You’ve got time – make sure you have fun
During the reconstruction of the 5-star Riffelalp Resort 2222 m hotel a revival of the tram operation was also considered. However, time had left its marks on the tram carriages, which made a re-commissioning of the original tram too costly. The installation of the original two-phase overhead contact line alone would not have been possible due to numerous new safety regulations.
After several options were developed, it was decided to re-establish the service with two motor cars for passenger transportation and one trailer for goods and luggage. Today, the tram is driven by a battery (80 V, 400 Ah) and two d.c. motors each delivering 10 kW. The battery is partially recharged during the electric breaking operation. A hydraulic disk break is used for stopping and mechanical breaking. The parking brake consists of a springloaded brake.
During the reconstruction the focus was on rebuilding the trams according to their original appearance. The electrical equipment was supplied by Stimbo in Zermatt, while Visp-based Zurbriggen + Kreuzer provided the wooden superstructure. Gornergrat Bahn (GGB) was responsible for coordination, engineering, driving the authorization procedure (with the Federal Ministry of Transportation) and for the railway construction.
Since the rails had been removed many years before, the rail system had to be completely rebuilt as well. Unlike its predecessor, the tram features an attractive loop around the hotel park, a link to the cargo ramp at Riffelalp station and an access track to the hotel’s own tram depot with room for two trams.
On June 12, 2001, the newly installed tram facility was approved by the federal authorities and subsequently resumed operation as Europe’s highest tram after 40 years of retirement. At a maximum speed of 10 kilometres per hour hotel guests can commute leisurely and in true Belle Epoque style between Riffelalp station and the hotel. Luggage and other goods are transported on the state-of-the art trailer. This tram will enchant many tram and train nostalgics.
Opening June 15, 2001
Overall length 675,31 m
Length of line operated 675,31 m
New terminal loop 190,36 m
Rail weight 26 kg/m
Rail type: Vignole
Steel sleepers approx. 40 kg each
Rail gauge 0,80 m
Depot for 2 trams with battery station
Battery operation 80 Volt, 320 Ah
Maximum speed 10 km/h
In 2013 the Riffelalp Tram was constructed as model railway and is operating in the Avenue du Rocher.
> Learn more about it.