GIS reaches high point15 May 2018
GIS produced four 5t-capacity electric chain hoists to assist the construction of a funicular railway in the mountains of its home country of Switzerland.
The hoists were part of a customised rig used during the construction of the railway which transports passengers from Schwyz to Stoos, a mountain village in central Switzerland.
The €44.6m project covers a maximum incline of 47° and rises 744m in altitude over a distance of 1.74km. It features an automatic levelling system, which ensures passengers remain standing on a horizontal surface during the journey, and it claims to be the steepest funicular railway in the world.
The track was laid by Swiss company Rowa, a logistics services provider for tunnels, railways and other projects. Rowa devised the configuration of hoists, rigged beneath its displacement machine.
The four GCH2500/2NF hoists were used during the installation of the track sections and concrete railway structure. The hoists were used both individually and in conjunction, based on the varied shapes and sizes of the loads, up to a maximum load capacity of 6.5t.
The displacement machine weighed 60t and travelled on a temporary rail structure to lay the track at a rate of 12m a day.
Lukas Bühlmann at GIS said: “The hoists were operated by bellybox remote control. Smooth running ensured exact positioning of loads, many of which were long and bulky. The hoists, which were designed for intensive, everyday use, completed lifting tasks reliably, despite being exposed to the elements in changing weather conditions.
“Actually, once rigged, the project didn’t place over exertion on our hoists. For example, they could connect to loads by the standard hooks and pick points were readily available, even when all four hoists needed to be employed at the same time. We were honoured to be associated with such a landmark project, although we are humble and modest as to our involvement; the project was a spectacular feat of construction and engineering in its own right.”
The planning and building phase of the project spanned 14 years, and the railway has been operational since the end of December 2017.