A genuine project of superlatives: by December 2017, Mount Zugspitze (2,962 metres high) is to be equipped with a new cableway and mountaintop station. The company Bayerische Zugspitzbahn AG will be investing 50 million euros in the project as a whole. The enterprise Stahlbau Pichler headquartered in Bolzano is responsible for the steel and façade construction of the new “Zugspitze Cableway”. The owner of the enterprise is Walter Pichler, who doubles as a Licence Partner of Engel & Völkers in Southern Tyrol.
On 21 December the cableway is to be inaugurated following a three-year construction period, but a great deal still needs to be completed beforehand. After all, not only must the structure be able to withstand extremely high strains through its use and extreme weather and temperature conditions; it also represents a genuine challenge in terms of the logistics involved. All construction materials must be supplied just in time as the vulnerable location of the construction site at the mountain only provides very limited storage facilities.
The new cableway will be every bit as sophisticated as its predecessor inaugurated in 1963, an aerial tramway with a carrying and traction cable. On the other hand, the new construction has been commended as a three-fold “world champion”. “The cableway will overcome a difference in altitude of 1,945 metres and will be kept in place by a support pylon only 127 metres high. With a span range of 3,213 metres, the free span simultaneously also is the longest ever built in the world,” reports Walter Pichler.
A total of almost 1,000 tonnes of steel will have gone into the construction and the 5,300 sqm façade. At three levels, starting in December the new station will provide catering as well as a peak terrace with a spectacular 360 degree panorama view. No wonder, then, that the venue for the team excursion of Engel & Völkers in Southern Tyrol scheduled for mid-September will be Germany’s highest and probably most spectacular construction site.
All photographs ©Alex Filz