26
Aug

2011

The Algiers Téléphériques

Post by Steven Dale

One of four Téléphériques in Algiers, Algeria. Image via Poma.

From what we can piece together, Cable Propelled Transit (CPT) systems in Algeria began in the mid-1950’s with the construction of the Téléphérique d’El Madania in the capital Algiers. This system was then followed in 1982 by the Téléphérique Notre-Dame d’Afrique – again in Algiers.

Five years later in 1987, two more Téléphériques would be constructed in Algiers; the Télépherique du Memorial and the Téléphérique du Palais de la Culture.

All four of these systems would be Aerial Trams designed, manufactured and built by the Italian company Poma – the company that would eventually renovate and modernize the systems 20 years later.

Despite moving millions of people per year (according to the Poma website the el Madania system alone moves more than 1 million people per year), these are remarkably modest systems:

  • None have intermediary stations.
  • System vehicles have capacity for 35 people and the systems can offer total capacity of 1,200 pphpd.

Maybe more surprising is how short in length these systems are:

  • Téléphérique d’El Madania – 220m
  • Téléphérique du Mémorial – 230m
  • Téléphérique du Palais de la Culture – 368m
  • Téléphérique de Notre Dame d’Afrique – 250m

To put those numbers in perspective, the line distances are little more than the distance between two North American bus stops. In other words, the Téléphériques function more like elevators than transit; similar in the way the Ascencors of Valparaiso manage to collapse height and distance and ease movements between the higher and lower parts of the city.

Yet to call these systems mere “elevators” would do them an injustice.

The Téléphériques are important enough to the movement of people in Algiers that they are all fully integrated with ETUSA, Algiers’ regional transit planning agency. And as stated previously, these systems do move millions of people a year. That suggests these aren’t simple elevators but rather essential links in the growing Algiers transit scheme.

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