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Visit Prodain 3S lift in Avoriaz

Avoriaz ski resort and SERMA open the door of the biggest ski lift construction you can find in the French Alps this year: Prodain 3S cable car

Discover this amazing lift which will have a touristic and urban use, linking Prodains area to Avoriaz dowtown.



a 3S? What is it?


A 3S lift is the most techologic cable car you can find. A 3S is a detachabe cable car in fact.

It is made with 2 loading cables and 1 towing cable as most of the classical cable cars. But in opposition with traditionnal cable cars which make some come and go with 2 cabins only, there are several cabins on a 3S lift. They are uncoupled in departure and arrival station (like on a gondola for example).

What are the advantages?


A 3S cable car offers:

- a great wind resistance ability
- some large cabins
- an important speed
- a comfortable trip

- a contiuous exploitation
- an important flow







Why are they so unusual?


In the world, there are only 3S cable cars (new Prodains included). In France, only Val d'Isere has got a 3S lift (« L’Olympique »).

Despite its assets, a 3S lift is very expensive to build. In Avoriaz, SERMA has paid 25 millions Euros for Prodains lift!

Moreover, it is not adapted to every ski resort.

Why did they make a 3S in Avoriaz?


New Prodains 3S replaces an old cable car which had the same name. Built in 1962, this lift had a double use. It was used by skiers and by pedestrian as a urban link between Morzine and Avoriaz (Prodains area, where departure station stands is linked to Morzine downtown by a free shuttle service).

New 3S Prodains will increase this double use. It will be opened from 7am to 12pm.

Morning and night, seasonal workers will use it to join Avoriaz.

During the day, it will carry skiers which have fun on Portes du Soleil slopes.

Finaly, it will also be used as a shuttle service for holidays makers which go to Avoriaz but leave their cars in Prodains parking (Avoriaz resort doesn't allow car, roads are dedicated to pedestrian).

New Prodains 3S has been thought to improve urban link concept. Departure station could become an intermediate station: a new section could be added in the ext year between Prodains and Morzine downtown.



Some stuff about Prodains


Prodains 3S cable car will have a speed of 7 meters per second. It will take you 4 minutes and 20 seconds to join Prodains to Avoriaz (instead of 7 minutes in the past).

It will be made of 12 cabins - 35 persons each one (24 will seat, 11 will stand up).

With 12 cabins, Prodains lift will have a flow of 2000 persons per hour. If SERMA wants it, it could be upgraded to 2400 p/h with 2 new cabins.

Public opening is annouced for march. The old cable car will be used til the new one is not opened.






Departure station


Departure station has been moved on ski runs arrival location (skiers had to cross a road in the past).

Architecture has been studied to make the building as discreet as possible. Notice that the wood roof is great and well looking.



Departure station pictures


Arrival station


New 3S cable car arrival station is the most impressive point of this lift. Located on Jean Vuarnet square, in Avoriaz heart, it is totally underground.

This choice has been made because of geological reason. Moreover SERMA wanted to save the area from a large external station. Skiers will ride on the station roof whithout knowing it!

Station access will be made with 2 escalators and one lift.


When you go down in the station with the stairs, it looks so huge!

During 2 months, 20 000 m3 of stones had been extracted with explosive charge. Result is amazing.



Arrival station pictures


Technical characteristics


Project ownership SERMA Prime contracting CNA
Type Detachable cable car 3S - TD35 Manufacturor Leitner Poma
Set up Comag & STM Pugnat Topography studies Topoalp
Civil engineering CBR TP (Vinci group) Levelling Marjolet TP
Eletrical installation Semer Cabins Sigma, Saphir 35 seats
Arrival station altitude 1757.5 m Departure station altitude 1182.0 m
Change in altitude 575.5 m length 1751.1 m
Flow at the beginning 2000 p/h Final flow 2400 p/h
Speed 7 m/s Duration 4 minutes 25
Cable manufacturor Fatzer Way width 10 m
Motor power 2 x 530 kW Cost 25 millions Euros


Get more about this topic and Avoriaz:

- Avoriaz official website
- Our Avoriaz description sheet
- Discussion board


We would like to thank SERMA and its director who welcomed us. It was very nice and kind. We also would like to thank Avoriaz tourism office.
Pictures date: November 22th 2012



4 comment(s) | Add your


- Asa on 19/06/2016 à 16h03
Pas mal le 3S!!! De quoi fait rêver!


- Lorou13 on 29/11/2012 à 13h55
Le 3s de val d'isère est génial ! Sympa de voir Avoriaz franchir cette étape.

Le hic de ce genre d'installation, ce sont les énormes pylônes intermédiaires.


- Couribel on 28/11/2012 à 22h40
Bluffant comme installation.
Joli reportage.


- Foufurieux on 28/11/2012 à 13h37
Très impressionnant, merci pour cette superbe visite !


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