Practical and sustainable use of old mounttain railway cables

Building bridges in Myanmar

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Zermatt Bergbahnen AG carries out regular, comprehensive inspection and maintenance work. Part of the procedure is a rigorous analysis of the condition of the traction and running cables. Depending on the type of cable, complete replacement every seven to fifteen years is the normal procedure.

For several years now, Zermatt Bergbahnen AG has sent decommissioned cables to Myanmar to the Swiss bridge builder Toni Rüttimann, better known as “Toni el Suizo”. Rüttimann has built 23 bridges to date, helping 138'000 people in the process. The cables from the Trockener Steg to Matterhorn Glacier Paradise cableway, delivered in 2014 provide enough material for at least 20 new bridges, making everyday life easier for 120'000 people in country areas.

I am not the one building the bridges, they are a joint achievement with the local people working alongide me. It is tough work, but at such moments, a bridge is more than a construction project: it stands for hope and progress.

Toni Rüttimann

Since 1987, Toni Rüttimann has been building suspension footbridges for remote villages, using recycled steel cables and pipeline sections. The farmers who benefit from the bridges help to build the structures, supplying their own sand, stone, cement and timber.

Overview of cables supplied to Toni Rüttimann by Zermann Bergbahnen AG

  Used ad: Used by:
4'287-metre cable taken from the Theodul-Express in 2009 Suspension cables in 16 bridges in Myanmar 92'100 people
2'443-metre cable taken from the Theodul-Express in 2011 Bearer cables in seven bridges in Myanmar 45'900 people
7'200-metre traction cable taken from the Trockener Steg to Matterhorn Glaier Paradise gondola cableway in 2014 supsension or bearer cable in a minimum of 20 bridges in Myanmar or Indonesia (planned) at least 120'000 people