A construction cable car becomes a tourist magnet

The history of the Sahli-Glattalp aerial tramway goes back to the 1950s. Find out why the cable car was built - and why it was almost completely demolished - in the timeline below.


1952 — 1957

Soon after the foundation of the Elektrizitätswerks des Bezirks Schwyz (today: ebs Energie AG), the attention turned to the planning of the Glattalp power plant and in the autumn of 1953, the elaboration of the construction project was started.

Two years later, dam tests were carried out on the Glattalp to find out the storage capacity of a possible reservoir.

In order to carry out sealing work on the bottom of the Glattalp lake, a construction project was submitted in 1957 for an immersed tunnel, including the necessary material cable car and construction power supply line.

1958 – 1960

In June 1958, the General Assembly of ebs, as the decision-making authority for new power plants, approved the construction of this immersed tunnel, including preparatory work.

To provide access to the construction site on the Glattalp, ebs built a 5-ton construction cable car from Sahli to the height of the Blindseeli. It was used to transport materials and personnel during the excavation of the immersed tunnel.

From 1959 to 60, the construction cable car was extended to the hillside between Schafpferchboden and the Glattalp lake.

1966 – 1969

Unfortunately, the results of the dam tests on the Glattalp were not very satisfactory. In 1966, it was then decided to expand the Glattalp power plant as a high-pressure power plant instead of a storage power plant. In the same year, construction work for the inclined tunnel was pushed ahead, where a pressure pipe would transport the water from the Glattalp lake down to Sahli.

Since a winter-safe funicular had been installed in the inclined tunnel, ebs no longer needed the cable car after the completion of construction work on Glattalp and wanted to dismantle it in 1969.

1970 – 1976

The Sahli-Glattalp power plant was put into operation in October 1970.

At the end of 1970, ebs received a request from the military to use the cable car. ebs then wanted to give them the cable car free of charge. However, the military only wanted to use it for transport and did not want to take it over completely.

The former host of the Glattalp mountain inn on the other hand was very interested in the cable car and received it as a gift from ebs in 1972. He founded the Luftseilbahn Sahliboden-Glattalp AG in 1976.

1977 – 1991

After extensive renovation work, during which the transport cable car became a single-track passenger cable car for eight people, passenger transport for tourism and alpine farming could begin in the fall of 1977.

The official inauguration of the Sahli-Glattalp aerial tramway (LSG), also known as the "blue lightning", took place on June 8, 1978. 

Icy -52.5 °C was indicated by the weather station on Glattalp on February 7, 1991. This is the lowest temperature measured since the beginning of measurements.

1996 - 1998

Necessary renovation and maintenance work on the power plant facilities on the Glattalp were pending. Since an access road was rejected, the only remaining option was to provide access to Glattalp by a material cable car. In 1996, the opportunity arose to merge with the existing aerial tramway, which was now in need of renovation. ebs bought the majority of the shares in LSG AG and began planning a new cable car and the demolition of the old facility. In 1997, the building application was approved. In mid-August 1998, the new aerial tramway was able to start public passenger transport.

2000 — heute

ebs subsequently bought up all the remaining shares in LSG AG, liquidated the company in mid-2000 and integrated the Sahli-Glattalp aerial tramway into the Elektrizitätswerk des Bezirks Schwyz AG (today: ebs Energie AG). Now that larger material transports to the Glattalp were possible, ebs was finally able to start the urgent renovation of the tunnel entrance. 

Today, ebs still needs the cable car to carry out work on the Glattalp. In addition, it is increasingly used for tourist purposes.