Lauterbrunnen- Grütsch Funicular in Jeopardy !!

Lauterbrunnen, Bernese Oberland, Switzerland, April 2005.This is not a scoop… the funicular Lauterbrunnen- Grütsch is in Jeopardy! When I visited it in July 2000 it was already in Jeopardy. The ground is unstable and moving. _Consequently, the track is distorted as you can see_ on the picture below.

September 2005, I went back again to visit it… the ground is still moving ! The death threat is stronger than in 2000!

A solution must be agreed upon by the end of 2006.

Three options are being examined :

– a new surface funicular instead of the present one (CHF 29 Millions),

– a new underground funicular on another site (CHF 47 Millions),

– an aerial cable car on the same site as the present funicular (CHF 20 Millions)… The top station would be the same Grütsch station.
It means that the extraordinary machine which presently takes charge of the freight transshipment between the funicular and the Grütsch – Mürren train will be retained for the pallet transshipment between the aerial cable car and the train !

The company Bergbahn Lauterbrunnen – Mürren (BLM) is for the aerial cable car solution, which is the less expensive. The Lauterbrunnen Town Council and the people of Mürren are for the rebuilt of the funicular but this solution is too expensive for BLM.

A decision must be taken before the end of 2006.

Lauterbrunnen bottom station. (April 2005)

Track diformity (September 2000)

Beatenberg, a complete reconstruction !

Beatenberg, canton of Bern, Switzerland.The funicular Thunersee Beatenberg Bahn (TBB), built in 1889 at the edge of the lake of Thun, is stopped since October 25th, 2004 and will undergo a complete reconstruction.The construction work is planned to last until about the end of June 2005.

The future new car designed by Gangloff, Bern.

The Fun’ambule is out of order! Photos

Neuchatel, Switzerland, Monday November 8th, 2004.The glass roof of the bottom station is removed to ensure the extraction of the red car which is visible at the bottom left corner of the photo.

Photo Christian Jaccard (Travaux publics de la Ville de Neuchâtel)A crane is going to pick the red car up to the surface.

Photo Christian Jaccard (Travaux publics de la Ville de Neuchâtel)

The red car called ‘Maxime’ is emerging.

Photo Christian Jaccard (Travaux publics de la Ville de Neuchâtel)

‘Maxime’ is extracted from the underground station.

Photo Christian Jaccard (Travaux publics de la Ville de Neuchâtel)

‘Maxime’ is put on a truck and is transported to Garaventa AG Goldau (Canton of Schwitz) to be inspected and repaired. The first passenger compartment seems to be out of the axle of the other compartments.

Photo Christian Jaccard (Travaux publics de la Ville de Neuchâtel)

The Fun’ambule is out of order!

Neuchatel, Switzerland.
Saturday October 30th, 2004 near 8 pm, the red car of the Fun’ambule funicular lost a screw, the ten passengers were safely evacuated. Two hours after during a test course without passengers, the red car went off the rails causing important damage to the carriage. The red car was transported to the manufacturer, Garaventa AG in Goldau. The funicular will be out of order for some weeks.
The Fun’ambule was opened on April 27th, 2001. It is an underground subway which links the Neuchatel train station to the University area.
See a full article in Funimag issue 20.
The red car at the lower station (September 2001)