Post by Steven Dale
This is the Baden Gondelbahn in Baden, Switzerland. It is a concept by Stephan Kalt, director of Regional Transport for Baden-Wettingen. Kalt’s concept connects the spa town of Baden with a local train station via Urban Gondola.
Officials are interested, the main question being funding. A joint private public venture is anticipated. If realized, construction is unlikely to begin for at least 4-5 years. The system would be fully integrated into the regional fare structure.
The most important aspect of this concept is its design. It’s simple and unimposing. The station design is inspired. Urban Gondolas work best with a T-intersection station configuration. Problem is, T-intersections are rare in western cities.
The Baden Gondelbahn gets around this problem by putting the station 1 story above street level connected to a skywalk. I’ve seen this concept before, but this is the best presentation of it thus far. The concept as a whole speaks to the strength of slim-profile stations and low-profile systems.
Such designs decrease negative public reaction, contribute positively to the urban fabric and decrease construction costs. The Baden Gondelbahn is estimated to cost only 20 million Swiss Francs (roughly $15 – 20 million USD, depending on what day you check the exchange rates).
The article doesn’t state how long the system is, but we can extrapolate that info easily: Based upon a given travel time of 4 minutes and the speed characteristics of MDG technology (shown in the images), we can safely assume that the Baden Gondelbahn will be between 1.5 and 2 km – an ideal length for initial projects. This gives the system a per kilometer cost of roughly $10-13 million USD.
This is an inspired concept that helps inform all other cities considering an Urban Gondola or Cable Propelled Transit system: Stay low to the ground, use your public arteries and keep your stations slim.
Big thanks to my good friend David for sending me this.
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