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Project overview

8 cabines monocable ropeway



Tight schedule, tight budget: The renovation of the Schatzberg ropeway in the Ski Juwel Alpbachtal Wildschönau was a special challenge for Salzmann Ingenieure. The Bregenz-based planning office completed the renovation of the 32-year-old ropeway in just over six months. In order to keep within the budget, existing infrastructure had to be integrated into the new installation. At the opening just in time for the start of the winter season, there was every reason to celebrate: the planned construction costs were met.

The initial situation The Tyrolean Schatzberg ski area in Auffach, together with the Alpbach ropeways, forms a large interconnected ski area known as "Ski Juwel Alpbachtal Wildschönau". For 32 years, the 4EUB Schatzberg ropeway was the only feeder from Auffach to bring guests to the ski area - at four kilometers long, it is one of the longest ropeways in Austria. Skiers also used it as a repeat facility, as the available slope areas are very spacious and appealing.

Although technically in perfect condition, the operators had wanted the ropeway to be renewed for years. The reason for this was the insufficient transport capacity of a maximum of 1600 people per hour - too few for up to 5000 daily first-time admissions in the high season. The former ropeway needed an average of four hours to transport them to the ski area. Waiting times of up to 50 minutes at the bottom station were the result. This was a test of patience that fewer and fewer guests were willing to endure.

Due to this congestion, only a few repeaters used the ropeway, especially in the morning. Due to its length of two kilometers, guests also hardly used the parallel drag lift and avoided the attractive slopes. The entire facility was literally on the ropes.

With "Snow-how" to success The best proposal for renewing the installation came from the Bregenz-based planning office Salzmann Ingenieure with its "snow-how" from 350 implemented ropeway projects. "When we received the request in 2013, the customer's wish was clear: to significantly increase the transport capacity and comfort at the lowest possible cost," recalls Managing Director Stephan Salzmann.

"For us, therefore, the conclusion was also clear: we had to continue using as much of the existing infrastructure as possible." Salzmann Ingenieure examined alternatives such as a "retrofit" of the existing system, alternative rail systems and also relocation of the station sites. Ultimately, the specifications could best be met with a modern, detachable single-cable monorail with cabins for eight passengers.

When the investment decision was made in 2016, the cost estimate for the four-kilometer-long tramway and the renewal of the three stations was ultimately 18 million euros. In order to stay within the tight budget, the basements of the bottom, middle and top stations had to remain in place. This meant that existing infrastructure such as three transformer stations, two pumping stations, snowmaking equipment, offices, and ski rental could continue to be used. The existing route also remained almost unchanged. Escalators were installed in the bottom station and a ramp in the middle station in order to transport guests comfortably from the slopes to the higher platform.


The top ropeway station, including the platform with access and exit, as well as a new seat belt station, was newly constructed to the north of the existing structure. The parking ropeway station is located in the existing basement. The ropeway cabins are now parked in the bottom and top ropeway stations in a ground-level spur station with an inspection loop. The haul rope runs over both sections, with the drive located in the top ropeway station for static reasons. The haul rope is tensioned in the bottom ropeway station.

The construction work at the bottom ropeway station brought an unexpected challenge. Contrary to the initial calculations, the statics of the basement did not permit a superstructure. Salzmann Ingenieure quickly found a solution: approximately half of the former lower level was removed, and the other half is spanned by a new steel structure.

"Such a situation is undoubtedly a significant challenge, requiring great flexibility from all parties involved," recalls Stephan Salzmann. However, there was a positive outcome: the cash desks and toilet facilities were also renewed. "Despite the additional effort, we were able to remain within the planned construction costs," Salzmann is pleased to report.

Delays? Not with this ropeway! Besides the cost challenge, the second major hurdle was the time pressure. Despite the on-time submission, the construction negotiation only took place after a month's delay. It was not until May 20, 2017, that the groundbreaking ceremony finally took place, merely six months before the scheduled start of operation. Doppelmayr, as the supplier of the ropeway installation, and the numerous local specialist companies performed admirably: thanks to their speed and competence, the schedule was ultimately met.

Moreover, the craftsmanship involved ensured that traditional values were preserved: the retention of the gable roofs and the use of local wood now exhibit a commendable blend of sustainability and modernity.

On December 8, 2017, the new Schatzberg ropeway finally commenced operation on schedule. The new ropeway has delivered the anticipated benefits: waiting times at the bottom ropeway station have been significantly reduced, and the slopes are being utilized to a much greater extent. Guest satisfaction has experienced a notable increase.


8-cabin monocable ropeway
6,0 m/s
Fahrstrecke gesamt
4.061 m
13 minutes
2.650 P/h
Anzahl Fahrzeuge
912 m

We had a great start to the season! The new ropeway can bring around 2600 guests to the ski area every hour. As a result, things are moving quickly at the station and no one has to wait long.