The “Dorfbahn Gerlos” 10-passenger gondola lift by LEITNER ropeways enjoyed a successful première last season. Besides the modern equipment, numerous services and short distances, the valley station in the heart of the village stands out in particular for its silent operation. Due to the station’s special location, this was both an essential condition and a technical challenge.
For David Kammerlander, Managing Director of Schilift Zentrum Gerlos GmbH, one thing was already clear when planning the Dorfbahn: “The valley station was to be as central as possible to make it easy to access and eliminate cars from the village. However, that also means that the closest neighbor lives just 20 meters from the station,” emphasizes Kammerlander. That made avoiding noise all the more important in the implementation. As a result, they developed a station to meet the special requirements together with LEITNER ropeways. “The technically complex adaptations and innovations for soundproofing worked overall and have already proven themselves in practice!”
Although the measurements were already below the legally required emission figures, LEITNER ropeways and Kammerlander wanted to go one step further. “After all, reducing noise makes a key contribution to wellbeing, and is also a massive boost to the passengers’ comfort,” explains the Managing Director. The new valley station not only fulfills this goal, it exceeds it. “Of course, the development teamwork to deliver the best result for this special project really helped. Our passengers can now hear that for themselves daily in operation; or, to be more precise, they can’t hear it,” explains Kammerlander.
A range of technologies, which impact different sources of sound, is used to reduce noise. For example, the lateral guide pulleys on the grip are made of polyurethane instead of hard plastic. That makes the grip far quieter when entering and leaving the station. A sandwich acoustic panel was also fitted to the entryway and at the guide rail. It reduces structure-borne noise and airborne noise with its special sound-absorbing intermediate layer. These sandwich panels can be up to six millimeters thick. However, the measures did not stop at the station, the surrounding infrastructure was adapted too. For example, the first three support towers of the Dorfbahn in Gerlos are connected, and the three main beams of the roller group in the support towers are also fitted with acoustic paneling. This prevents vibrations being transferred downwards – towards the station. Kammerlander sums up the impact as follows: “that creates precisely the effect we wanted to achieve for our employees and passengers.”