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  • Saas-Fee
  • Saas-Grund
  • Saas-Almagell
  • Saas-Balen

Overview Project new building Spielbodenbahn

In the summer of 2016, the Spielbodenbahn with the legendary orange gondolas from 1976 was dismantled in Saas-Fee and in less than eight months a new cableway was built.

On winter 2016/17, the Spielbodenbahn was put into operation. The spacious 10-seater cabins with large panoramic windows and free WiFi transport guests in less than 9 minutes on the ground. In addition, there is now the possibility to change to the new cable station Bifig on the Felskinnbahn. Thus, the sun-side ski resort Längfluh is upgraded and the ski resort connection is improved.

Spielbodenbahn in Operation 20. Dezember 2016

Opening Spielbodenbahn

The new Spielbodenbahn cableway has cost around CHF 20 million. Funding for the project by the state, shareholders, the people of Saas-Fee and a leasing partner was secured in March this year. The demolition of the existing 40-year-old Spielbodenbahn cableway began on 10 June 2016 with construction of the new cableway starting a few weeks later. Now, a little over six months later, the new cableway is ready for inauguration.

The cableway will be officially inaugurated with a party for guests and locals on Monday 26 December 2016. At 3.30 p.m., Pirmin Zurbriggen, president of the board of directors of Saastal Bergbahnen AG, will address the visitors on the sports ground Kalbermatten, right next to the valley station of the Spielbodenbahn where snow sports enthusiasts arrive after their descent and meet with pedestrians. His address will be followed by concerts by local band Wintersholm and Anna Rossinelli, a singer from Basel. While WintersHome are on home turf as almost half the band members are the children of our former ski star and current president of the board of directors of Saastal Bergbahnen AG, Pirmin Zurbriggen, the surroundings are less familiar for Basel singer Anna Rossinelli. She represented Switzerland at the Eurovision Song Contest 2011 in Dusseldorf.

Cableway running since 17 December

The cableway already began operations on Saturday, 17 December 2016, in time for the Christmas holiday season. It can transport up to 1,400 people to the Spielboden ski area in 39 modern 10-seat cabins in just eight-and-a-half minutes. Passengers now also have the option to change onto the Felskinnbahn cableway at the mid station Bifig, which is an additional advantage for our visitors.

The old gondolas are being put to good use. They were up for sale for Saas-Fee guests and a good few are probably now enjoying a new lease of life as little huts in gardens around Europe. And it’s not just our guests who benefit from their special souvenir: 20 percent of the proceeds of the gondola sales were donated to Blindspot, a national funding agency for young people with and without disabilities.

The media are also cordially invited to attend the inaugural event on 26 December 2016 / the first day of operations on 20 December 2016. Media representatives will have the chance to ride on the cableway and hold interviews with the project leaders at Saastal Bergbahnen AG. The Spielboden mountain station will also be serving celebratory drinks (see attached programme with registration).

For further facts on the construction of the new Spielbodenbahn, please see the press information enclosed. Images of the construction phase are available on request.

For more information, see  

New gondolas 30th November 2016

The first five new gondolas were delivered on 4 November 2016, the others on 16, 17, and 18 November 2016. The hangers were fixed onto the gondolas and then they were assembled one after the other using the clamps. The first gondolas went into operation on 10 November 2016. The necessary adjustments for this had already been made step by step at the individual stations in advance with the previously delivered load barrels.

Both sections have been operating since mid-November, reaching a maximum speed of 6 metres per second (m/s). The manufacturers of the systems, Gararaventa and Frey AG, are currently in the middle of pre-approval testing. In the short intervals between these tests, STB is running the new cableway in a trial operation. Meanwhile, the staff are also being trained and familiarised with the new cableway.

The inspection and approval procedure by the Federal Office of Transport is scheduled to take place between 7-9 December 2016 and 12-13 December 2016. This approval is required for obtaining an operating licence. Thanks to the smooth construction procedure and the untiring work of all the participating companies and our staff we are confident that we can put the new Spielbodenbahn cableway into operation on schedule.

Splicing of the haulage cable 25th October 2016

The facades of the valley station and the mountain station were completed by 24 October. The ticket office of the Spielbodenbahn is being converted by the construction group of the Saastal Bergbahnen.

The control centre of the mountain station Spielboden was flown in with the help of Air Zermatt and assembled on 13 October 2016. The prefabricated control centre of the midway station was put in place on 24 October 2016.

The power supply was turned on at all stations on 24 October 2014. In late October the electrical control barriers were assembled and work started on the commissioning.

The haulage cable of the first section was delivered on 18 October 2016 and then inserted and preloaded between 19 and 21 October 2016. It was spliced on 24 and 25 October 2016. The haulage cable for the second section was delivered on 29 October 2016 and was inserted and preloaded between 31 October and 2 November 2016. The haulage cable was spliced on 3 November 2016.

Transport of haulage cable 18th October 2016

On 18 October 2016, Wipfli Transporte delivered the haulage cable for the second section of the Spielbodenbahn, transporting a total weight of 70 tonnes. The cable is four kilometres long, with a diameter of 52mm and a weight of 40 tonnes. It was manufactured by the company Fatzer. Bircher Seilbahnen inserted the haulage cable during the following days using a helping cable. Splicing takes place on 25 and 26 October 2016.

On 10 October, the steelworks at the Kalbermatten valley station and the roofing were completed.

The steel construction for the platform at the midway station Bifig has been erected and the installation of the grating started on 10 October 2016. The drive for the first section has already been pre-assembled.

Construction progress of the Spielboden cableway 3rd October 2016

Construction work on the pylons and the foundations for the valley station, the midway station and the mountain station were completed by 12 September 2016.

Work on assembling the steel structure was able to commence on schedule on 12 September 2016. The installation of the electromechanical systems is also in full swing.

At the end of September 2016, the construction work for the electromechanical systems was completed and the construction team is now busy with the utility lines and landscaping. The steelworkers are currently installing the building envelopes of all stations. The electromechanical systems for the midway station Bifig are also currently being installed.

Frey AG, the control system supplier, has been on site since 26 September 2016 performing preparatory work.

On 30 September 2016, the helping cable with a diameter of 22mm was installed. This cable will be used to insert the final haulage cable with a diameter of 52mm. The cable, which weighs 77 tonnes, will be delivered on 9 axes on 14 October 2016. The haulage cable of the second section will then be inserted in the following days.

The hall of the valley station, the platform of the midway station and the facade of the valley station are all scheduled for completion by the end of October. The cable winch is scheduled for installation in the middle of October, followed by the installation of the cableway technology at the end of October. 

Erection of the pylons 1st September 2016

The material for the pylons was transported to Saas-Fee in the middle of August 2016 on articulated lorries. The pre-assembly works for the pylons were then performed on site.

On 1 September, the pylons 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 11, 12, 13 for the new Spielboden cableway were flown to their positions with the Heliswiss Kamov and assembled. The Kamov KA 32 A12 is an extremely powerful heavy lift helicopter, with two engines and a coaxial rotor system, and is capable of lifting up to 5 tonnes. We made a video of this spectacular operation.

The remaining pylons, apart from the slanting exit pylon of the midway station Bifig, were erected on 16 and 17 September 2016. Pylon number 5, the exit pylon, was erected on 30 September 2016.

Construction progress 9th August 2016

Works on the valley station for the new Spielboden cableway are proceeding on schedule and according to plan. The base plate of the lower floor has already been built and the pipes have been laid. The walls of the lower floor have all been cemented. The retaining walls have been built and the wind bracing cemented.

The formwork and cementing for the large supporting bridge at the midway station commenced in late July. The excavation works for the front stayers of the first section and the foundations of the pylons have been completed. The underpinning and the foundation trussing on the mountain side have been executed. All three stayers of the wall slab and both foundations of the Y pylons are finished.

The demolition of the concrete valley station building was completed in late July. Excavation works for the front and back stayers were carried out and the foundation of both stayers and the base plate were then cemented.

Six old pylons still need to be demolished. The foundation works for the pylons are almost finished. Five foundations still have to be built. A geologist is making a protocol of all the foundations to record the soil parameters on which the statistical calculations have been based (stability).

Spielbodenbahn ground-breaking ceremony 5th July 2016

Here goes! Construction of the Spielbodenbahn cableway, which is so hugely important to Saas-Fee, began today. The president of the Saastal Bergbahnen executive board, Pirmin Zurbriggen, led the ground-breaking ceremony at 10 a.m. on the site of the future valley station.

In his short speech at the beginning of the ceremony, Pirmin Zurbriggen underlined the importance of the Spielbodenbahn cableway for the holiday destination Saas-Fee and praised the perseverance shown in securing financing for the project. Saas-Fee village mayor and chairman of the board of Saastal Bergbahnen, Roger Kalbermatten, was equally optimistic and believes that the new Spielbodenbahn cableway represents a great opportunity for Saas-Fee. The opening of the first Spielbodenbahn cableway in 1954 marked the beginning of an economic upturn in Saas-Fee. Hopes are that the new modern cableway will have a similar effect.

Rainer Flaig, member of the board of Saastal Bergbahnen AG, is convinced that the new cableway will sustainably increase the appeal of the holiday destination. The new cableway offers a second route for reaching the ski area and provides visitors with a lot more comfort. The cableway is constructed in two sections but the passengers do not have to change gondolas. The new ten-person gondolas with free WiFi take passengers directly to the Spielboden in just eight minutes – cutting the time of the trip by half. The two sections can be operated separately, increasing flexibility in bad weather.

Dismantling of the pylons20th July 2016

The 1st reconstruction pictures 16th June 2016

Construction work begins 3rd June 2016

On Monday 6 June 2016, construction work will commence on the new Spielbodenbahn cableway. Saastal Bergbahnen AG (STB) is pleased that the construction work will be largely carried out with local partners. The new Spielbodenbahn is scheduled to open for the 2016/17 winter season.

The first construction phases were defined in a kick-off meeting with the construction companies on 30 May. On 6 June, work will begin on the demolition of the old valley station, with the disposal of the asbestos waste being carried out by a specialist company. The installations will then made for the construction site at the valley station. The excavators will start on the demolition work on 10 June.  Hiking trails around the construction area may be intermittently blocked off during the construction period. In particular while the steel cables are being dismantled, the area underneath the cableway will be closed off for security reasons. During the entire construction period, dust formation and noise emissions may occasionally ensue due to the helicopter flights and construction site traffic. Water sprays will be used to keep dust levels to a minimum. The STB and all construction companies working on the project will do their best to keep inconveniences and emissions to a minimum.

Following the demolition works in June, construction work on the stations and the cableway will begin in July. Construction of the masts is scheduled for September and the installation of the cableway technology at the stations for November. The time pressure is huge and adherence to the tight schedule is largely dependent on the weather. However, all the companies involved are doing everything they can to complete the Spielbodenbahn in time for the 2016/17 season.

    Project New Spielboden Gondola 10th March 2016

    Funding for the Spielbodenbahn is secured, 10 March 2016

    At its meeting today, the executive board of Saastal Bergbahnen announced that funding will definitely go ahead for the Spielbodenbahn. The 20-million-franc project will be financed by shareholders, the state, and a leasing partner. The new cableway is scheduled to open in time for the 2016/17 winter season. Construction begins this spring.

    On 10 March the new executive board president, Pirmin Zurbriggen, gave the long-awaited announcement that the Spielbodenbahn would receive funding. Some of the money will be raised through a share capital increase, the rest will be provided by the state and by a leasing partner.
    That should ensure smooth operations for the 2016/17 winter season. The new cableway is expected to open on 22 December 2016, when the season starts. “We are very pleased about this positive outcome,” said Pirmin Zurbriggen, president of the Saastal Bergbahnen executive board. “The construction of the new cableway will help secure jobs and will greatly enhance the Spielboden-Langflüh skiing and hiking area.”

      An upgrade for the Saas Valley

      Improved services

      • Transformation from an outdated feeder cableway to a state-of-the art cableway in summer and winter
      • Improved acccess to the Spielboden / Längfluh area - a south-facing mountainsideset amidst a unique glacier scenery
      • Enhanced experience for pedestrians and summer visitors thanks due Bike transport

        Enhanced cableway experience

        • Journey time reduced by more than half
        • No walking, waiting, queuing
        • Spacious, 10-passenger cabins
        • Child- and family-friendly
        • Free WiFi in every gondola

        More flexibility

        • A second connecting line to the ski area
        • Improved guest flow thanks to two fully developed main axes
        • Non-stop service from Kalbermatten to Spielboden
        • Option to run the two sections autonomous in case of bad weather at the top
        • Option to board for the three main areas Mittelallalin, Plattjen and Längfluh
        • Efficient summer operation in combination with the Alpin Express

        More sustainability

        • Secures employment
        • Optimised energy concept
        • Potential cableway expansion to P2 car park (arrival terminal) and to Längfluh
        • A sustainable investment

        Technical details

        1st section 2nd section Total
        Inclined length: 486m 1895m 2381m
        Vertical height: 38m 612m 650m
        No. of gondolas: 10/15* 29/41* 39/56*
        Gondola size: 10er gondola 10er gondola 10er gondola
        Number of towers: 4 12 16
        Capacity per hour: 1400/2000* 1400/2000* 1400/2000*
        Ride time: 2min 19s 6min 14s 8min 33s
        *Final configuration

        Involved Company

        Air Zermatt AGmaterial transportation
        Elektro Supersaxo AGelectric installations
        Elektro Saas AGelectric installations
        EW Saas-Feeelectric exploitation
        Netleitelectric exploitation
        Fink Holzbau AGcommand centers
        Forstrevier Saastalclearance
        Gasser Gerüste AGwork on scaffolding
        Gebr. Gsponer AGdecommissioning fuel tank
        Gilgenautomatic  doors
        Häner GmbHgates
        Heinz Altmann AGdismantlement electrotechnology cable car
        HeliSwiss International AGhelicopter montage
        Heriwan Energy Heiztechnikdismantlement and disposal of fuel tank
        Imwinkelried Lüftung und Klima AGaeration performance room
        Jürgen Bumannpainter and plasterer work
        Köstner GmbHfire protection rolling door
        Krummenacher Stahl- und Metallbau AGtank farm
        Lauber IWISA AGplumber- and flat roof work
        Lauber IWISA AGsanitary work                                             
        Loop 21cabine infotainment
        Lötscher Gerüste AGwork on scaffolding
        Metallprofi In-Albonmetal construction work
        NeoVac AG / Talimextank charging  storage tank
        Secu Suisse AGaccess control kaba
        Schweiz Mobiliar Versicherunginsurance
        STB AGin-house effort managment
        The Larix GmbHcatering for workersr
        Theler AGmaster builder work
        Transporte Zurbriggen & Co.skip transportation
        Tytec AG Solutionsproject management EUB Spielboden Jul 16
        Ulrich Imboden AGmaster builder work
        Unwired Networks GmbHwireless
        Valmedia AGcontract site panels
        Wetter AGsteel manufacture Lot 6-8
        Zurbriggen Karl AGgeometer
        Garaventa AG Elektromechanik                                                
        Bircher Seilbahnen GmbH Montage
        Fatzer AG Seile
        Frey AG Stans Steuerung
        CWA Olten Kabinen
        Tytec AG Solutions Gesamtprojektleitung                                                
        Galliker und Riva Architekten AG Architekturleistungen
        Ingeniergemeinschaft sbp/LABAG:
        sbp Ingenieure Raron
        Lauber Ingenieure Zermatt
        Burchard GmbH Geologische und Hydrologische Baubegleitung
        Buweg GmbH Unweltbaubegleitung
        Kuster + Partner AG Lärmschutznachweis
        Meteotest Windgutachten
        OSPAG Geologie
        Pernet Ingénieur Conseil SàRL Expertise Talstation
        Peter Deubelbeiss AG Brandschutzbericht
        Schmidt Leander Lärmmessungen  
        SPI Ingenieure AG Prüfingenieur
        Wasser, Schnee, Lawinen Schutzmassnahmen
        Bundesamt für Verkehr BAV                                                
        Bundesämter ARE, BAFU, BAZL
        Gemeinde Saas-Fee
        Gemeindepolizei Saas-Fee
        Staat Wallis, Ämter
        CCF Finanzierung
        Raiffeisenbank Mischabel Matterhorn
        Zürcher Kantonalbank
        UBS AG
        Credit Suisse AG


        Was bisher geschah

        13.09.2015 Eingabe Planungsgenehmigungsgesuch für den Neubau der Spielbodenbahn mit Freestyle & Cross Campus beim BAV
        12.10.2015 Informationsveranstaltung für die Bevölkerung
        Nov. 2015 Entscheid VR zur Redimensionierung des Projekts aufgrund fehlender Finanzierung
        16.02.2016 Eingabe Projektänderung beim BAV
        23.05.2016 Teilverfügung für die Genehmigung des Abbruchs
        30.05.2016 Startsitzung mit den Bauunternehmen
        06.06.2016 Beginn Demontagearbeiten Elektromechanik und Vorbereitungen Abbruch Talstation

        So geht's weiter

        Juni Abbrucharbeiten, Aushub
        Juli/August Bauarbeiten Stationen und Strecke
        September Stützen, Beginn Montagearbeiten Stationen
        Oktober/November Ausbau, Montagearbeiten Seilbahntechnik
        Dezember Inbetriebnahme und Abnahme durch BAV

        Facts & Figures Saastal Bergbahnen AG

        Mountain Management vergleicht alle zwei Jahre die besten 55 Skigebiete in Europa und ist mit knapp 50‘000 Befragten die repräsentativste Studie. In den aktuellen Studien ist das Skigebiet Saas-Fee immer in den Top 10 klassiert. 

        1. Serfaus1. Zermatt
        2. Saas-Fee2. Serfaus
        3. Aletsch-Arena3. Arosa
        4. Lech Zürs 4. Sulden
        4. Schladming4. Alta Badia
        4. Zermatt4. Adelboden-Lenk
        7. Kronplatz7. Gröden
        8. Arosa8. Saas-Fee
        9. Ischgl9. Kronplatz
        10. Gröden10. Laax




        Bilanzsumme 31.10.2015 TCH 53'990
        Umsatz GJ 2013/14TCHF 23'297
        EBITDA GJ 2013/14TCHF 7'800
        Cash Flow (betrieblich)TCHF 6'837
        EK/FK-Verhältnis43% / 57%
        GesamtinvestitionenMCHF 236 (per 31.10.2015)
        3-Seilumlaufbahnen 2
        Max. Förderkapazität pro h ca. 28'000 Personen
        Pistenkilometer Saas-Fee 100 km (blau: 33 / rot: 53/ schwarz: 9 / gelb: 5)
        Gletscherpisten35 km
        Schneesichere Pisten Total 72 km (72%)
        Pistenkilometer Saas-Almagell 12km (blau: 4 / rot: 6 / schwarz: 2)
        Winter 2014/2015 338'000
        Sommerski 201586'000
        Skierdays an Top-Tagen 5'391
        Anzahl Betriebe10
        Total Sitzplatz-Kapazität 3'380
        Durchschnittlicher Wasserbedarf pro Saison ca. 600'000 m3
        Kosten für einen Kilometer Pistenbeschneiung CHF 50'000 pro Saison
        <strong>Anlage</strong> <strong>Baujahr</strong> <strong>Betriebsbewilligung</strong> <strong>Investitionsjahr</strong> <strong>Ersatzinvestitionen MCHF (Grobkosten)</strong>
        GB Spielboden 1954/1976 30.4.2015 2015 ca. 19.5
        GB Hannig 1969/1992 31.8.2018 2018
        GB Plattjen 1963/1999 30.4.2019 2019
        SS Metro Alpin 1984 31.12.2024 2024
        PB Längfluh 1959/1977 31.12.2024 2024
        SB Längfluh 2005 31.8.2025
        PB Felskinn 1969/2006 31.5.2026
        SB Morenia 2006 31.5.2026
        3S Alpin Express 1/2 1991/1994 31.3.2034

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