Mountain and Valley Station of the Klein Matterhorn 3S Cableway in Zermatt, Switzerland
After more than 2 1/2 years of construction, the world’s highest 3S cableway, "Matterhorn glacier ride", opened at the end of September 2018. The $55 million project was developed to increase passenger capacity to the Klein Matterhorn, at an altitude of 12,802 ft. Additionally, it’s now possible to keep the service running when performing maintenance work to the existing tramway.
Zermatt Bergbahnen AG, Switzerland
Peak Architekten, Switzerland
Indermühle Bauingenieure, Switzerland
|Reinforced Concrete Design||
LABAG AG, Switzerland
Brawand Zimmerei AG, Switzerland
Model Data of the Valley Station
Dlubal customer Indermühle Bauingenieure was responsible for the mountain and valley station timber engineering. This included the preliminary project scope, construction supervision, and 3D project planning on behalf of the wood construction company. The structural design was performed in RFEM.
Both station buildings were designed with timber materials rather than steel to meet the 30-minute (R30) fire resistance design requirement. Timber was also the better option due to design and environmental considerations.
Mountain Station Structure
The building dimensions are 125 ft x 89 ft and include a crystal shape similar to the existing mountain station. The structure is designed to withstand snow and avalanche loads up to 1,228.8 lbs/ft²! The building can also endure wind loads up to 65.5 lbs/ft², which is more than three times the wind magnitude for structures designed on the plains.
The timber structure is composed of rigid frames which lean against one another. The span has been reduced by struts oriented toward the rock face. Since it was possible to transport only structural components with a maximum length of 39 ft, the downstand beams and supports were rigidly connected on site.
Valley Station Structure
The 131 ft x 499 ft cross-section primary beams consist of a 10 ft, 12 in length, which rest on fan-shaped struts. The concrete slab, which cantilevers 19 ft to the west side, is suspended from the roof structure by façade supports. A similar concept is applied to the parking rails and hall crane.
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In this article, the adequacy of a 2x4 dimension lumber subject to combined bi-axial bending and axial compression is verified using RF-/TIMBER AWC add-on module. The beam-column properties and loading are based on example E1.8 of AWC Structural Wood Design Examples 2015/2018.
3S Cableway Klein Matterhorn Mountain Station During Assembly with Existing Mountain Station on the Left (© Aircam Zermatt)
RFEM Model of the Mountain Station (top) and the Valley Station (Bottom) (© Indermühle Bauingenieure)
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Programs Used for Structural Analysis
Structural engineering software for finite element analysis (FEA) of planar and spatial structural systems consisting of plates, walls, shells, members (beams), solids and contact elements
Design of steel members according to the Swiss standard SIA 263
Fatigue design of members and sets of members according to EN 1993-1-9
Timber design according to Eurocode 5, SIA 265 and/or DIN 1052
Dynamic analysis of natural frequencies and mode shapes of member, surface, and solid models
Dynamic and seismic analysis including time history analysis and multi-modal response spectrum analysis
Generation of load cases from moving loads for members and sets of members