Roland Bartholet:
"We Are Interested In The Russian Market"

The Swiss Company Bartholet Maschinenbau AG is a leading global producer of cable cars. In his interview, Bartholet Maschinenbau AG President Roland Bartolet talks about the specifics of this transport means and about things that the Swiss manufacturer finds attractive on the Moscow market.
Roland Bartolet
Bartholet Maschinenbau AG President
– Mr. Bartholet, why is the Bartholet company interested in the Russian market and Moscow, in particular?

– We have been present on the Russian market since 2012, and we built a cable way at Vorobyovy Gory in Moscow in 2018... We find this market very interesting. According to the company's development strategy, it is planned to place our production site in the center of Moscow, in the Technopolis Moscow special economic zone. This is important, because in the next two years we plan to implement a new project, namely the cable way between the Skhodnenskaya and Rechnoy Vokzal metro stations.

– Are cable ways really capable of solving transport problems? What is your European experience telling you?

– Cable ways can help you to solve any transport problems. In addition to environmental friendliness, the main feature of this transport means is a kind of self-sufficiency. For a passenger, cable way is not much different from the metro, however, the cable way construction and operation is much cheaper. Which I think is extremely important.

– We are already used to the idea that cable ways are intended mainly for tourists. How effective are they as a daily transport means?

– We do not consider cable ways to be an exclusively tourist transport means. The cable way lifespan can reach 25 years. This is a unique mode of transport that provides a high degree of mobility. And we would like to prove it at all levels, clearly demonstrating that it is a quite affordable everyday mode of transport with high efficiency.
The cable way over the Khimki reservoir will be 2.3 km long.
One car has 10 passenger seats.
The cable car garage is designed for 73 cars.
This project will reduce the travel time between the Moscow districts from forty-five to seven minutes. It will be possible to pay the fare with a Troika card.
The expected passenger traffic is up to 19,000 people per day.
The investments in the project will make over RUR 3 bn.

– Are cable ways in demand in Europe?

– In Switzerland, for instance, the use of cable ways is quite problematic, you know. Our underground and rail ways are still more advanced. In other countries, we are successfully building cable ways over ground, water, over residential neighborhoods, and industrial zones. By the way, they are basically used as public transport.

– And what about non-European countries, for example China? Are they interested in such projects?

– Yes, sure! The population, as well as the authorities of China are very interested in cable ways. Cable ways are fast, and they save time. Thus, they generally help to improve transport accessibility, relieve roads and reduce traffic jams. The cableway average carrying capacity is 1600-2000 passengers per hour. Thus, it is not inferior to traditional modes of public transport, and even surpasses them in some aspects.

– When you came up with the Moscow cable way project, could you imagine establishing the local production of related equipment in Moscow?

– To be honest, such an idea came to us almost immediately. There is great potential in developing this mode of transport in Russia, and in Moscow in particular. In addition, the local production will reduce transportation costs by about 50%. It will also allow us to sell this equipment on the local Russian market and even to export it.

– Who will work at the plant?

– We will train Russian specialists. Our main objective is to transfer our technology and Swiss quality.

– There is an opinion that in the very near future, people will almost completely abandon conventional daily transport means and switch to air transport. This is not about cable ways, but rather about helicopters. Do you think this can really happen?

– You know, anything can happen. But! Cable ways are safer than air transport. It is important that it is also a safer transport means from an operational point of view. Cable ways are practically independent of weather conditions: they do not depend on visibility, precipitation, or temperature. Maybe someone will use helicopters in the future, however, cable ways are more promising as a public transport mode.

– Today, cable cars are mainly designed for 8-10 people. Should their capacity be increased?

– Cable cars are intended for a small number of people. As I have already said, this is a self-sufficient mode of transport, and you travel comfortably from A to B. At the same time, you have 5-7 seconds to get in, since the cable cars do not stop at the stations. A proper number of passengers for such a time interval would be 8-10 people. Therefore, there is no point in making larger cars, as this would decrease the travel speed, as well as passengers' comfort and personal space.

– As you started managing the company, could you assume that your products and your cable ways would be so widely used around the world?

– No, I couldn't imagine anything like that. I inherited the business from my father and continued his work. Our company was growing gradually, and step by step we have turned it into an international project, into a global leader in the industry. And today, we have more than 20 manufacturing companies in Europe and Asia.
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