The highest switchgear in Europe: Siemens electrifies cable car lift on Klein Matterhorn.(Siemens)

The picture shows the cable car lift running to Matterhorn glacier paradise (Klein Matterhorn) in Zermatt, Switzerland.

(Copyright: Zermatt Bergbahnen AG)

Siemens has received an order from Elektrizitätswerk Zermatt AG to electrify the new cable car lift running to Matterhorn glacier paradise (Klein Matterhorn) in Zermatt, Switzerland. Siemens will supply an 8DJH medium-voltage switchgear for the alpine station situated at an elevation of 3,883 meters. The equipment is intended to secure a reliable power supply for the cable car lift and the station. It will be installed at the highest elevation in Europe. The cable car lift, which belongs to Zermatt Bergbahn AG, is expected to be completed by the winter of 2018.

The alpine station on the western slope of Klein Matterhorn will receive an additional feeder lift, the Glacier Ride.  Another design highlight, this will increase the passenger capacity by 2,000 people per hour. The cabin was designed by an Italian design studio, which has also worked for an Italian sports car manufacturer. The new alpine cable car lift is owned by Zermatt Bergbahn AG, which employs 240 people and is the largest company in Switzerland specializing exclusively in cable car lifts. The company also owns 200 kilometers of ski runs and 34 lifts.

Maintenance work in alpine stations is always extremely complicated due to the difficult access routes. The cable car lift operators therefore selected a maintenance-free, gas-insulated medium-voltage switchgear from Siemens to ensure a reliable power supply. The 8DJH switchgear has an especially compact design, which makes it suitable for the small spaces at the station. Installing the equipment at an elevation of 3,883 meters is not a problem, since an elevation correction factor is set for the switch panels in the factory. With the installation of the medium-voltage switchgear in Matterhorn glacier paradise and the existing one on Jungfraujoch, Siemens will have installed the two highest situated medium-voltage switchgear anywhere in Europe.