Glacier 3000: Cable Car Is Running Again After Disruption

The Glacier 3000 cable cars had been shut down for 2 weeks due to a fault in the electrical inverters of one of the cable cars. The disruption could finally be remedied and the excursion destination reopened.

At 10:55 a.m. on Thursday, July 20, the Glacier 3000 cable car, which connects the Cabane intermediate station to Scex Rouge, came to an abrupt halt. It was then decided to evacuate the guests by helicopter and by 3.30pm all 270 passengers who had been at the summit that day were back on the Col du Pillon. While the cause of the breakdown was initially found quickly and the defective part was replaced, the technical incident recurred later when the system was restarted and posed quite a challenge for the numerous specialists and engineers over the last 15 days. After ruling out various possibilities, the cable car was able to be put back into operation in test mode on Thursday afternoon, August 3rd.

The investigations focus on the transformer

During the tests, engineers from ABB, Frey and Romande Energie connected the motor of the second section cable car to the electrical transformer of the first section cable car. First the plant was tested at minimum speed, then it was gradually brought up to its normal operating speed. No problems arose during the more than 50 test drives, so approval was granted. Although the 2nd section transformer was analyzed several times during the incident, it is now being further checked in detail for its serviceability. The two cable cars can be safely operated with a single transformer, but not simultaneously.
A significant financial loss

The incident caused high material costs and the loss of 15 days of operation at the peak of the summer season, amounts to more than CHF 500,000. «At this time of year, we usually have between 500 and 1,500 visitors per day who use the cable car and eat in our restaurants. Unfortunately, the loss of sales is therefore very high, »explained Bernhard Tschannen, CEO of the company. However, the cable car company is insured against these types of events resulting in loss of earnings. The rebuilding of the Botta restaurant shouldn't be delayed too much as the workers and materials have meanwhile been helicoptered from the middle station of the cable car to the top of Scex Rouge.

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