The highest cable car station in the Alps
One Cablecar station - two cableways
Since November 2018, the new 3S cableway of superlatives is operating all-year round, carrying up to 2000 passengers per hour to Klein Matterhorn. The Matterhorn Glacier Ride l, the world’s highest 3S cableway, connects Trockener Steg with Klein Matterhorn at 3883 metres. With the existing Matterhorn-Express cable car and the new 3S (three-cable system) cableway passengers reach Europe’s highest mountain station from Zermatt (1608 metres) quickly and in great comfort.
The cableway connection between the Klein Matterhorn and Testa Grigia sees the realization of a once-in-a-generation dream: to be able to travel the entire way from the Matterhorn village of Zermatt (Switzerland) to Breuil-Cervinia (Italy) without having to get your boots wet! It’s a visionary cableway project that will further enhance the status of Zermatt-Matterhorn as a premium high-alpine destination. The panoramic journey, lasting around one hour from Switzerland to Italy or vice versa, will cover an altitude difference of over 4'000 metres – the greatest by any cableway in Europe.
The two 3S cableways will operate in the same mountain station. When the station is extended towards Testa Grigia, the concept of the crystalline shape will be continued. The aim is to visually integrate the station into the rock face of the Klein Matterhorn. The shell of the hall consists of a wooden construction. This should not only serve the stability of the mountain station, but also have an aesthetic and warm effect.
On 23 December 1979, the first enthusiastic passengers were carried towards the summit of the Matterhorn Glacier Paradise. They rode in one of the two 100-seat cabins of the cableway that is still in service to this day. Since then many thousands of people have visited the icy world of Matterhorn Glacier Paradise. In 2017 alone, over 425 000 passengers were recorded, mainly from Switzerland, Germany and Great Britain. In other words, about 20% of the tourists who visited Zermatt (registering a total of around 2 million overnight stays) did not want to pass up the opportunity of an excursion to Matterhorn Glacier Paradise, proving that along with Gornergrat, Matterhorn Glacier Paradise is an extremely popular destination for visitors from all over the world.
To do justice to the popularity of the high-alpine destination, a new and very impressive cableway was opened in November 2018: the Matterhorn Glacier Ride l. Since 2016, Zermatt Bergbahnen had been working intensively on completion of this unique project, which continues an impressive series of innovations introduced by Zermatt to enhance its tourist attractions. It makes Matterhorn Glacier Paradise an even more attractive destination, not only for skiers and mountaineers but also for tourists who simply want to enjoy the fantastic panorama from the highest mountain in Europe accessible by cableway.
LEADING-EDGE TECHNOLOGY MEETS CRYSTALLINE DESIGN
The new cabins of the Matterhorn Glacier Ride l & ll represent a highpoint in the successful partnership between LEITNER and PININFARINA. The interior features 28 spacious seats inspired by car design and is finished with high-quality materials such as leather and Alcantara. The innovative LED lighting and a ventilation system with adjustable air flow ensure maximum comfort during the nine-minute journey so visitors can relax and enjoy the magnificent views from the all-round panorama windows.
The two new stations are as modern and crystalline as the cabins of the Matterhorn Glacier Ride l & ll. The mountain station in particular is constructed as a light glass body and has an angular, crystalline form reminiscent of a block of rock, with sharp edges softened by the forces of nature, blending perfectly with the mountain panorama.