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The V-Cableway project is a joint venture of Jungfraubahn AG, Wengernalpbahn AG, Gondelbahn Grindelwald-Männlichen AG and Berner Oberland-Bahnen AG. From a common terminal in Grindelwald Grund, a new tricable gondola [2] runs to the Eiger Glacier in 15 minutes and a ten-person gondola runs to Männlichen. The V-Cableway will have a connection to public transport via the Bernese Oberland Railway at the Rothenegg station. The route of the tricable gondola guarantees a unique view of the world-famous Eiger north face. The travel times to Jungfraujoch and the ski area will be significantly shortened by 47 minutes.

The V-Cableway project is a strategic investment programme for the entire Jungfrau Region with eight coordinated elements. These can be described as follows:

  1. Construction of a new Rothenegg station on the Interlaken-Grindelwald railway line of Berner Oberland-Bahnen AG. Procurement of six new multiple units and three new low-floor railcars, which enable a transport capacity increase from 682 to 912 passengers per hour and bring about a shift in traffic onto the rails. Construction of a P+R station at the former military airfield (Interlaken motorway junction). The planning permission procedure is currently in progress for Rothenegg station and the construction of control cars for the longer trains runs to Grindelwald.
  2. A terminal for the two valley stations of the new Männlichen Railway and the tricable gondola "Eiger Express" with direct connection to the new Rothenegg station and to the Grund car park. It offers space for sports shops, a bar, a food corner, a kiosk, an info point with ticket sales, material service, facilities for ski equipment and various shops.
  3. A new Grund car park with space for 1,000 cars on 5 floors (two of them underground). The planning permission procedure is currently being conducted by Interlaken-Oberhasli governmental officials.
  4. Replacement of the Grindelwald-Männlichen four-person gondola by a modern ten-person gondola. The travel time will be nearly halved, doubling the capacity to 1,800 persons per hour. The planning permission procedure is ongoing at the Federal Transport Office.
  5. New tricable gondola from Grindelwald Grund to the Eiger glacier with 44 gondolas and 7 support columns: The Eiger Express has a capacity of 2,400 persons per hour and brings passengers to the Eiger Glacier in 15 minutes. The 44 gondolas have 28 seats each. The planning permission procedure is ongoing at the Federal Transport Office.
  6. Wengernalp RailwayPLUS: Six new panorama trains and the Lauterbrunnen side between Wengen and Allmend station can be seamlessly integrated into the operating concept of the V-Cableway. On the Grindelwald side, this provides three trains with a capacity of 300 persons per hour. On the Wengen side, four trains are to be used with a capacity of 760 persons per hour (seats). On both lines, as in the main season, the service runs every half hour. The investments are practically complete, with the exception of the conversion of the Kleine Scheidegg station. The operating concept will be changed with the completion of the tricable gondola.
  7. Jungfrau RailwayPREMIUM: Four new three-car low-floor trains have been procured for the Jungfrau Railway. The trains of the previous generation are being continually upgraded with regard to driving performance. After completion of the tricable gondola, two trains will shuttle between the Eigergletscher and Jungfraujoch, with three shuttling between Kleine Scheidegg and Jungfraujoch. The capacity will increase from 888 to 1,180 passenger seats per hour (to Jungfraujoch) due to the new trains and the more efficient use of the entire rolling stock.
  8. The First ski area is strengthened by a better connection to the ski resort Kleine Scheidegg-Männlichen and its own bus terminal at Grund. The ski bus line runs every fifteen minutes and is reinforced at peak times.

The objectives of the V-Cableway project can be summarised as follows: The cableway will have a connection to public transport via Berner Oberland-Bahnen AG at the new Rothenegg station. Thanks to the associated reduction in travel times, winter sports are becoming more attractive and the competitiveness of Jungfraujoch – Top of Europe is being strengthened. The direct connection and the new rolling stock increase the attractiveness of the railway and ensure a shift in traffic from road to rail. Central junctions are de-congested, long-term traffic problems solved. The Jungfrau Region, with its new modern shuttle systems, a joint terminal in the valley, shorter travel times, direct public transport connections and an attractive ski area connection, is expanding its top position as an international winter sports and holiday destination.

The V-Cableway has great economic importance for the Jungfrau Region during the construction as well as the operating phase with a positive impact on employment and added value. [3] On the other hand, without the V-Cableway, a demand reduction as well as a loss of labour and value creation in the region can be expected in all scenarios. The lines of the tricable gondola were defined as the most ecological option, taking into consideration natural hazards and the environmental compatibility test. The Swiss Nature and Protection Commission (ENHK) attests that the tricable gondola only slightly impacts upon the BLN protection area. All the necessary spatial planning measures were decided by the Oberland-Ost (RVK) regional conference as well as the municipalities of Grindelwald and Lauterbrunnen. The usage planning (adaptation of cantonal policy planning, inclusion in the overall regional transport and settlement concept, zone plan, overbuilding regulations) has overcome the political hurdles, especially with the municipal approvals in Grindelwald and Lauterbrunnen. They have been approved on a district court level. The affected alpine regions (Alpine corporations) of Wärgistal and Itramen have agreed to the transit rights. On 29 March 2016, the concessions and planning permits were submitted with the Federal Office of Transport. At the same time, the planning applications for the secondary facilities were submitted to Interlaken's governing body. Of the original 15 objections, nine were settled by negotiation. The decision of the Federal Office and the minister is expected in 2017. Large parts of the replacements of rolling stock at Jungfrau Railway, Wengernalp Railway and the Bernese Oberland Railway have already been implemented. The participating railways expect the new Männlichen Railway to be opened at the end of 2018 and the tricable gondola at the end of 2019, assuming an optimal process sequence.