News and Events

Mt Hutt ‘all systems go’ for 40th season opening (13-Jun-13)
Immaculately groomed slopes and a genuinely warm welcome await avid skiers and snowboarders.....

Queenstown’s Coronet Peak ski area first to open in Australasia (10-Jun-13)
Queenstown’s Coronet Peak ski area today (June 8) celebrated in style as the first Australasian ski field to open for winter....

Coronet Peak first ski area in Australasia to open on Saturday (05-Jun-13)
Queenstown is officially open for winter as the 2013 season kicks off at Coronet Peak on Saturday (June 8).

Ski Areas Go Out With A Bang! (27-Sep-12)
Season extension and half price passes

Skitube Alpine Railway, The Environmentally Friendly Passage To Perisher Blue (11-May-08)

PERISHER, NSW, MAY 11, 2008 - Perisher Blue's Skitube Alpine Railway was deemed the most efficient and environmentally acceptable method for travelling to Perisher Blue

Perisher Blue's Skitube Alpine Railway was deemed the most efficient and environmentally acceptable method for travelling to Perisher Blue as long as 20 years ago when the cog/rack train system was built. This is due to both its energy saving operating system as well as the carbon emission reduction generated as a result of using Skitube as an alternative to car travel to the resort.

The Skitube is a Swiss designed, primarily Australian built, electric powered cog/rack driven railway system that travels 8.5km (6.3km underground). Starting from Bullocks Flat (located 18km south-west of Jindabyne) it traverses through the Ramshead range and into the Kosciuszko National Park on to Perisher Valley and then up to Blue Cow Mountain. This incredible journey makes it one of the longest underground train tunnels in Australia, travelling as deep as 550m underground, an amazing engineering feat.

The cog/rack system in itself is an energy efficient method of train operation. Cogs mounted beneath the powered rail cars mesh into a rack of teeth set between the wheel tracks. As the cogs revolve, they pull the train forward and then on the downhill trip, the rack system is used for braking. As the Skitube travels downhill, the braking system generates electricity back into the internal power grid, which assists the train travelling uphill.

According to Garth Bush, Perisher Blue's Skitube Electrician, "Generally, the electricity generated by two downhill trains drives one train uphill. Of course this varies depending on the weight travelling in each train."

The reduction of carbon emissions due to visitors travelling via Skitube as an alternative to car transport to the resort is another key environmental benefit. Given Bullocks Flat's closer proximity to Jindabyne as opposed to a 29km drive directly to Perisher Valley, a 22km difference on every round trip can be achieved. So, taking an average season whereby approximately 121,921 vehicles park at Bullocks Flat throughout the season, the carbon emissions that would be generated from an incredible 2,682,262 kilometres are saved, thus reducing the carbon emissions from petrol, LPG and diesel fuels.

The Skitube also offers a safer option for travelling to Perisher Blue. In the 20 years of Skitube's operation, there has not been a significant injury to passengers. This is an outstanding achievement despite the extreme conditions under which most of these trains run, normally in steep alpine environments with their accompanying snow and ice hazards.

Due to the Bullocks Flat Terminal sitting below the recognised snowline of 1650m, there is also a reduced chance of encountering the extreme weather conditions that occur up higher in the elevations. This also means there is a reduced need to fit snow chains when travelling to Bullocks Flat Terminal.

The environmental and safety benefits of the Skitube, which were thought of 20 years ago when the Skitube was built are in line with the resort's Environmental Management System (EMS) that was developed in 2003/04 to provide the framework for assessing the impact on the environment as a result of resort activities.

The EMS meets the requirements of the ISO14001 framework and involves setting goals and targets for improving environment management performance while monitoring and communicating the outcomes.

Perisher Blue has recently embarked on a number of key environmental initiatives to minimize its footprint including increasing its renewable energy power source to 5% and offsetting 100% of the carbon generated by diesel consumed by its grooming fleet.

Other recent energy reduction initiatives include:

* The development of an Energy Policy to underpin the resort's efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) and more efficiently use energy resources;
* Two comprehensive energy audits conducted to identify energy reduction opportunities;
* Replacing incandescent lighting with low wattage fluorescent lighting;
* Rolling out more efficient and automated snowmaking systems;
* Installing phase balance harmonic filters on chairlifts. In 2007, harmonic filters were fitted to the Ridge Quad Chair;
* Installing thermostats/timers on space heaters and removing inefficient fan/radiant heaters from workplaces;
* Installing fuel use monitoring equipment; and
* Encouraging guests and employees to use the Skitube Alpine Railway to reduce energy used on transport.

These initiatives have resulted in a 12% decrease in the resort's energy usage over the last year.

For further details on Perisher Blue's environmental initiatives, please see

www.perisherblue.com.au/winter/info/environment


For information on the Skitube's timetable and pricing for 2008, please go to www.perisherblue.com.au/winter/skitube/index

 
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