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lifts in the Bernese Overland

Seattle, Washington
Level Contributor
158 posts
37 reviews
lifts in the Bernese Overland

Can someone please tell me if there is a difference between cable car and gondola? And are they both generally referred to as lifts? I've only taken the lift from Wengen up to Manniclen which was enclosed, like a glass elevator. Are the gondolas like this also? Thanks. Betty

Wengen, Switzerland
Destination Expert
for Switzerland
Level Contributor
8,757 posts
1. Re: lifts in the Bernese Overland

The Gondolas are enclosed as well.

Seattle, Washington
Level Contributor
158 posts
37 reviews
2. Re: lifts in the Bernese Overland

So are these terms used interchangeably?

Wimborne, United...
Destination Expert
for Lugano
Level Contributor
7,767 posts
2 reviews
3. Re: lifts in the Bernese Overland

Cable Car

maennlichen.ch/en/wengenmaennlichen-aerial-c…

Gondola

maennlichen.ch/en/grindelwaldmaennlichen-gon…

Spiez, Switzerland
Level Contributor
345 posts
4. Re: lifts in the Bernese Overland

The major difference is that there are always only two cable cars running always on their own side, interchangeably one goes down while the other goes up, while there are numerous gondolas running at the same time and each of them go one way up and come the other way down again. Therefore cable cars usually transport larger amounts of people, usually between 50 and 200, and gondolas usually around 4 to 12 people per gondola.

Seattle, Washington
Level Contributor
158 posts
37 reviews
5. Re: lifts in the Bernese Overland

thanks, swissaholic! Looks like gondolas are suspended by one cable whereas the cable lift is suspended by a dual cable?

Seattle, Washington
Level Contributor
158 posts
37 reviews
6. Re: lifts in the Bernese Overland

thank you, kurtzsp. Both are equally safe, I presume. . .

Spiez, Switzerland
Level Contributor
345 posts
7. Re: lifts in the Bernese Overland

Otherwise they would not run. Legally. They are frequently checked and do maintenance every year. Without an official check they are not allowed to run.

Wengen, Switzerland
Destination Expert
for Switzerland
Level Contributor
8,757 posts
8. Re: lifts in the Bernese Overland

Gondolas are usually on a single cable, that is true. For that reason they are normally lower, and there will be multiple masts, spaced closer. The gondolas circulate in a continuous loop.

An areal cable car however will have two carrying cables, and one cable to pull the cars up. Because of this they are safer, and thus permitted to go a lot higher.

A nice illustration are the two lifts up the Männlichen. The Wengen - Männlichen Cable Car basically goes directly up from the village to the Männlichen, with only one intermediate mast, and goes quite high. From the Grindelwald side the Gondola that goes up follows the mountain slope more, with plenty of supports.

The new lift that is going to be build from Grindelwald to Eigergletscher will be a hybrid of sorts. It will have three cables, two for carrying, one for propelling the gondolas. But it will use gondolas in a continuous loop. This way they are permitted to reduce the number of supports and thus the impact on the landscape.

The new Grindelwald - Männlichen lift that will be build in 2018 will be a conventional Gondola though, but it will be faster, and have a 8 person Gondolas.

9. Re: lifts in the Bernese Overland

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