Von Roll Holding
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Breitenbach, Canton of Solothurn,
|Dr. Christian Hennerkes |
Dr. Peter Kalantzis (Chairman)
Claudia Güntert (Head of corporate communications)
Number of employees
Von Roll Holding AG is a Swiss industrial group that operates worldwide. As one of Switzerland’s longest-established industrial companies, Von Roll focuses today on products and systems for electrical applications such as power generation, transmission and storage as well as e-mobility and industrial applications.
Von Roll has its roots in the Eisenwerke der Handelsgesellschaft der Gebrüder Dürholz & Co. (Ironworks of the commercial firm of the Brothers Durholz & Co.) which was established in 1803. This firm was then taken over in 1810 by Von Roll & Cie, newly formed by Ludwig Freiherr von Roll (1771–1839) and Jakob von Glutz. In May 1823, Ludwig von Roll founded the Gesellschaft der Ludwig von Roll'schen Eisenwerke which benefited from industrialization and railroad construction that demanded a lot of iron.
Following this, the business developed into one of the most important industrial groups in Switzerland with more than 10,000 employees in the 1970s. Like other Swiss companies, Von Roll suffered during the oil crisis of 1973. The company underwent financial restructuring after financial restructuring, seemingly without end. As recently as 2003, Von Roll had to fight for its survival. At the end of 2002, following the accumulated losses of previous years, Von Roll’s equity capital had shrunk to 10.3 million. In 2004 the company initiated a new strategy to focus on the insulation business, beginning its turnaround.
The main shareholder is in early 2019 August von Finck Jr. family with above 65% of the quotes. After the conversion of some convertible bonds in December 2018 the composition of shareholders became unclear. In 2019 the company is involved in law case for some salaries paid in €.
Von Roll Seilbahnen AG
Perhaps Von Roll's best-known product was the type 101 sky ride or simply "VR101" that operated in many amusement parks. A total of over 100 were installed; as of 2008 only ten remained operational. On December 30, 1954, Felseneggbahn was opened. It was built by Von Roll in seven months for one million Swiss francs. It still runs, and on March 31, 2010, it carried its 10 millionth passenger. The Disneyland Skyway was Von Roll's first aerial ropeway in the United States. It opened on June 23, 1956, and closed on November 9, 1994. The first Von Roll VR101 was built in Flims, in 1944, and replaced in 1986.
Operating Von Roll Type 101s
|Ride name||Opened||Park name||Location||Notes||Ref(s)|
|Krupka-Komáří Sky Ride||Lanová Dráha Krupka||Krupka, Czech Republic||The last VR101 Sidechair lift in the world, and is not to be replaced for a long time|
|Lake Louise Gondola||Lake Louise||Lake Louise, Alberta, Canada|
|Skyride||Cedar Point||Sandusky, Ohio||Uses former Frontier Lift cabins|
|Skyride||Superland||Rishon LeZion, Israel|
|Skyride||Minnesota State Fair||Falcon Heights, Minnesota|
|Skyride||Tulsa State Fairgrounds||Tulsa, Oklahoma|
|Bayside Skyride||SeaWorld San Diego||San Diego, California||Round-trip ride|
|Sky Buckets||Six Flags Over Georgia||Austell, Georgia|
|Skyfari||San Diego Zoo||San Diego, California|
|Skyride||Busch Gardens Tampa||Tampa, Florida|
|Skyway||Six Flags Great Adventure||Jackson Township, New Jersey||Originally built for the 1964 World's Fair in Queens|
|Sky Lift||Taman Safari||Bogor, Indonesia|
|Aeronaut Skyride||Busch Gardens Williamsburg||Williamsburg, Virginia||3 stations, all one-way|
|Delta Flyer / Eagle's Flight||California's Great America||Santa Clara, California|
|Skyride||Washington State Fair||Puyallup, Washington||Originally built for the 1962 Seattle World's Fair|
|Cableway||National Coffee Park||Quindío Department, Columbia||Combination ride of Bronx Zoo and Knoxville World's Fair rides|
Former Von Roll Type 101's
|Ride Name||Opened||Closed||Park Name||Location||Notes||Ref(s)|
|Alpine Swiss Skyride||1963||1994||Aquarena Springs||San Marcos, Texas||Closed in 1994, removed in 2013|
|Jennerbahn||1953||2017||Berchtesgaden National Park||Berchtesgaden, Bavaria, Germany||10-passenger gondola The second to last VR101 sidechair (gondola lift with the innards of a VR101 Sidechair)|
|Astrolift||1967||1981||Six Flags Over Georgia||Austell, Georgia|
|Astrolift||1961||1981||Six Flags Over Texas||Arlington, Texas||Removed over safety concerns|
|Astroway||1967||2005||Six Flags AstroWorld||Houston, Texas||Demolished along with the park|
|Brussels World's Fair Skyride||1960||1976||Lakeland||Memphis, Tennessee|
|Delta Flyer / Eagle's Flight||1976||1984||Six Flags Great America||Gurnee, Illinois|
|Frontier Lift||1968||1985||Cedar Point||Sandusky, Ohio||Cabins used on Skyride, removed for Iron Dragon|
|Gondola Skyride||1982||????||World's Fair 1982||Knoxville, Tennessee||Relocated to Parque Nacional del Café|
|New England Sky Way||1973||2014||Six Flags New England||Agawam, Massachusetts||Built in 1963 at Coney Island (Brooklyn, NY) -- Removed to build Wicked Cyclone|
|Ocean Skyway||1958||1967||Pacific Ocean Park||Santa Monica, California||Relocated to Legend City (Phoenix, AZ) as Sky Ride|
|Tucson Mining Company Ore Buckets||1960||1964||Freedomland USA||Bronx, New York||Towers are used at Great Adventure, Jackson, NJ; believed that the buckets were from the 1958 Brussels World's Fair.|
|Satellite||1968||1983||Legend City||Phoenix, Arizona|
|Skyfari||1972||2009||Bronx Zoo||Bronx, New York||Relocated to Parque Nacional del Café|
|Skyride||1964||1999||Brackenridge Park||San Antonio, Texas||Closed in 1999, removed in 2002 due to maintenance costs|
|Skyride||1965||1971||Coney Island||Cincinnati, Ohio||Relocated to Kings Island|
|Skyride||1968||????||Hemisfair '68||San Antonio, Texas||Continued operation after fair closure|
|Skyride||1972||1979||Kings Island||Kings Mill, Ohio||Relocated from Coney Island (Cincinnati, OH)|
|Skyride||1967||2004||La Ronde||Montreal, Quebec, Canada||Built for 1967 World's Fair, stations still exist|
|Skyride||1966||1975||Pirates World||Dania, Florida|
|Skyway||1956||1994||Disneyland||Anaheim, California||Removed due to stress cracks in Matterhorn battery|
|Skyway||1971||1999||Magic Kingdom||Lake Buena Vista, Florida|
|Skyway||1983||1998||Tokyo Disneyland||Urayasu, Chiba, Japan|
|Sky-Way||1971||1981||Six Flags St. Louis||Eureka, Missouri||Removed after accident on July 26, 1978. 3 killed and 1 seriously injured after a car fell from the ride.|
|Southern Cross||1977||1983||Six Flags Great America||Gurnee, Illinois|
|Space Ride||1963||1967||Riverview Park||Chicago, Illinois|
|Swiss Skyride||1964||1979||Fair Park/State Fair of Texas||Dallas, Texas||Removed after accident, 1 killed|
|Union 76 Skyride||1962||1980||Century 21 Exposition||Seattle, Washington||Ran at Seattle Center, relocated to Washington State Fair|
The Mk II and Mk III monorail automated people mover (APM) systems were installed in a variety of locations before the technology was sold to Adtranz (later Bombardier), which continues to supply the parts for the monorail systems.
AirTrain Newark opened in 1996 and is a Von Roll system. The AirTrain Newark system was extended to connect with Amtrak and NJ Transit in 2001.
Australia has had a total of four Von Roll Monorail systems, currently one is still in operation. A Von Roll MkII system is in operation at Sea World theme park on the Gold Coast (first monorail in Australia which opened in 1986). A MkIII Monorail system in nearby Broadbeach linking a shopping centre to a casino opened in 1989, but closed on January 29, 2017 due to life-expired equipment and declining patronage. Another MkIII Monorail system, the Metro Monorail, operated in Sydney, Australia linking the City Centre to Darling Harbour, however monorail services ceased on 30 June 2013 (it began operation on 21 July 1988). A MkII Monorail system was also in operation during World Expo 88 held in Brisbane, Australia, with a loop around the expo site at Southbank. There is no trace of the monorail system at the site.
Cedar Point's Space Spiral, AstroWorld's Astroneedle and Coney's Space Tower were built by Willy Bühler Space Towers Company of Berne, Switzerland with cabins by Von Roll. In 1971 Intamin started marketing these towers and contracted these same companies to build them. Willy Bühler Space Towers was eventually acquired by Von Roll.
- Von Roll Holding AG - This History of Von Roll
- Tages-Anzeiger online (April 1, 2010): Der 10-millionste Fahrgast kommt aus Schweden
- "Swiss Envoy Invited To Cedar Point". Sandusky Register. April 16, 1962. p. 5.
The Sky Ride was designed and built by the Von Roll Iron Works in Berne, Switzerland. Early next month Von Roll engineers will be at Cedar Point to supervise installation of the 1,300 foot long ride over the midway.
- "Mission Bay Adding Restaurant". The San Bernardino County Sun. March 12, 1967. p. B-18.
The Sea World sky ride is being built by Von Roll, Ltd., of Berne, Switzerland, and will extend over water 1,410 feet each way between the Atlantis and Sea World. When completed in early May, the sky ride will represent an investment of $350,000.
- "Sky Buckets". Six Flags. 2015.
- "Tampa's Busch Gardens now features 'sky ride'". The Daily Herald. Chicago, IL. May 7, 1974. p. Section 2–3.
- "6 Flags Over Georgia Opening Set in June". The Gaffney Ledger. Gaffney, SC. March 1, 1967. p. 6.
- "Ocean 'Ski Lift' to Open July 22 at Santa Monica". Valley News. Van Nuys, CA. June 12, 1958. p. C-15.
Known as the Sky Ride, the ocean "ski-lift" will be one of the 50 major "ocean wonderland" attractions at Pacific Ocean Park...The Sky Ride's plastic bubbles are being built by Skycraft Industries, of Santa Monica, and all other parts of the lift are being constructed by Von Roll Iron Works of Berne, Switzerland.
- Harris, Frederic R. (December 18, 2001). Monorail Technology Assessment (PDF) (Report). County of Montgomery Department of Public Works. p. 52. Retrieved February 3, 2017.
In 1994, Von Roll sold their technology to Adtranz, now a part of Bombardier.
- Saleh, Lillian (22 June 2012). "Sydney monorail to make its final stop on 30 June next year". The Daily Telegraph. Sydney, Australia. Retrieved 25 June 2013.
- Churchman, Geoffrey B (1995). Railway Electrification in Australia and New Zealand. IPL Books. ISBN 0-646-06893-8.
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