Graz cable car – Plabutsch cable car, Mur cable car, …
Cable cars are conquering more and more cities. They are used when other traffic solutions do not work. Steep inclines, insurmountable slopes, lack of space or congested roads. Cable cars are the theoretical above-ground counterpart to the subway. For this reason, Graz has also considered the introduction of one or more cable cars. The article Gondel Graz describes the two variants discussed and lists the advantages and disadvantages as well as information about both projects.
Cable car in Graz / gondola through Graz
Several options were considered by the Graz city government. The first cable car through Graz would have been the Mur gondola. This was to run along the Mur between Andritz and Puntigam. An extension to Graz Thalerhof Airport was possibly also considered (from Graz Airport to the city center in a few minutes). The main stops would have been the Graz main bridge and the Augarten bridge. A little later, however, the plans were off the table and there is talk of a Plabutsch gondola. In the future, this Graz gondola will operate between Eggenberg and Thalersee with an intermediate station on the Plabutsch.
Graz gondola projects
- Murgondel – central gondola along the Mur as an alternative and extension of local and city public transport between Puntigam (Graz-Thalerhof Airport) and Andritz
- Plabutsch gondola – leisure and relaxation focus with a route from Graz Eggenberg via the intermediate station at Plabutsch to Thalersee
Cable car through Graz / The Mur Cable Car
The gondola through Graz was the actual and first gondola project in Graz. It was christened the Murgondel because the route would have run along the Grazer Mur (the river that divides Graz in two). The route was deliberately chosen along the Mur, as this would have been the easiest to implement. No houses, no high masts and bus stops over the bridges. On the other hand, this alternative also lacked enough customers, since the connections are only limited to the Mur area. In addition, no other gondola stops were named in addition to the stops at Puntigam, Graz-Thalerhof Airport, Andritz and Südtirolerplatz/Kunsthaus. Unfortunately, this also testifies to the fact that the number of passengers and the usability of the gondola in Graz is limited. For this reason, it should come as no surprise that the project has currently been put on hold and the introduction of a Metro (subway) or Metro-Lite is being discussed.
Positive aspects of the Mur gondola
- Mur crossing easily possible
- Easy scalability of capacities
Negative aspects of the Mur gondola
- Lots of space for the stations
- Constant background noise of the cable car
- Invasion of privacy along the cable car route
Plabutsch cable car
After the Mur gondola, the new idea came up with a gondola on the Plabutsch. Like the former chairlift on the Plabutsch, this new Graz gondola is intended to make the western Graz hill more attractive. In addition to a middle station on the mountain, the cable car should lead to Lake Thals.
The route of the Plabutsch gondola will be from the valley station near the UKH (tram line 1) in Eggenberg. Then the cable car will go up the Plabutsch and open up a great view of Gösting, Eggenberg and the city center. If you don’t get off the gondola at the middle station on the mountain, you can go down the valley in the direction of Thalersee. This, too, is to be made more attractive in the future and invite for sports and leisure time. Whether and to what extent the Plabutsch will be designed in the future is also not yet certain.
Positive aspects of the Plabutsch gondola
- First gondola project in Graz
- Easy scalability of capacities
- leisure and sports facilities
- tourist attraction
Negative aspects of the gondola on the Plabutsch
- No parking spaces on the Graz side
- Long journey to the valley station
- Most likely limited opening times (weekends only for working Grazers) and expensive price
- The chairlift wasn’t worth it back then
- Annual grants and subsidies needed
Existing and former cable cars in and around Graz
In addition to the planned cable cars, there are of course also existing cable cars, funiculars and gondolas in and around Graz.
Graz Castle Mountain Railway
The Schloßbergbahn on the Grazer Schloßberg is not a gondola in the true sense of the word, but a funicular railway. Two cars drive in opposite directions from the valley station to the mountain station or vice versa. In the middle is an alternative route.
The nearest cable car from Graz is the Schöckl gondola. This leads from the valley station in St. Radegund to Graz’s local mountain, the Schöckl. The cable car is a popular destination for many Graz residents and tourists.
Chair lift to the Plabutsch
The former chairlift on the Plabutsch has been history for a long time. Neither the stations nor the route is currently visible. Due to the fact that there was already a lift on the Plabutsch, the Plabutsch gondola project is not entirely out of the question. However, the question also arises as to whether the gondola can be more successful than the chairlift.
Chair lift to the Schöckl
The Nordlift, also known as the chairlift on the Schöckl, is no longer in operation. The route has already been dismantled and the forest has already reclaimed the route. Only the valley station (a small stone hut at the foot of the mountain) is still there.
Other possible gondola routes and routes in Graz
In addition to the Mur gondola and the Graz gondola on the Plabutsch, other routes were discussed. However, whether these would have been feasible was never discussed.
Center West – NVK Puntigam
Instead of going to Graz Airport, the Mur gondola could also have led to the Puntigam local transport hub (via Puntigamerstraße) and on to the Center West. A connection to the Shopping City Seiersberg was also planned. However, most strategic stations are already better connected to the public transport network than with the Mur gondola.
Since Gösting has only three bus lines and is already suffering from growing passenger numbers, a gondola in the direction of Gösting was also considered. Due to the difficult route, however, a tram variant is currently being considered. The construction of a Gösting train station (and thus the connection to the Graz S-Bahn) is not off the table yet.