Construction work continues on the new 3S Alpine Crossing cableway between Zermatt and Cervinia.
When the new 3S Matterhorn Glacier Ride opened in the autumn of 2018, it became the highest 3S cableway in the world. If you’d like to know more about the 3S Matterhorn Glacier Ride, then please read The Matterhorn Chalets Ultimate Guide to the lift, which covers all of this and more:
- Where will the new top station be?
- How long will the ‘Alpine Crossing’ take and how much will it cost?
- Alpine Crossing Facts
- Where will the Testa Grigia station be?
- When will the Zermatt-Cervinia Alpine Crossing open?
‘Alpine Crossing’ links Zermatt to Cervinia by 3S Cableway
The Matterhorn Glacier Ride was the first stage of the project to create a 3S ‘Alpine Crossing’ linking Zermatt in Switzerland with Cervinia in Italy. By using the robust 3S cableway style of lift, it can be open to pedestrians as well as skiers.
After considerable discussions over the impact on the environment, work at Testa Grigia and Klein Matterhorn started in 2019.
On average about 15 people at the top of the mountain and up to 70 on the entire construction site including the valley, have to constantly fight wind, snow and huge temperature fluctuations during their work. Added to this is the thin air at almost 4,000 meters above sea level.
Construction manager Anton Lauber rightly has said: “There is no comparable construction site in the world.”
Where will the new top station be?
The new lift station will be built right next to the existing top station, making it an extension to the existing building.
How long will the ‘Alpine Crossing’ take and how much will it cost?
The Alpine Crossing is expected to cost CHF30 million and will connect Zermatt with Italy and vice-versa all year round in a 4-minute journey.
There will be 10 cabins, each able to carry 28 passengers. With a speed of 7.5 metres per second, the total capacity will be 1300 passengers per hour.
Alpine Crossing Facts
Altitude at Klein Matterhorn – 3821m
Altitude at Testa Grigia – 3458m
Length – 1.6km
Number of cabins – 10
Cabin capacity – 28 passengers
Capacity – 1300 passengers per hour
Speed – 7.5 metres/second
Journey time – 4 minutes
Cost of project – CHF 45 million
Zermatt Bergbahnen AG (ZBAG) and the Swiss Foundation for Landscape Conservation (SL) agreed that there would be no objection to the planning approval by the Federal Office of Transport.
On their part, ZBAG confirmed they will be ‘providing a high-calibre experience of the mountains and its natural surroundings’.
Another part of the agreement is that Zermatt Bergbahnen have pledged to remove all elements of the existing cableway between Cime Bianche in Italy and the Klein Matterhorn. The new connection will have no supports (i.e. pylons) at all.
The way the top station will be lit and its colour scheme has also been changed to help it integrate into the surrounding landscape more effectively.
A total 45 photovoltaic panels will be installed to provide a large part of the power requirements for the top station. [Read more about sustainability in Zermatt]
Where will the Testa Grigia station be?
The new Testa Grigia station will be on the Italian/Swiss border but will be built entirely on Swiss territory at 3458m.
When will the Zermatt-Cervinia Alpine Crossing open?
Construction work began in spring 2019 on the Alpine Crossing between Testa Grigia and the Klein Matterhorn. Now the foundations have all been laid, work is progressing on the structures.
The rope hoist for the new “Matterhorn Glacier Ride ll” will be installed in winter 2022/23 when there is less activity on the glacier.
The Alpine Crossing is expected to start operating in spring 2023.
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