Technical report on service and cabin maintenance of the Calag – Mountain Manager Magazin 06/2020
Translated into EN by Calag.
Since the takeover of Gangloff’s cabin construction activities in 2018, CALAG of Langenthal has also been responsible for worldwide customer service. The company relies on many years of ropeway experience of its service staff, ultra-modern equipment and complete technical documentation.
Not counting minor repairs or spare parts deliveries, we currently handle 30 to 40 inspection orders per year – and the trend is rising,” explains Domenico Condello, who is responsible for the Repair, Inspection & Service division at Calag together with “Gangloff-Urgestein” Heinz Arn. A total of six service engineers with many years of experience in the ropeway sector now form the core of the cabin maintenance department. Depending on the task at hand, they have access to the ultra-modern technical and personnel resources – construction, metal construction, hydraulics & electronics, painting, etc. – of Calag Carrosserie Langenthal AG with a total of 200 employees today
“This makes us very flexible and enables us to react quickly to our customers – for example in the case of short-term repairs or the repair of major damage on site. On the other hand, we can actually offer everything from a single source for scheduled overhauls or general overhauls, which speeds up processes considerably and ultimately saves costs,” says Domenico Condello also with regard to Calag’s “Retrofit” programme.
Expertise in every detail
As an economical alternative to new vehicles, the body specialists offer the expert general overhaul of existing cabs or wagons, including a new attractive look, modern comfort and communication standards and, of course, in compliance with applicable safety regulations. “The cabin concept and, above all, the vehicle weight and thus the transport capacity remain unchanged, so there is no need for time-consuming adjustments to the tour guide system within the stations,” summarises Domenico Condello further important advantages.
The basis for the retrofit projects and structural repairs is the Gangloff archive with all vehicle equipment realised worldwide in the past 50 years and even further back. Dozens of metres of shelving and large hanging files in Langenthal store the original plans of around 200 aerial tram cabins, about 60 funicular railway carriages and 75 gondola sets.
Whether it is the careful restoration of “historical” cable cars or the accurate reproduction of safety-relevant components – the Calag specialists always use the Gangloff construction drawings, some of which are still on a scale of 1:1.
Flexible service and cabin maintenance on site
In addition to the projects in the comprehensively certified Langenthal workshops, which are usually accompanied by media-effective but costly special transports, the Calag experts also provide targeted support on site. “On request, we can assist with regular security checks or check and replace all security-relevant components on behalf of the customer. New glazing, the installation of air conditioning systems or the change from hydraulic to electric door drives can also be carried out cost-effectively directly at the customer’s premises with the appropriate advance notice,” says Domenico Condello, outlining the range of services offered by his qualified installation teams.
If transport is not possible – for example in the event of unexpected substantial damage, in the case of international locations that are far away or because the important feeder cannot be taken out of service – the specialist workshop comes to the customer. For example, within one working week a Calag welding team repaired the severely damaged main beam of a funicular railway wagon directly in the station and also carried out full preservation of the load-bearing pipes.
The Calag teams also showed their full commitment during the overhaul of the carriages on the St. Luc-Chandolin funicular railway in Valais in late autumn 2018: the floor of the two 80-passenger cabins (built in 1994) was to be completely renewed before the winter season. However, the survey a few weeks before the planned work was due to begin also revealed corrosion damage to the floor skeleton which had to be repaired. This was only possible in night shifts over a whole six weeks, during which the important feeder road to the 1936-metre high mountain village ran without interruption. From 6:00 p.m. in the evening until the daily handover at 6:00 a.m., the teams of 2 to 4 technicians worked their way forward compartment by compartment, partially renewing the supporting metal structure and laying a total of around 70 m² of new wooden flooring including plastic covering and new edging profiles.
“Of course, we worked according to the original plans and were able to prefabricate as many parts as steel and aluminium profiles or all the flooring covers in the factory,” says Domenico Condello, explaining the staff-based planned field work. And the customer was also convinced by the procedure and the result: “Thanks to the fast work by Calag, the floor of the funicular was completely repaired and is ready for the next few years,” judges Armon Cantieni, director of Funiculaire St. Luc/Chandolin SA.