Early before the Saleve cable car
The first cable relay system was invented by Maurice Delessert, adminstrator of the Salève rack railway. Believe it or not, you could get up to the Salève ridge by train as early as 1893. The railway line was later improved, with a direct connection to Geneva that allowed passengers to get from the city centre to the summit within the space of 2 hours.
The cable car project was eventually inaugurated on August 5, 1932. So began the heyday of the cable car, and it lasted until the beginning of the Second World War in 1940. Then, as more roads were built and cars became the norm, the cable car struggled for customers and gradually ran out of money. It was shut down in 1975.
The rebirth of the cable car
Eventually, the French and Swiss governments decided to bring the abandoned cable car back to life. It was restored and put back into operation in 1984. Its political management and investment financing is managed by the GLCT (local trans-border cooperation group) comprised of the Geneva canton, Annemasse Agglomeration and Monnetier-Mornex commune. This political and financial union has had eye-popping results: 90,000 visitors in 2005, and more than 200,000 in 2012.
The Mont-Saleve cable car today
The group formed by RATP Dev, TGP and COMAG have provided the service since 2013. It is through their efforts that the cable car has come back to life with a whole new image, both on the commercial and technological fronts. The history of the cable car, Le Salève and the surrounding area is displayed in the top station, in a permanent exhibition of photos from past and present telling the fascinating tale of this cable car.
Celebrating the 2 millionth trip
In 2017, the Cable Car celebrates its 2 millionth trip for 10 years, year of creation of GLCT (local trans-border cooperation group) Cable Car Salève, the political union owner of the equipment. It is the young Léa of 4 years old, living in the area who holds this title.
For its 90 years old birthday, the cable car offers a complete facelift and a renewal of its service offer.
from 2022, the installation will propose:
- a totally panoramic restaurant and a 360 ° belvedere at the top of the station
- a climbing wall 20m high and 15m width
- a museum space of 150m²
- a sensory botanical garden
And much more…
The cable car uses the technique called "comes and goes" with 2 cabins. That means :
one cabin goes down simultaneously with the climb of the other cabin.
The structure is composed of two 20 tons carrier cables
each with a length of 1200 m and a towing cable.
The tension on the carrying cables is ensured by a
counterweight of 90 tons in upper and lower station.
The cables must be completely changed every 30 years.
This renovation was carried out during a pharaonic project in November
2013 to April 2014.
The cable car follows a rigorous safe methodology. A plan of
checking is followed every week, every month and a main
intervention is performed annually.