The first span of the aerial cableway Tierfehd-Kalktrittli is longer than one half of the entire cableway. Photo: Rudolf Hug

Inauen-Schätti: Cableway on demand

Self-service is the concept behind the new aerial cableway Tierfehd-Kalktrittli which connects the village of Linthal with a hiking area around the pumped storage power plant Limmern.

As the general contractor, INAUEN-SCHÄTTI had to meet a number of challenges.


The pumped storage power plant Limmern is not only worth visiting by itself but, together with the reservoirs Limmernsee and Muttsee, it is also located in a popular hiking area in the canton of Glarus.


To enable visitors a comfortable ascent, the energy company Axpo has decided to replace the existing cable car from the 1960s with a new one to run along the route of a construction ropeway from 2009.


“The goal was to build a self-operated installation with simple maintenance, requiring only an IKSS (intercantonal concordat for cableways and ski lifts) license and able to utilize as much of the available construction ropeway’s infrastructure as possible,” explains Jörg Huwyler, head of the Hydro Energy and Biomass Division at AXPO, the project.

And there is only one cableway manufacturer with enough experience in compact cableways and special orders to handle such a challenge. “Our partner of many years, INAUEN-SCHÄTTI, prevailed in the public tender. They won us over with their rich know-how and a good price offer – and the end product proves that we picked the right supplier,” says a contented Martin Steiner, deputy director of Kraftwerke Linth-Limmern AG.


SI’s on-site visit confirms Steiner’s opinion: the passenger cableway is equipped with the latest technology and monitored with the power plant control unit’s cameras. Thanks to this, it can be operated without an attendant. The two-track reversible cableway has two cabins (implemented in red and silver), each for eight persons, and is selfoperated.


“Passengers operate the cableway like a regular elevator. Tickets can be purchased from a vending machine located at the bottom station,” says Huwyler, describing the simple and flexible concept behind the “cableway on demand”.


In contrast to the old deconstructed passenger cableway from the sixties which used a regular schedule, rides are now available at any time. In addition, operating costs are now substantially lower.

Martin Steiner

Kraftwerke Linth-Limmern AG deputy director


“We are very happy with INAUEN-SCHÄTTI’s work and can only recommend cooperation with them. They not only delivered on time but also stayed within the budget!”

Jörg Huwyler

Head of AXPO’s Hydro Energy and Biomass Division


“We wanted a simple and flex ible concept and a cableway integrating the existing infrastructure. INAUEN-SCHÄTTI achieved this in an impressive way!”

Passengers can purchase tickets at ticket machines, a turnstile secures the access. Photos: SI/Surrer

Far off from “standard”

Close to four million francs were invested by Kraftwerke Linth- Limmern AG into the entire project, a figure which remained under the budgeted amount. To achieve this was possible only thanks to INAUEN-SCHÄTTI acting as the general contractor.


The company carried out the entire project, from dismantling the old cableway to structural adaptation of the existing infrastructure.


“The greatest challenge was integration of the modern, compact technology into the old construction ropeway’s infrastructure the dimensions of which were far too great compared to those of the new cableway,” describes Oswald Hauser, project manager with Inauen-Schätti.

Compact cableway technology but large stations and high towers: integration of the new technology into the old infrastructure was a challenge for the installers. Photos: INAUEN-SCHÄTTI

It was necessary to reutilize the stations, concrete foundations and towers.


“This project is everything but standard. The compact cableway is very special and highly customized,” continues Hauser. He goes on to explain that the technical design of an intermediate exit platform at tower no. 1 to be used by the power plant workers and alpine farmers presented the greatest problem of all: a hydraulic exit platform had to be installed, along with an additional holding break in the upper station.


“And this was not the only place where we had to change the preliminary exterior designs to minimize difficulties for both ourselves and the operator,” says the project manager. In the upper station, for example, the company ended up anchoring the technollogy not in the building but in a rock and installing an entrance platform tower to protect the cableway technology from snow.


To summarize: The “cableway on demand” is definitely a very special installation – and anything but standard.

Technical Data:

PSB Tierfehd-Kalktrittli