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

“Flem Xpress” 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 Ils Cugns. The name was ceremoniously unveiled on 04 December 2021 at the viewing event for the Flims population at the cable car producer Bartholet Maschinenbau AG in Flums.

 

Construction work will begin in 2022 and can be followed on an ongoing basis via the video construction diary below or on the project website.

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 then responsible for 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 ils Cugns. 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: Until 2023 the two sections Flims – Foppa and Foppa – Startgels will be realised 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 – Ils Cugns will be built and put into operation in 2024. Additionally, the Startgels – Grauberg aerial tramway will also be dismantled.

Details

In planning stage; start of construction in spring 2022

Sections 1 and 2 until 2023

Sections 3 to 5 until 2024

  • New gondola lift with 5 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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