The story of an urban cableway

A much-desired modern urban cable car was implemented by the Swiss ropeway manufacturer BARTHOLET last year in Moscow. Now the time has come to draw up the first balance sheet. In an SI Urban interview, the CEO of Moscow Sport Technology LLC talks about the period between planning and operation.

Nicolay Divakov

 Nicolay Divakov Nicolay Divakov, CEO of Moscow Sport Technology LLC, a Vorobyovy Gory development company.

The urban cable car of the russian capital. Photos: BMF

Si Urban: What was the basic idea behind building an urban cable car in Russia‘s capital?


Nicolay Divakov: We carried out a huge renovation of the recreation area on Vorobyovy Gory and of Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow. Vorobyovy Gory is the second most important tourist location in Moscow after Red Square. It was important to connect it with Luzhniki Stadium because of the 2018 FIFA World Cup.


How high was acceptance of the project before the actual start of construction?


We had Moscow government’s full support and assistance for the whole project before the construction started.


Based on what criteria was the route chosen?


Planning of the project, including preparation, receiving permissions and design works, took around one and a half year and the implementa- tion of the project, including construc- tion and commissioning, took one year.


An important aspect is always choosing the right partner. Why did you put your trust in BARTHOLET?


The main goal was to connect two major Moscow districts and, at the same time, two big tourist and sports locations within the city – Vorobyovy Gory and Luzhniki Stadium – located on opposite banks of the Moscow River. We have managed to create an environment-friendly, efficient urban transportation system without contributing further to road traffic.

How much time did the planning and implementation take?


The planning of the project, including preparation, obtaining permissions, and design works took around one and a half years. Implementation of the project, including construction and commissioning, took one year.


Choosing the right partner is always an important part. Why did you place your trust in BARTHOLET?

There were several advantages to choosing BARTHOLET: First of all, they were able to supply a two-section multifunctional cableway for the transport of tourists in gondolas as well as skiers in chairs. This is enabled by BARTHOLET’s innovation system – a fast-switch technology which allows the use of two types of vehicles (gon- dolas and chairs) on a single cableway line.


The second advantage was that BARTHOLET was able to supply pano- ramic gondolas with a Porsche design and a number of additional features for comfortable passenger transportation. In general, working with BARTHOLET meant that we could implement our project with Swiss quality, innovation and special customized technology.


A decision was made to operate the cable car only to a limited extent du- ring the football World Cup. Why?

FIFA imposed strict security requirements which would not have been met by the cableway. For this reason, a decision on limited operation during the 2018 FIFA World Cup was made.


What important tasks and functions did the cable car have to ful l for you to consider the project successful?


The main purpose of the cableway was to connect two big districts within Moscow and, at the same time, the city’s two big tourist and sports locations – Vorobyovy Gory and Luzhniki Stadium – located on opposite banks of the Moscow River.


The second important task was to create an environment-friendly, efficient urban trans- portation system. It takes 25 minutes to drive by car from Vorobyovy Gory to Luzhniki Stadium. If you take the ca- bleway, you can get there in 7 minutes.


Are you happy with the “fast switch” developed by BARTHOLET which is used in the second section of the cableway?


As I said, using this innovative technology was one of the reasons why we chose to work with Bartholet. This is a system that allows the use of different types of vehicles (gondolas and chairs) on the same cableway line. The rst section runs along a ski slope which is why we needed to combine chairs with cabins here. But since it is not permitted to use chairs for crossing the river, we use the fast switch to turn the chairs back to the rst section while cabins carrying tourists continue across the river to Luzhniki Stadium.


We are very pleased with Bartholet’s technology. It is quite amazing as it allows us to use the cableway to transport skiers, tourists and the residents of two city districts, all at the same time. It made our hosting of the Snowboard Slalom World Cup in January 2019 possible, too.


Will it be possible to expand the installation in the future? Are there any such plans already?


Yes, of course, we have a lot of ideas for new projects. We plan to develop a cableway urban transportation sys- tem in the city of Moscow.


How well has the cable car been accepted by the people of Moscow?


Operation for tourists was launched at the end of November 2018.

More than 50,000 people have used the ca- bleway since. It is much more than we expected. The installation runs well and we are able to satisfy everyone.


Did you face any difficulties during the planning, construction or operation?


We had some di culties in nding suitable spots for the stations because they are located on national park territory.


Would you choose BARTHOLET for such a project again?


Absolutely! We will also do our next project with BARTHOLET because they successfully implement such a di cult project in the center of one of the world’s largest megapolises and introduce an innovative technology for urban transportation systems.