17.06.2023 - Basic texts, Summer
Small, driverless, record-breaking: the Serfaus Underground!
The Serfaus Underground is already a real one-of-a-kind: ever since December 1985, it’s been tirelessly gliding back and forth between its four stations at an altitude of 1,400 metres – from the eastern edge of this village of 1,141 inhabitants to the bottom station of the Komperdell cable cars, which take visitors to the hiking and skiing area on the western perimeter of Serfaus. And because the hovertrain runs through a 1,280-metre tunnel under the Dorfbahnstrasse in Serfaus, it displays features of a small underground train, being not only the highest-altitude but also probably the most modern hovertrain in all Europe.
As long ago as the beginning of the 1980s, the small village, surrounded by the Swiss Samnaun mountain range and the Ötztal Alps, was already so popular with winter sports enthusiasts that the village infrastructure could no longer cope with the influx of holidaymakers. The environmentally friendly mode of transport – incidentally, the third underground in Austria, after those of Vienna and Linz – offered the solution that has proven invaluable to this day: once in operation, the Serfaus Underground enabled the village to achieve traffic calming, reduced environmental pollution and preserved the original villagescape thanks to the underground routing of transportation. The underground train in Serfaus is certainly one of the reasons that the village, and thus the entire Serfaus-Fiss-Ladis holiday region, have been able to specialise in family and enjoyment vacations. Today, it's impossible to imagine idyllic Serfaus without the Serfaus Underground, both in winter and summer.
From 2017 to 2019, the underground and all stations received a complete facelift. The fully renovated underground offers increased transport capacity, from 1,600 to 3,000 passengers per hour. The interior of the train, which comprises three carriages, is completely continuous throughout and the carriages – as well as the stations – are equipped with the latest infotainment system. The train runs at nine-minute intervals. Stroller and wheelchair-accessible station entrances and exits, modern, high-quality platforms plus draught-free stations complete the state-of-the-art look.
At the stations “Seilbahn”, “Zentrum” and “Kirche”, fascinating information about Serfaus awaits passengers. And best of all, there's no shortage of fun to be had. The creative displays at the stations make the wait for the next train go by in no time at all. The “adventure machine” at the “Seilbahn” terminus, for example, was created especially for children and is more than just a static eye-catcher. A fascinating, interactive picture with plenty of cranks and levers invites kids to let rip. Get mascot Murmli to peek out from behind the mountains or move the cyclist along the cycle track. A special area has also been installed for those interested in underground technology, where the story of how the village underground came into existence is told by contemporary witnesses.
At the station “Zentrum”, passengers learn interesting facts about the vibrant life of Serfaus clubs and associations in pictures and easy-to-understand texts. The overriding theme of this creative “presentation” of the station is “The Serfaus clubs – supporting pillars of the local community”. Six large-format light boxes in the tunnel, which are impossible to overlook, offer an insight into the most important activities of the individual clubs to make any waiting times fly by. Of course, small travellers will also find plenty to enjoy too. A hand-painted “hidden object picture” full of fascinating, detailed drawings encourages kids to take a closer look at club life in Serfaus during waiting times. Watch out: don’t miss the train because of all the fun and games!
The presentation at the “Kirche” station is devoted to the tourist and cultural development of Serfaus. The waiting area and the access tunnel are decked out with multiple information boards and fascinating elements. The more-than-a-century-old sycamore tree in front of the cemetery, which had to be cut down to make way for the new construction, has been given a lovingly designed memorial wall at the “Kirche” station. The individual slices of its mighty trunk now present a very special chronology of village life in Serfaus.
Hear ye, hear ye! Many children lent us their voices during their holiday and made train announcements themselves as “carriage attendant of the day”. The announcements were recorded on tape and delighted the passengers with their German and English announcements. Here, too, the underground train can rightly lay claim to the title "family-friendly".
True to the motto “The fantastic mountain worlds of Serfaus-Fiss-Ladis”, the Tyrolean holiday region represents variety and completely carefree summer holidays at the highest level. For singles as well as best friends, families or three-generation groups. Because in Serfaus-Fiss-Ladis the mountains not only have plenty to offer the grown-ups, but also the little ones. The three mountain villages, each of which enjoy history in abundance, are situated on a sunny high plateau above the Tyrolean Upper Inntal valley, surrounded by the striking mountain peaks of the Samnaun mountain range and the Ötztal Alps. Between 1,200 and 3,000 meters above sea level, the holiday region offers all guests the best conditions for a unique summer vacation: Variety for the whole family. Activities for outdoor sports enthusiasts. Adventures for thrill seekers. Breath-taking panoramas for those who like to take it slow. Extraordinary specialties for food lovers. And that is not only fabulous, but simply fantastic.