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Customer Success Story

Reaching 3089 meters with Hitachi Energy technology

Upgrade of MicroSCADA Pro and RTU remote control system

The Gornergrat railway (GGB) connects the tourist town Zermatt with the mountain station on the Gornergrat ridge, which is a popular tourism destination, housing also a high-elevation Alpine research station. The railroad stretches for 9.3 km from the elevation of 1604 m to 3089 m, the maximum slope reaches 20%. It is the highest outdoor toothed gear railroad in Europe.


Due to the Alpine conditions and to ensure that the power supply to the railroad is reliable, it is divided into twelve sections. Each section is supplied from both sides from a total of 13 transformer stations (TS). These transformer stations are connected to the GGB switching station, receiving power supply from power plants in Zermatt.

GGB relied on Hitachi Energy’s experience in power grid automation for the upgrade of the remote control system and its connection to the network control system. Using its railroad power supply expertise, Hitachi Energy managed to offer GGB an optimal solution.


Hitachi Energy solution

A control equipment upgrade concept was designed in close cooperation with GGB and is based on the IEC 60870-5-104 standard. The RTU200 and RTU20 units installed at the stations were replaced with new RTU560 and RTU520 units, which were connected to the new MicroSCADA Pro network control system at GGB. The MicroSCADA Pro system was installed on the ground floor of the switcing station in Zermatt.

Its operating station is located in the control room, and is connected via an active KVM extender with the host computer. GGB’s high technical reliability requirements due to the Alpine conditions were met with the solution offered by Hitachi Energy and based on the RTU redundancy concept.

Hitachi Energy scope of delivery

The RTU product has a modular design, offering ultimate maintenance and expansion options.

The measurement data are received from all the stations and then archived in the MicroSCADA Pro system at the switching station in Zermatt. These data are used by GGB for longer-term analysis.

Customer advantages

  • The commissioning of single transformer stations was completed without shutting down the Gornergrat railway. This made it possible to avoid costly downtimes in operation.
  • Owing to the continuous communication and intensive personal meetings, the needs of the client could be determined clearly, guaranteeing a smooth progress of the project.
  • With this upgrade, the switching station in Brig gained access to GGB’s MicroSCADA Pro system in Zermatt and the RTU stations.

Feedback from the customer

The upgrade was completed punctually and exactly before the beginning of the winter season. Dario Kronig, the Project Manager at Matterhorn Gotthard Bahn, was “very satisfied with how the project proceeded.” He also noted that “the collaboration always remained smooth and goal-oriented, even in critical situations. This way, both the sides could reach the goals set. Furhermore, we highly appreciate that the same Hitachi Energy employees were involved in the project from start to end.”