In the summer of 2012 the Stanserhornbahn began operating the world’s first cable lift with an open upper deck. The unique design meant new challenges for everyone involved. Today the «Cabrio» is a showpiece for the Swiss tourist industry. To guarantee smooth operation, the system operator also set high quality standards for its suppliers.

The wind ruffles the hair of the upper-deck passengers, carrying the scent of hay, forests, and fresh mountain air. To reach the halfway station at Kälti from Stans they had taken an antique funicular built in 1893. That ride had felt like something from another era. And now? Now they’re standing on a «futuristic balcony,» gazing out over Lake Lucerne as they’re carried up to the Stanserhorn peak. From spring to fall of last year the two Cabrio cars carried over 212,000 passengers.

The cableway’s history is testimony to a pioneering spirit. In 1893 passengers made the adventurous ascent to the Stanserhorn (1850 metres above sea level) by funicular railway. By 1975 this had been replaced by an aerial lift (37 passengers), culminating in the Cabrio lift (60 passengers) in 2012. From groundbreaking to opening day the project took just 13 months to complete, spearheaded by cableway specialist Garaventa/Doppelmayr.

Unlike conventional aerial lifts with a single suspension rope, the Cabrio cars travel on two ropes, supported by lateral-mounted rollers. This design places the cabin’s upper deck above the cables, giving passengers an unobstructed panoramic view for the entire trip. Operational, the cabin weighs roughly 12 tonnes and is stabilized by a sophisticated leveling system. This electronically controlled system uses 100 liters of hydraulic fluid to transmit force to two hydraulic cylinders with a split-second response time. The system’s nitrogen pressure tanks are elegantly situated in the floor of the cabin. The unpleasant swaying motions that occur when a typical cable car traverses a pylon are a thing of the past.

In the peak season the Cabrio cars may travel up and down the mountain 60 times a day. «That means everything has to work smoothly,» long-time technician Noldi Flury tells MOTOREX Magazine. He and the entire Cabrio technical team know the cableway inside and out. Diligent maintenance, periodic overhauls and close collaboration with partner companies are what keep the 28 million franc investment reliably working. With its specialist Alpine Line lubricants, MOTOREX has been an important contributor for many years. From drive shaft to sprocket wheel, MOTOREX has precisely the right lubricant for every component. The result is a highly dependable cable lift.

Even if the weather is cloudy, the smiles on the faces of the staff at the Stanserhornbahn and Rondorama revolving restaurant at the summit are always sunny. They call themselves the Stanserhorn Rangers, and they all have one thing in common: their friendliness. What more could a visitor want to feel right at home? And that’s precisely how these friendly rangers make them feel. So it’s no surprise that many visitors come back again and again, capping off 100-kilometer views of the Alps during the ascent to the summit with a romantic candlelight dinner – an unforgettable experience in culinary terms too.