The Jungfrau Railways Group has devised a concept for future access to Männlichen and Kleine Scheidegg. Working together with the Gondelbahn Grindelwald Männlichen AG (GGM), the company wants to build a Y-shaped aerial cableway equipped with 10-seater gondolas. The existing aerial cableway between Grindelwald Grund and Männlichen will be replaced.
Thanks to a fork, the new 10-seater gondola cableway will be able to transport passengers to Männlichen as well as Kleine Scheidegg, with guests already deciding on their destination at the bottom station in Grindelwald Grund. It is also planned to build another stop for the Bernese Oberland Railway (BOB) in the Rothenegg area. This will provide passengers with a direct connection to the bottom station of the10-seater gondola cableway, with a conveyor system providing transport between the two. The Jungfrau Railways Group estimates that total construction costs for the new aerial cableway and station will reach around 80 million francs. The project results from a study by ski-region planners Ecosign, which was commissioned by the municipalities of Grindelwald and Lauterbrunnen together with the mountain transport companies in the Jungfrau Region. Amongst other things, the study concludes that it takes too long to fill the Männlichen-Kleine Scheidegg ski region. It also reveals that the region must make access to the ski region easier and more comfortable in order to gain a competitive edge. Capacity will thus be increased, with the new aerial cableway capable of transporting up to 3600 persons per hour. Furthermore, the travelling time by public transport between Interlaken and Kleine Scheidegg or Männlichen will be cut by 30 minutes. It will therefore be possible to reach the top stations from Bern in two hours, from Zurich in three hours. In addition, an investor is planning to create a resort near the bottom station of the new aerial cableway. The intention is to create 500 commercially managed beds. This will tackle another problem in the Jungfrau Region; an increasing shortage of beds.
The Jungfrau Railways Group owns 28 per cent of GGM share capital. The group has no intention of pursuing a merger between the two companies. The GGM has been invited to make a joint examination of the project. An information event for the landowners involved and residents of Grindelwald will be held on 16 August 2011. The aim is to put the new 10-seater aerial cableway into operation in the 2015/2016 winter season.