Inauguration of the Lärchwand Incline Lift


Face-lift for world's biggest passenger rail vehicle

The past two years has seen the Lärchwand inclined lift undergo a complete renovation and be brought into line with latest technological innovations. The historic lift, which originally served for the transportation of people and materials during the power plant construction, has been transformed into a highly modern platform for speedy mountain ascents. The modernisation of the Lärchwand inclined lift is a sustainable qualitative boost for the tourism region of Kaprun. Thousands of domestic and international visitors annually come to the mountain world of Kaprun in order to enjoy the impressive view of the mountains and Kaprun Valley and are now able to again use this special form of transportation for the ascent and descent.

Inclined lifts were an important form of transportation during the construction of the Kaprun power plant. Thanks to their assistance, people, machines and materials were able to rapidly and comfortably overcome differences in altitude. The Lärchwand inclined lift dates back to 1952 and, during the last 2 years, it has been brought in line with the latest cutting edge technology.

Originally built for the construction and operation of the upper stage of Glockner-Kaprun power plant, it necessitated a bearing load of 60 tonnes. The inclined lift was the only way in which the materials could be transported to the high alpine world. Today the inclined lift serves exclusively for the transportation of domestic and international visitors. After so many years of reliable operation, comprehensive maintenance work was necessary.

An investment of 8 million euro was made into the inclined lift. The engine including steering mechanism was fully renewed, as was the "car" - as it is known in language of the funicular trade. The two electronically synchronised driving motors, from each of which a corresponding cable winch is propelled, are located in the underground mountain station and exhibit a capacity of 500 kilowatts apiece.

The Lärchwand inclined lift overcomes a difference in altitude of 431 metres over a track length of 820 metres. Its gauge of 8.2 metres makes it the world’s largest passenger-carrying track vehicle. Its speed amounts to 3.6 m/second. During the ride time of approx. 5 minutes, up to 185 people are able to negotiate an incline of almost 40 %.

The tourism activities connected to VERBUND high alpine reservoirs are still open until 15 October 2014 – this includes the ascent and descent with the Lärchwand inclined lift.