First Aerial Cableway - Ride to a hiking & skiing paradise
The key element of the First Aerial Cableway is the cableway with six-seater gondolas travelling from Grindelwald up to First via Bort and Schreckfeld. The gondola cableway has a capacity of up to 1200 persons per hour with a travelling time of approximately 25 minutes. Firstbahn AG also has three chairlifts and two ski lifts, and it is a subsidiary of Jungfrau Railways.
Construction of the chairlift after World War II
The initial ideas for the construction of a First railway, albeit as a funicular, began to evolve in the 1930s. The company was founded in 1938. However, the various projects ground to a halt, mainly because of the Second World War. After the end of the war, the Ludwig von Roll’schen Eisenwerke AG designed a completely new system for mountain railways that was used on First: the chairlift. The cost of such an installation was far lower than any other previously known mountain-railway system. On 29 December 1946, the two sections of Grindelwald-Oberhaus and Oberhaus-Bort, on 14 February 1947 the Bort-Egg section and on 28 February the Egg-First section were handed over to the company. The official inauguration took place on 15 June 1947.
A development concept for the entire First region was prepared in 1986. This included replacement of the chairlift, whereby four basic elements led to the need for reconstruction, namely the age of the installation, passenger capacity, improved comfort and shortcomings in the route of the chairlift. Thanks to a slightly amended route and coordinated planning, construction of the 6-seater aerial gondola cableway began on 7 June 1990 with the groundbreaking ceremony at Bort intermediate station. The old chairlift continued to operate unhindered until it finally closed on 18 August 1991. The new aerial gondola began operating in November 1991, covering the difference in height of 1,105 metres in 25 minutes.
Marco Luggen Head of Mountain Experience and Winter Sport Harderstrasse 14 CH-3800 Interlaken