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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 [12] runs to the Eiger Glacier in 15 minutes and a ten-person gondolalift 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.

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. The planning permission procedure for Rothenegg station is currently underway. The new trains have all been delivered and are in daily use. After the commissioning of the tricable gondola, they will be transformed according to the new requirements for transport capacities.
  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). Following a decision by the Judicial Directorate of the Canton of Bern, the planning permission procedure was transferred from the canton to the federal government and is now part of the planning permission procedure at the Federal Office of Transport.
  4. Replacement of the four-person gondola lift Grindelwald-Männlichen with a modern ten-person gondola lift. 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 Railway PLUS: Six new panorama trains and a double track on 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 Railway PREMIUM: 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 Eiger glacier and Jungfraujoch, with three shuttling between Kleine Scheidegg and Jungfraujoch. The capacity will increase from 888 to 1,888 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 a great economic significance for the Jungfrau Region during both the construction and the operating phase, with a positive effect on employment and value creation. [13]. A very comprehensive report on environmental compatibility describes, among other things, the careful search for the best environmental option. 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, zoning regulations) overcame the political hurdles, especially with the municipal approvals in Grindelwald and Lauterbrunnen, in 2014. The affected alpine regions (Alpine corporations) of Wärgistal and Itramen have agreed to the transit rights.

After a partial rejection of the usage planning on 8 June 2017 in the approval procedure, the zoning regulations had to be adjusted again. The cantonal ruling demanded corrections to the responsibility between the Federal Government and the canton and, somewhat surprisingly, more freedom for the decision-making authority of the Federal Government. An amended usage code, created in close coordination between all authorities involved in the approval process, is already at the responsible cantonal office for re-approval. On 29 March 2016, the concessions and planning permits were submitted with the Federal Office of Transport (main proceedings). Of the original 15 objections, so far 14 have been settled by negotiation (as at the end of February 2018). The environmental associations (as the remaining opponent) have publicly announced that they will waive a complaint against the decision of the Federal Office. This decision is expected in mid-2018. The participating railways expect the new Männlichen Railway to be opened at the end of 2019 and the tricable gondola at the end of 2020, in the case of procedures running smoothly

V-Cableway Grindelwald Grund Terminal

V-Cableway Grindelwald Grund Terminal