Lärchwand Inclined Lift - a superlative means of transport

A cumulative elevation gain of 431 metres, an 8.2 metre track width - those are just the bare numbers. Europe's largest open inclined lift and the widest rail car in the world bring you into an incomparable Alpine landscape.

During the construction phase of the Kaprun high mountain reservoirs, this was the only means of transporting heavy equipment, construction materials and lorries into the high mountains. After completion of the dams, it became a tourist highlight in the Salzburg province.

The Lärchwand inclined lift unites two superlatives in one place: the largest open inclined lift in Europe, and the largest track gauge in the world for a passenger rail car. As many as 185 passengers have room in the renovated inclined lift, which has nevertheless retained its charm. Thus VERBUND offers an additional tourist highlight near the Kaprun high mountain reservoirs which reflects the blend of nature and technology. The Lärchwand inclined lift runs above the Kesselfall Alpenhaus to the Wasserfallboden reservoir. In doing so, the inclined lift overcomes an altitude difference of 431 metres over a length of 820 metres. Every year more than 100,000 guests visit the Kaprun high mountain reservoirs.

Facts and figures

Load capacity

14 tonnes


9 by 5.4 metres

Cumulative elevation gain

431 metres

Track width

8.2 metres

Travel time

Approx. 5 minutes




185 persons

Already in 1941 an inclined lift was installed along the current route, but with a load capacity of only 9 tonnes and the requirements of a construction site high in the mountains, this soon proved to be an insufficient size. In 1952 an expansion to the current track width and a load capacity of 60 tonnes took place. The inclined lift served as a passenger elevator and material hoist for constructing and operating the Glockner Kaprun upper stage power plant. The Lärchwand inclined lift was the only means of transporting the material up to the high Alpine world.

After an operating period of more than 60 years, a general renovation was done from 2012 to 2014. Since the Lärchwand inclined lift is now exclusively used to transport visitors to the Mooserboden reservoirs, the load capacity could be reduced to 14 tonnes. The driving speed is 3.6 m/sec, the travel time is approx. 5 minutes and the conveying capacity is about 900 persons per hour.

The complete drive system, the control system and the car, as the lift cabin is called in cableway technical jargon, were all renewed. The two electronically synchronised drive motors, each of which drives its own cable winch, are located in the underground top station and each have a capacity of 500 kilowatts. The hauling rope is redirected via two sheaves on the car and guided along the track by means of hauling cable pulleys. The track is made of two rails laid right and left in longitudinal concrete sleepers on the terrain level of the slope.

The new platform truck with the impressive dimensions of 9 by 5.4 metres holds 185 passengers, as the previous model did, and is open at the top. Special awnings provide sun or rain protection as needed. The all-glass telescopic sliding doors on both sides for boarding and exiting allow for an impressive upward view towards the glorious world of three thousand metre mountains, and on the other side a view of the steep lift route, which boasts a maximum pitch of 81%. The track width is 8.2 metres, the largest gauge in the world for a passenger rail car.