Sunnegga Funicular: New start on June 15th 2013
Judging from the reactions on our Facebook page, many of our guests and visitors had clearly grown very fond of the Sunnegga Funicular. Some may even have shed the odd tear or two. The new set of carriages is to go into service on June 15th 2013 with a new self-service loading option for bikes and luggage.
Gone is the old Sunnegga Funicular, or “boneshaker” as it is fondly remembered by all and sundry. It was in service from November 28th 1980 to April 21st 2013. But now the four carriages have been shunted out of the tunnel and lifted by crane onto a special load-carrying unit to be taken back down to the valley for disposal. With carriages weighing no less than nine tonnes, it took all the expertise and skill of the transport specialists on both the crane and the loading units. Once in the valley the carriages will be dismantled and properly disposed of.
Rail enthusiasts in mourning
As the entries on our Facebook page (Facebook timeline of April 24th 2013) shows, the Sunnegga Express clearly had lots of fans. While some remember the ride as being quite daunting, others associate the trip through the tunnel with some of the best emotions Zermatt has to offer – getting to the ski slopes and hiking trails. Others still remember its predecessor, the old chairlift which, in winter, also provided woollen blankets. There have even been suggestions for its further use: turning the carriages into a piste bar; lowering the carriages into Zermatt’s Vispa river for divers to explore.
So we have to agree with our Facebook fans: the old rattling Sunnegga Express certainly did a good job. And now, farewell!
Re-opening in mid-June 2013
Our specialists are now working in multiple shifts to lay new tracks and carry out other upgrades. Later the new carriages will be delivered, with the line scheduled to re-open on June 15th 2013. From then on, guests and visitors will be able to glide almost silently through the tunnel, up into the mountains to Sunnegga. Another innovation is that mountain bikers themselves will be able to lift their bikes onto the platform specially designed for mountain bikes and luggage.
After that, it’s bon voyage for everyone! And auf Wiedersehen, this summer!