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Title: Skymetro  
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Subject: Minimetrò, Otis Hovair, Airport terminal
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The Skymetro in Zurich Airport
Locale Zurich Airport, Switzerland
Transit type People mover
Number of lines 1 dual-track line
Number of stations 2
Began operation

November 2002 (test run) September 2003 (official opening)

October 2006 (Tunnel films)
Operator(s) Zurich Airport
System length 1.1 km (0.68 mi)
Skymetro station

The Zurich Airport Skymetro is an underground airport people mover at Zurich Airport in Switzerland. The 1.1 km (0.68 mi) long system connects the airport's main airside center with its mid-field Terminal E, passing underneath Runway 10/28. The line opened in September 2003, and was constructed by Poma-Otis Transportation Systems using Otis Hovair technology.[1][2]


The Skymetro was built under Zurich Airport in November 2002 and first put into operation in September 2003 .

As of July 2009, the Skymetro was remodelled as part of the construction project called "Zurich 2010", which mainly involved the centralization of Security control and the construction of the security building, expanded and remodeled. Arriving and departing passengers from the Schengen area and as well as passengers from non-Schengen airports are transported in separate cabins. Walls in the stations ensure the separation of the 'tested' and 'untested' passengers after the security checks. To allow for this division the train compositions were expanded from two to three units. For the expansion Swiss cable car companies were used: the three new chassis derived from Bartholet in Flums, the cabins from Gangloff in Bern and Altdorfer SISAG company supplied the electrical controls.


Vehicles on the parallel 1,138 meter long guideways are drawn by steel cables and float on an approximately 0.2 mm thick air cushion generated by on board air compressors, running over a smooth concrete guide way as in other Otis Hovair installations. The system allows trains to run in a pinched loop configuration, reversing on to the opposite track after arriving at each station.[3] The cables are arranged into five loops: two in the tunnels driven by two 465 kW motors, in the elongated sweeps by two 266 kW motors, and in the parking hall by a 55 kW motor. The connection with the pull rope is done by two lateral hydraulic horizontally movable clamps for positioning on the desired drive cable.

Tunnel films

Both tunnels have two Zoetrope-like films displayed on the sides, consisting of a series of still frames in rapid succession. They have been used to display a series of tourism promotion films, including ones featuring Heidi and the Matterhorn. The films are accompanied by related sound-effects played through the train's public address system.


It served 6.73 million passengers per year(as of 2010) and is claimed to be the most used cable way in Switzerland.[1] With a cost of 176 million Swiss francs it is also the most expensive cable car system and one of the most complex with high safety standards.


  1. ^ a b "Zürich Airport – Skymetro to Terminal E". Switzerland Tourism. Retrieved 2009-03-21. 
  2. ^ "X017 Airside Center - Dock E (Skymetro), Zurich-Airport, funicular". Swiss Inventory of Ropeways (in German). Swiss Confederation. Retrieved 2013-06-20. 
  3. ^ "Zurich International Airport (ZRH/LSZH), Switzerland". Retrieved 2014-08-20. 

External links

  • Media related to at Wikimedia Commons

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