Von Roll Holding

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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 Holding AG
TypePublic (Aktiengesellschaft)
Industrymetal industry Edit this on Wikidata
Breitenbach, Canton of Solothurn
Key people
Dr. Christian Hennerkes
Dr. Peter Kalantzis (Chairman)
Artur Lust
Claudia Güntert (Head of corporate communications)
Number of employees
1536 (31.12.2017)


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.[1]

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.[2][3][4] In 2019 the company is involved in law case for some salaries paid in €.[5]

Von Roll Seilbahnen AGEdit

Von Roll Seilbahnen AG was the aerial tramway and cableway division that was sold to Austrian manufacturer Doppelmayr in 1996.


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 30 December 1954 Felseneggbahn was opened. It was built by Von Roll in seven months for one million Swiss francs. It still runs, and on 31 March 2010, it carried its 10 millionth passenger.[6] The Disneyland Skyway was Von Roll's first aerial ropeway in the United States. It opened on 23 June 1956 and closed on 9 November 1994. The first Von Roll VR101 was built in Flims, in 1944, and replaced in 1986.

Operating Von Roll Type 101sEdit

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.
Cedar Point Sandusky, Ohio Uses former Frontier Lift cabins.
Superland Rishon LeZion, Israel
Minnesota State Fair Falcon Heights, Minnesota
Tulsa State Fairgrounds Tulsa, Oklahoma
Bayside Skyride
SeaWorld San Diego San Diego, California Round-trip ride.
San Diego Zoo San Diego, California
Busch Gardens Tampa Tampa, Florida
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
Washington State Fair Puyallup, Washington Originally built for the 1962 Seattle World's Fair.
National Coffee Park Quindío Department, Columbia Combination ride of Bronx Zoo and Knoxville World's Fair rides.

Former Von Roll Type 101'sEdit

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
Lake Louise Gondola 1959 2019 Lake Louise Lake Louise, Alberta, Canada Built in 1959
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
Sky Buckets 1968 2020 Six Flags Over Georgia Austell, Georgia
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 1972 1997 Opryland Nashville, Tennessee
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 Accident on 26 July 1978 killed 3 and seriously injured 1.
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


Von Roll MkII monorail at World Expo 88.

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),[13] 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.

The monorail cars at Alton Towers theme park in England were built for Expo 86 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

Von Roll also manufactured the old Sentosa Monorail in Sentosa Island, Singapore in 1982, which closed down in March 2005.

The Jurong Bird Park Panorail in Jurong Bird Park, Singapore is a four-car straddle-beam monorail that began operation in 1991 and ceased operations in 2012.

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 Oasis Shopping Centre to Jupiters Hotel & Casino opened in 1989, but closed on 29 January 2017 due to life-expired equipment and declining patronage.[14][15] Another MkIII Monorail system, the Sydney Monorail, operated in Australia linking the City Centre to Darling Harbour, however monorail services ceased on 30 June 2013[16] (it began operation on 21 July 1988).[17] 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.

Space TowersEdit

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.

Funicular systemsEdit

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Von Roll Holding AG - This History of Von Roll
  2. ^ https://www.vonrollgroup.com/en/corporate-governance/corporate-governance1/group-structure-and-shareholders/
  3. ^ https://www.finanzen.ch/obligationen/roll_holding-_vonsf-wdl-anl_201414-20-obligation-2020-ch0245239287
  4. ^ https://www.onvista.de/news/dgap-adhoc-von-roll-holding-ag-staerkung-der-kapitalstruktur-schafft-grundlagen-fuer-weiteres-wachstum-deutsch-162414507
  5. ^ https://www.rjb.ch/rjb/Actualite/Region/20190115-Payer-ses-employes-frontaliers-en-euros-est-illegal.html
  6. ^ Tages-Anzeiger online (April 1, 2010): Der 10-millionste Fahrgast kommt aus Schweden
  7. ^ "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.
  8. ^ "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.
  9. ^ "Tampa's Busch Gardens now features 'sky ride'". The Daily Herald. Chicago, IL. May 7, 1974. p. Section 2–3.
  10. ^ "6 Flags Over Georgia Opening Set in June". The Gaffney Ledger. Gaffney, SC. March 1, 1967. p. 6.
  11. ^ "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.
  12. ^ "Sky Buckets". Six Flags. 2015.
  13. ^ 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.
  14. ^ Oasis Skylink Opens Transit Australia November 1989 page 254
  15. ^ Broadbeach Monorail will shut down in 2017 as Oasis plans major revamp for new restaurants Gold Coast Bulletin 9 December 2016
  16. ^ 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.
  17. ^ Churchman, Geoffrey B (1995). Railway Electrification in Australia and New Zealand. IPL Books. ISBN 0-646-06893-8.

External linksEdit