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Eiger Express

Did you know…
… ABB motors and drives power a high-speed cable car up to the Eiger glacier in the Swiss Alps?

In operation since December 2020, the Eiger Express cable car carries riders from the mountain village of Grindelwald to the Eiger Glacier station in just 15 minutes.

Operated by the Jungfrau Railways, the cableway takes riders to the Eiger Glacier station, from which they can connect to a Jungfrau Railway train to reach the “Top of Europe”, the highest railway station in Europe, at 3,453 meters above sea level. This shortens the travel time to the Jungfraujoch by three quarters of an hour, which further increases the attractiveness of this Swiss tourist highlight.

With 44 cable cars, Eiger Express travels at a maximum speed of 8 meters per second, almost 29 km per hour, over a distance of almost 6.5 km and a difference in altitude of 1,385 meters. Running at full capacity the cableway can transport 2,200 people per hour.

ABB supplied the system solution: four electric motors with an output of 500 kW each, each driven by a regenerative frequency converter. The system is so powerful the cable car can actually operate at full capacity with only three drive trains, only at a slightly slower speed of 6 meters per second.

Sixteen regenerative converters from ABB are also installed to accelerate and brake the cable cars at the mountain and valley stations. The resulting kinetic braking energy is converted into electrical energy and fed back into the network. With a fully occupied cable car, around 30 Wh can be recuperated. One cycle of the 44 cable cars - each of the mountain and valley stations - generates around 2.5 kWh.

Key facts:

  • 44 cable cars transport 2,200 people per hour
  • Operates with 4 electric motors with an output of 500 kW each
  • travels almost 6.5 kilometers and 1,385 meters in altitude in just 15 minutes