The Rostock Gondola

Post by Steven Dale

A discussion in the comments of a recent post got me thinking about the Rostock gondola.

Built for the BUGA festival in 2003, it’s a system that’s mostly been forgotten and I have to assume the reason for this is that it no longer exists. It was designed and built as a temporary installation. The system was disassembled and then reassembled in Munich 2 years later for their BUGA festival. After which time it was disassembled and never heard from since.

As such, it’s pretty hard to find any information on it.

Nevertheless, rummaging through my archives, I found an old Doppelmayr promotional DVD of the Rostock system. I typically avoid posting promotional materials by either of the large manufacturers, but given the dearth of information out there, I thought I’d make an exception.

The music isn’t great and the video is certainly dated, but it’s well worth a look. There’s more than a couple unique things about the installation. See if you can spot them (the important stuff comes around the 1:50 mark):

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  1. I can't pretend that I have learned enough about gondolas to figure out what you are trying to get us to see. I did however like that the video showed a lot about the accessibility. Also how little of a footprint the stations took as well as the turn around the 4:20 mark. BTW: Your "resent post" link is 404.
  2. Interesting. It's a triangular liftline; the way they repurposed two of their standard terminals at the main station really confused me at first. I conjecture that they did it that way because the drive bullwheel needs a full 180-degree wrap for proper power transmission. And I note that they used standard tower heads rather than custom-building one-sided ones.
  3. Well your link to a "recent post" doesn't work, but I do see some interesting things here. The system, as set up in this video at least, has a very unusual configuration which I could go into in at some length; but as I don't think the configuration would be useful as urban transit, I'll refrain from doing so. The other thing I noticed was that many people in wheel-chairs and families pushing strollers were boarding and un-boarding the creeping cabins with seemingly no hesitation or fear (To be fair Doppelmayr isn't likely to show us the freak-outs in its own promotional video, is it? There do seem to be a suspicious number of wheel chairs and strollers in this video). Many people have brought up disabled people and strollers as a con and you've discussed this before in other posts. A video like this is a useful way of convincing such naysayers.
  4. I should say that many people have brought up accommodating disabled people and strollers as a con of gondolas.
  5. @accommodating disabled people. Maybe, but it never really was that big of a problem, was it? And gondolas are always able to be stopped. I really would like to hear the main reason for not stopping gondolas within the station. I really believe it is the "gondola has to do that corner-aspect". @Chip: You mentioned the standard towers. That's what I think too and still see as a great option to be fixed. Even those should look attractive. In case of those garden exhibitions: Doppelmayr is financing those gondola installations on their own, like those guys with the travelling amusement machines on fairs and the money they make: it's theirs in exchange for the special ride and views you'll get. So, this system wasn't only prepared for Rostock. Later on in Munich and I bet before it may even has been to the EXPO 2000 in Hannover, or at least parts of it. So it's obvious why those towers looked as they did -> costs.
  6. @LX Accommodating the disabled was never a problem, but people perceive it as a problem and this graphically demonstrates that it is not.
  7. It's possible I'm just being dense, but I really don't see why this system is interesting. I mean it's interesting in the sense of being unusual, but not interesting in any way that's useful for urban gondolas.
  8. At www alpinforum.com, you can look up (in German language), the ropeway from Rostock or Munich was built up at the alpine "Hochgratbahn", Oberstaufen, Germany. http://www.alpinforum.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=39&t=36450&p=4711782&hilit=BUGA+M%C3%BCnchen#p4711782 (in German language) Greetings