of Zugspitze, Germany's highest mountain on the border to Austria. Since December 21, 2017, the Eibsee Cable Car holds the world records for longest freespan in a cable car at 3,213 metres (10,541 ft)—surpassing the Peak-to-Peak Gondola, connecting Whistler and Blackcomb—and highest support pylon for a cable car at 127 m (416 ft). The singular super-pylon is the only support tower between the stations.
The cable car was built to provide a faster access to the Zugspitze from its German side, as the cog railway from Garmisch-Partenkirchen does not go directly to the summit and takes much longer. The Eibsee Cable Car belongs to Bayerische Zugspitzbahn Bergbahn AG, the company operating the cog railway and most cable cars, gondola lifts and chairlifts in the Garmisch-Partenkirchen area. It is thus possible to make round trips using both the cog railway and the cable car. On the Austrian side, there is the Tyrolean Zugspitze Cable Car which starts at Ehrwald and meets the Eibsee Cable Car on the top.
The old Eibsee Cable Car (decommissioned in April 2017) had a length of 4,450 metres (14,600 ft) and an elevation gain of 1,950 metres (6,398 ft). The old Eibsee Cable Car ran over two pylons, which were 65 metres (213 ft) and 85 metres (279 ft) high, respectively. The latter was the highest cable support pylon in Germany. The two cabins taking 44 persons each were suspended from two track ropes and were moved by two haulage ropes. The track ropes had a diameter of 46 mm (1.81 in) each, and the hauling cables had a diameter of 29 mm (1.14 in) each. It ran on 750 kilowatts (1,010 hp) of power, generated in the valley station. The route is normally traveled in 10 minutes at a speed of 36 km/h (22 mph). The tramway can accommodate 300 persons per direction each hour. The elevation gain of 1,950 metres (6,398 ft) was already the highest of all aerial cableways achieved in a single section.
Due to rebuilding, the cable car was out of service from 2 April 2017. The rebuilt ropeway holds the world record for the longest freespan in a cable car at 3,213 metres (10,541 ft).. The construction of the complete cable car system however, took much longer than one summer. The construction project began in 2015 and ends at 22 December 2017 with opening of the now called Seilbahn Zugspitze.
On 12 September 2018, during a emergency training exercise, one of the cables tied to a rescue vehicle broke while descending to an empty stationary gondola that was approximately 280 m below the mountain station. As a result, the rescue vehicle crashed into the gondola at full speed, severely damaging both vehicles. As both the rescue vehicle and the gondola were empty during the exercise, nobody was hurt.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Zugspitze.|
- Zugspitze Roundtrip, Accessed on 22 Jan 10.
- "Zugspitze-Eibsee Cable Car — One Ropeway, Three World Records". Gondola Project. Retrieved 22 December 2017.
- Göttler, Dominik. "Nach Kollision bei Übung: Zugspitzbahn steht still - Kettenzug gerissen". Merkur.de. Retrieved 13 September 2018.
- Description and pictures on Seilbahngeschichte.de (German)
- Pylon I on skyscraperpage
- Pylon II on skyscraperpage
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