FlemXpress: The New Gondola Lift to the Tectonic Arena Sardona UNESCO World Heritage Site

“FlemXpress” is the name of the new gondola lift to access the UNESCO World Heritage Tectonic Arena Sardona from Flims via Foppa, Startgels to the Segneshütte and from there either to Nagens or Cassons. Construction work on this innovative gondola lift project began in 2022 and can be followed on an ongoing basis via the video construction diary below or on the project website.

Construction Diary Episode 4

After 15 years of planning, dreams become reality and the FlemXpress is in construction. An intensive and valuable collaboration with the environmental protection organisations led to the best solution for all participants. It is our priority to make sure the construction is in regard of the landscape and wildlife. In the latest episode of the video construction diary Reto Gurtner, Raimund Rodewald and Martin Hug talk about this collaboration.

The Idea

The Corona crisis and the associated shift in values have forced the Weisse Arena Gruppe to put its future projects to the test. Can planned major projects such as a the Cassons aerial tramway be realised? Will guests still feel safe in large cable cars? In the months following the lockdown in 2020, Reto Gurtner, Chairman and Delegate of the Board of Directors, together with cable car builder Roland Bartholet of Flumser Bartholet Maschinenbau AG and Martin Hug, the Mayor of Flims and former head of the Mountain Railways & Infrastructure division within the Weisse Arena Gruppe, scrutinised the existing plans in days of video conferences and planning sessions.

The Innovation

This gave rise to the idea of a tourism lighthouse project with new technology: a fully automatic and demand-dependent gondola lift with several stations from Flims to the UNESCO World Natural Heritage Tectonic Arena Sardona. The new technology was developed specifically for this project by the Weissen Arena Gruppe and the ropeway company Bartholet AG: The ride on the track remains unchanged on the cable, as with ordinary gondola lifts. In the station, however, each gondola moves autonomously on rails thanks to their own electric drive. If no gondolas are occupied, they are not on the track either. Thanks to the innovative technology, passengers can enter the stationary gondola with luggage or sports equipment without any hassle and absolutely barrier-free. Passengers also have the option of getting on or off at various stations, such as Foppa, Startgels, Segnes, Nagens Sura and Cassons. Guests simply select their destination before starting their journey, which their gondola will then reach fully automatically.

The Implementation

The implementation of the lift will take place in two stages: In 2023 the two sections Flims – Foppa and Foppa – Startgels will be constructed and put into operation. In addition, the existing chairlifts Flims – Foppa and Foppa – Naraus will be dismantled in 2023. In the second stage, the three sections Startgels – Segneshütte, Segneshütte – Nagens Sura and Segneshütte – Cassons will be built and put into operation in 2024. Additionally, the Startgels – Grauberg aerial tramway will also be dismantled.


Under construction (start of the construction in 2022)

Sections 1 and 2 in 2023

Sections 3 to 5 in 2024

  • New gondola lift with 6 stations for getting on and off
  • Passenger capacity per gondola: 10 persons/ seats
  • Passenger capacity per gondola incl. bikes: 5 persons/ bikes
  • Transport capacity per hour: up to 1,800 persons
  • Direct lift access to the Tectonic Arena Sardona UNESCO World Heritage Site
  • World novelty “Ropetaxi” system
  • Up to 50% less energy consumption expected

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