04
Dec

2015

“Rope Is Just Rope, Isn’t It?” (Fatzer’s Surprisingly Different Stabilo® Rope)

Stabilo rope's reliability and load capacity make it ideal for gondola, 2S and 3S cableways.

Stabilo rope’s reliability and load capacity make it ideal for MDG, BDG and 3S cableways.

Wondering whether choice of rope really matters? Look at it this way: If you were responsible for building a tram in your city, wouldn’t you want to know all you could about the track?

Awhile back, the Gondola Project posted an article about the often-overlooked issue of the weight-bearing cable or “rope” is it’s known in this, the “ropeway” industry. The gist of the story was that choosing the wrong rope, or leaving it to the last minute, can be inconvenient at best and extremely expensive or even unsafe at worst.

Today, we begin to examine Fatzer’s individual rope products, used for ropeways worldwide — this first one is Stabilo®. Fatzer ensures us that the differences between the products are subtle but important. Having produced literally thousands of miles of rope for transporting people in cable cars and chairlifts, they know what they’re talking about.

Most rope changes significantly with use, but not Stabilo. It remains, well, stable.

All ropes are made up of many wound strands of wire. Often, those strands are wound round a core of different materials. After the rope is put into use, the rope continually bends at the ropeway’s wheels. Friction from contact with the between strands of wire creates minute notches on them. The notches begin rubbing against each other, eventually breaking the wire.

Polyethylene core stabilizes movement and reduces elongation. (Photo from Fatzer.com)

Polyethylene core stabilizes movement and reduces elongation. (Photo from Fatzer.com)

Furthermore, with repeated cycles the strands quickly begin settling. Eventually they work their way into the core, changing it, narrowing its diameter and elongating the rope. The entire set of issues lessens the life expectancy of the rope.

Fatzer’s solution? Stabilize the core and prevent contact between the wire strands.

A Stabilo rope’s interior is filled with a polyethylene core rod, which is heated during the formation process. What results are compressed and minuscule layers of plastic between the strands, which are now kept separate at a uniform distance. So there’s a stable diameter at the core of the rope, for a weight-bearing cable that is less prone to stretching and, therefor, longer lasting.

The ideal applications for Stabilo ropes are continuously circling cableways, which demand longer and uninterrupted performance. All ropes stretch, though. Eventually even Stabilo requires maintenance for shortening (and ultimately replacement). Stabilo is the right choice for a ropeway that can only be halted at specified, predictable periods. Learn more here.

Materials on this page are paid for. Gondola Project (including its parent companies and its team of writers and contributors) does not explicitly or implicitly endorse third parties in exchange for advertising. Advertising does not influence editorial content, products, or services offered on Gondola Project.



Want more? Purchase Cable Car Confidential: The Essential Guide to Cable Cars, Urban Gondolas & Cable Propelled Transit and start learning about the world's fastest growing transportation technologies.

15
Dec

2015

Ropeway Redux: Highlights From Doppelmayr’s Comprehensive Magazine

The world's safest form of public transit.

According to Doppelmayr, a ropeway with a 3,600 person capacity can use as little as 0.1kWh of power to carry one passenger over 1km — the same amount of energy consumed by a hair dryer in 5 minutes!

Earlier this year, Doppelmayr Urban Solutions produced an attractively art directed brochure-cum-magazine called Ropeways in the urban environment. It compiles the many benefits of cable cars (or ropeways as they’re called in the industry) as urban transportation.

The following is a summary of the magazine’s main points. The content is very useful for anyone looking to write a top-10 list or giving a presentation. The truly time-starved can skip to the last section for the key features at a glance.

  • Ropeways complement other forms of urban transit, easily integrating into existing infrastructure. They continuously operate, so there is no need for other modes of transit to modify their own schedules just to accommodate them.
  • Service is continuous. So the other side of the first point is no schedules for ropeway passengers to memorize and adhere to, and no long waiting periods in ropeway stations.
  • They have their own dedicated and uninterrupted route. There are no traffic jams 20 metres overhead.
  • Formerly outlying neighbourhoods thrive when connected.
  • Capacity — Ropeways can carry up to 5,000 passengers per hour and direction.
  • Capacity — Cabins can carry up to 35 passengers, plus bikes, wheelchairs, strollers and baggage. In other words, they allow barrier-free access for all riders.
  • Ropeways are statistically the world’s safest means of transit.
  • They easily integrate into neighbourhoods, requiring minimal structural footprints. (Indeed, in some cities stations have been built high up in skyscrapers.)
  • They have minimal environmental impact. The Koblenz Seilbahn, consumes as little as 0.1kwh to transport one rider over a distance of 1km. This is equivalent to the amount of energy a hair dryer uses in 5 minutes.
  • To transport 10,000 passengers in an hour, you need 100 buses, 2,000 cars or one ropeway. So, for the capacity, ropeways are a cost-effective solution for cash-strapped transit authorities and city governments.
  • Robustness — Built for mountaintop conditions, many ropeway systems can continue operating in winds up to 100km/h.
  • Comfort need never be a problem. Cabins can easily be heated, cooled and supplied with infotainment systems and Wi-Fi.
  • Ropeway infrastructure is relatively easy to build and it goes up fast — perfect for already-clogged cities with lots of construction on the go and in a hurry to get moving.
  • Stations and towers can be adapted to blend in with the local architecture.
Screen Shot 2015-12-14 at 12.58.03 PM

A gondola can offset a huge number of car and bus trips.

ROPEWAYS ARE MULTI-PURPOSE. CONSIDER THESE MANY APPLICATIONS.

  • Ropeways can fill gaps between busy zones that generate traffic, like hospitals and other outlying infrastructure.
  • They are ideal for connecting organizationally linked facilities that are physically removed, like a campus, factory or exhibition grounds.
  • You can use them to bridge otherwise difficult-to-cross barriers, inexpensively.
  • They extend or relieve existing urban transit systems, cost-effectively.
  • Ropeways generate a new source of advertising revenue. Passengers are a captive audience for the length of their ride.
Ropeways provide barrier-free access

Ropeways provide barrier-free access.

KEY FEATURES AT A GLANCE (FOR THOSE WITH NO TIME)

  • Fully automatic operation
  • High capacity due to continuous operation
  • Short, low-cost construction phase
  • Minimal space requirements
  • Easy integration with existing transport systems
  • Barrier-free movement
  • World’ssafest means of transport
  • Minimal environmental impact

 

The magazine shows examples of urban ropeways from around the world. You can downloadRopeways in the urban environment’ free.

 

Materials on this page are paid for. Gondola Project (including its parent companies and its team of writers and contributors) does not explicitly or implicitly endorse third parties in exchange for advertising. Advertising does not influence editorial content, products, or services offered on Gondola Project.

 



Want more? Purchase Cable Car Confidential: The Essential Guide to Cable Cars, Urban Gondolas & Cable Propelled Transit and start learning about the world's fastest growing transportation technologies.

26
Jan

2016

Rider’s Digest: Leitner Ropeways’ Tricable Gondola Lifts

The following summarizes 16-page glossy brochure on LEITNER’s 3S system. Also known as ‘tricable gondolas’, they have single haul rope and two carrying ropes.

Rittner Seilbahn in Renon, Italy.

Rittner Seilbahn in Renon, Italy.

Tricable gondolas features detachable grips and offers the highest transport capacity of all aerial technologies. They guarantee increased wind resistance and can also cross major spans of over 2,500 meters between towers. Cabins can be slowed in the stations — or even be stopped completely — for additional comfort when riders enter and exit the cabin.

Capacity: up to 6,000 people/h

Speed: up to 8.5 m/s

Cabin capacity: up to 35 people

 

Cabins are Co-Designed by Pininfarina, Ferrari and Maserati designers

Highlights:

  • Wide entryway speeds boarding and deboarding.
  • Seats 28 comfortably with standing room for 7 more.
  • Sophisticated lighting concept developed in collaboration with Bartenbach Lighting Design is tailored to your corporate colour scheme.
  • Collaboration with qpunkt, automotive air conditioning experts, produced a new climate control concept with continuously variable air volume and improved air-flow velocity.
  • Supercaps energy concept employs a roller generator and solar panels to power a multimedia system with high-resolution LCD screens, WiFi and sound system.
3S Symphony Cabins.

3S Symphony Cabins.

The Leitner 3S Cabin

Highlights:

  • Manufacturing technologies and precision components are like those used in aircraft construction.
  • Milled from solid pieces, most parts require no safety welds. Meaning? Greater stability but lower weight.
  • Additional two-way rollers in the station and garaging areas can travel on the smallest curve radii.
  • Safety: each carriage’s unique vehicle detector indicates possible roller defects. So operators know exactly where to inspect track rollers. Then, the affected vehicle can be safely transported to the end station.
  • Removable grip reduces maintenance requirements.
  • Comfort: Each carriage’s lateral damping system ensures greater wind resistance and eliminates swaying.
  • Eco-friendly roller generator contributes to the power supply in the cabin.
  • Colours of all parts can be customized to your corporate standards, except for rollers and grips.

 

The Advantages of the Leitner 3S System

Simple Rope Deflection

Lifts are equipped with a single haul rope deflection mechanism. LEITNER 3S systems only require four sheaves. Up to two drive sheaves and one return sheave are installed in the drive station. There is one return sheave in the return station.

+ Longer service life

+ Lower maintenance costs

 

Optimum Redundancy for Maximum Safety

If required, an independent drive can be installed for both drive sheaves and the emergency/evacuation drive. Of course, the LEITNER DirectDrive can be used.

+ Maximum safety

+ Greater availability

 

Patented Haul Rope Roller with Spring System

The lift-off load on the haul rope is minimized by the spring roller system on the support towers. The lower lift-off height results in fewer vibrations on the haul rope and considerably lower loading of the carrying ropes by the carriage rollers.

+ Increased service life of the carrying ropes

+ Quieter ride

 

Optimized Accessibility

All mechanisms are directly accessible and thus easy to check and adjust. The outer station turnaround is accessible while walking upright for ergonomic and safer working.

+ Simplified maintenance

+ Safety for maintenance staff

 

The Flexible Switch Points System

The switch points are designed for optimum flexibility. The rapid switching cycles allow the vehicles to be pushed in and out during operation. The garaging procedure can be executed at running speed. The compartment-style system enables manual control of the switch points.

+ Flexibility

+ Time savings

+ Availability

 

Compact Station Design

The low installation height reduces cubage and costs. The new 3S carriage permits minimal curve radii in the station and the very narrowest curves in both directions in the garaging area.

+ Cost savings

+ Flexibility

3S Prodains Gondola

3S Prodains Gondola

Examples of LEITNER Tricable Gondolas In Situ 

The brochure closes with summaries of working and coming Leitner tricable systems. (The beautiful mountain vistas may be distracting for urban planners considering transit issues but the statistics are useful.)

 

Ritten/Bozen, Italy

Inclined length: 4,544 m

Vertical rise: 949 m

Transport capacity: 726 people/h

Power: 900 kw

Total vehicles: 10

Total towers: 7

 

Les Prodains, France

Inclined length: 1,751 m

Vertical rise: 576 m

Transport capacity: 2,400 people/h

Power: 2x 530 kw

Total vehicles: 4

Total towers: 2

 

Stubaier Gletscher, Austria

Inclined length: 4,092 m

Vertical rise: 1,137 m

Transport capacity: 3,000 people/h

Power: 2x 530 kw

Total number of vehicles: 48

Opening: 2016

 

Zermatt, Switzerland

Inclined length: 3,760 m

Vertical rise: 900 m

Transport capacity: 2,000 people/h

Total number of vehicles: 25

Opening: 2018

 

Download the complete brochure here.

 

Materials on this page are paid for. Gondola Project (including its parent companies and its team of writers and contributors) does not explicitly or implicitly endorse third parties in exchange for advertising. Advertising does not influence editorial content, products, or services offered on Gondola Project.



Want more? Purchase Cable Car Confidential: The Essential Guide to Cable Cars, Urban Gondolas & Cable Propelled Transit and start learning about the world's fastest growing transportation technologies.

09
Apr

2016

LEITNER – DirectDrive

LEITNER DirectDrive is an exclusive, in-house drive solution developed by LEITNER Ropeways. This gearless drive system uses an electric, low-rpm synchronous motor that is directly linked to the bullwheel assembly.

LEITNER Ropeways Direct Drive

With this design, there are far fewer moving parts than conventional drive systems. In short, there are just three moving components — the rotor and two bearings — resulting in many advantages:

  • Lower Noise Levels
  • No Engine Oil
  • Reduced Maintenance Costs
  • Lower Operating Costs (no gearbox inspection)
  • Greater Efficiency
  • High Reliability
  • DirectDrive frame can be easily moved for adjustments to elongated ropes


LEITNER Ropeways Direct Drive 3

In particular, low noise levels means that drive stations can be located next to and integrated with sensitive lands uses such as residential and commercial properties with minimal interference. This is especially important in complex and dense urban environments where quiet operations are necessary.

Lower operating costs is also a critical factor as urban cable transit lines often operate for more than the usual 10 hours per day experienced in ski resort settings.



Since 1999 DirectDrive systems are now found in nearly two dozen countries and have been installed in 55 ropeways and 310 wind generators.

For more information about this special drive solution and how LEITNER can assist you with your urban cable car project, click here.


Materials on this page are paid for. The Gondola Project (including its parent companies and its team of writers and contributors) does not explicitly or implicitly endorse third parties in exchange for advertising. Advertising does not influence editorial content, products, or services offered on The Gondola Project.

 



Want more? Purchase Cable Car Confidential: The Essential Guide to Cable Cars, Urban Gondolas & Cable Propelled Transit and start learning about the world's fastest growing transportation technologies.

12
Apr

2016

Doppelmayr’s Innovative Recovery Concept – Unmatched Passenger Safety and Comfort

As we’ve pointed out before, gondolas are the safest form of transport in the world. Whether it’s data from United States, France or the Swiss Alps, cable cars have demonstrated their ability to transport riders in the most extreme topographical and meteorological conditions with unmatched safety and comfort.

Despite its high safety record, Doppelmayr – the global leader in urban gondolas with worldwide facilities and sales teams – has continued to advance and improve the technology to greater levels of quality and excellence.

In recent times, the company has designed an innovative safety feature called the Recovery Concept.

Koblenz Cable Car is equipped with the Recovery Concept to maximize safety.

The Recovery Concept is a series of redundant drive-line systems that ensures the cabins will return to a station in the event of a mechanical or electrical failure of the primary drive-line.

While there have always been backup drive-lines for aerial ropeway installations, the world’s first detachable gondola supported by the Recovery Concept was installed in the Grasjochbahn 8-passenger gondola (Silvretta Montafon, Voralberg, Austria) in 2011.

Grasjoch 8-passenger gondola. Image by Doppelmayr.

Grasjoch 8-passenger gondola. Image by Doppelmayr.

“With Doppelmayr’s Recovery Concept, dramatic and expensive rescues are no longer necessary. Cabins with passengers remain comfortably intact and would simply be returned to the station with one of the Concept’s alternative drive mechanisms,” says Tom Sanford, VP Sales of Doppelmayr USA.

Doppelmayr Recovery Concept. Image by Doppelmayr.

Recovery Concept. Image by Doppelmayr.

Major features of this system include:

  • Main drive mechanism has an auxiliary motor in case of primary motor failure
  • Coupling can be detached from bullwheel to allow emergency drives to take over in case both primary and auxiliary motors fail
  • Each bullwheel is equipped with an emergency bearing allowing rotational movement between emergency drives on either side
  • Special tools installed which lifts the cable back to normal position in case of derailment
  • Special tools, such as permanent crane facilities, to remove blocked cabins

“We’ll never completely eliminate the need for rope rescues but, with Doppelmayr’s Recovery Concept, nearly all of them are now prevented,” says Sanford.

 

Application to Urban Gondolas

Already the Recovery Concept has been installed in several high-profile urban cable cars including the Koblenz Cable Car (Germany), and the Emirates Air Line Cable Car (UK).

Emirates Air Line Cable Car built with the Recovery Concept. Two independent emergency drives and recovery equipment on top of each tower means passengers can stay in cabins during emergencies.

“We think this concept is a must-have for cities installing ropeways as public transportation” says Sanford.

As the performance and passenger requirements of public transit is immensely demanding, the Recovery Concept can help strengthen Cable Propelled Transit’s position as the world’s safest urban transport modality.

You can learn more about Doppelmayr and urban applications of its ropeways here.

 

Materials on this page are paid for. Gondola Project (including its parent companies and its team of writers and contributors) does not explicitly or implicitly endorse third parties in exchange for advertising. Advertising does not influence editorial content, products, or services offered on Gondola Project.



Want more? Purchase Cable Car Confidential: The Essential Guide to Cable Cars, Urban Gondolas & Cable Propelled Transit and start learning about the world's fastest growing transportation technologies.

30
May

2016

Doppelmayr’s Annual Report 2016 – Another Year of Innovations and Records

Last month, Doppelmayr-Garaventa released its highly anticipated Annual Worldwide 2016 Report. Each year, the world’s largest ropeway manufacturer produces this impressive publication which documents the many incredible rope-driven installations built in the previous year.

Doppelmayr Annual Report 2016

Doppelmayr Annual Report 2016. Images from Doppelmayr.

The 158-page book is chock full of stunning photos and jaw-dropping facts for all 103 installations built in 2015. This makes the highly visual guide a light-hearted read for audiences of all backgrounds and ages.

While every year Doppelmayr continues to be at the forefront of ropeway innovation, the spectacular variety seen in the 2016 version is particularly memorable. As the technology continues to build its profile in cities, a few new ropeway systems may have key implications for urban settings.


30-TDG Fansipan Legend 

The Fansipan Legend in Northern Vietnam sets the world record for 3S/tricable detachable gondolas with the greatest elevation change (vertical rise) at 1251m. It provides visitors of all mobility levels the chance to experience the roof of Indochina. As 3S technology continues to mature and develop, it paves the way for even more impressive installations and opportunities in cities.

30-TDG Penkenbahn 

Penkenbahn 1

The brand new 3S Penkenbahn in Austria’s Mayrhofner Bergbahnen makes a 6.5 degree turn only on towers. Passengers are whisked up the side of Penken mountain in spacious cabins where they have access to ski and hiking terrain. The ability to make turns on towers without a mid-station means greater flexibility for cable cars to navigate complex urban built-form. This engineering marvel is unprecedented and showcases Doppelmayr’s committed to innovation.


6/8-CDG Riederalp–Blausee / 6/8-CDG Blausee–Moosfluh

6:8-CGD Riederalp–Blausee -- 6:8-CGD Blausee–Moosfluh (Realign)

The Riederalp-Blausse-Moosfluh combined lift in Switzerland is designed with the capability to realign stations and towers in both a vertical and horizontal direction. This unique design was necessary to accommodate shifting geological conditions as engineers predict that the glacier will move between 5-11m in the next 25 years. This system demonstrates the remarkable ingenuity of Doppelmayr’s designers to build cable lifts in the face of almost insurmountable odds.

10-MDG Kirchenkarbahn

10-MGD Kirchenkarbahn

Austria’s Kirchenkarbahn in Obergurgl-Hochgurgl becomes the first cable car built with Doppelmayr’s next-generation D-Line technology. Of the many new benefits, this innovative system offers lower noise levels, and greater maintenance friendliness. As urban systems place higher performance demands and requirements, the D-Line helps Doppelmayr cement its position as the world leader in ropeways.

 

Summary

Doppelmayr Annual Report 2016 (2)

Of course Doppelmayr’s installations span beyond the systems we’ve mentioned above and every system has its own special and unique story to tell.

For a full look at the company’s accomplishments, be sure to download and share a copy of their report. Click here.



Materials on this page are paid for. Gondola Project (including its parent companies and its team of writers and contributors) does not explicitly or implicitly endorse third parties in exchange for advertising. Advertising does not influence editorial content, products, or services offered on The Gondola Project.



Want more? Purchase Cable Car Confidential: The Essential Guide to Cable Cars, Urban Gondolas & Cable Propelled Transit and start learning about the world's fastest growing transportation technologies.

06
Jun

2016

Fatzer Proves That Cable Cars Deserve Tons More Respect

One argument cynics like to use against urban gondolas is that they are for tourist purposes only and not a “legitimate” form of infrastructure robust enough to heft thousands of passengers to and fro, daily.

Phu Quoc - Hon Thom Track Ropes. Image by Fatzer.

Phu Quoc – Hon Thom Track Ropes. Image from Fatzer.

Well, Fatzer is currently producing a quiet counterargument of record-breaking proportions that’s hard to ignore. The world’s longest 3S cable car — ~8km long — is now under construction and scheduled to open in early 2017.

3S Alignment. Image from Doppelmayr.

3S gondola connecting Phú Quốc Hòn Thơm. Image from Doppelmayr.

This incredible aerial lift is located near the Gulf of Thailand and connects the tropical islands of Phú Quốc and Hòn Thơm in southern Vietnam. These islands with their sandy-white beaches were once isolated and impoverished but are now experiencing an injection of investment as the cable car will help complement the island’s plan to host 2-3 million visitors by 2020.

To accomplish the monumental ropeway project, Fatzer was chosen was as the cable manufacturer and produced six massive spools of rope.

Two 52mm haul cables at 8,282m each are now complete and weigh in at 94 tons per spool!

Equally (or even more impressive) was the manufacturing of four 58mm track cables which will be used to provide additional support for the cabins. Each track cable weighs 178 tons and is 8,275m in length!

These ropes will help propel and support the cable car’s seventy 30-person cabins. Assuming the average city bus can carry around 50 people, that’s the equivalent of 42 public transit buses in operation all at one time.

Phu Quoc - Hon Thom Track Ropes 2

Image from Fatzer.

In total, Fatzer produced 900 tons and close to 50km (31mi) of cold, hard cable! 

Comparatively speaking, that’s roughly the equivalent weight of about 180 elephants and the length of 500 soccer fields. If that isn’t impressive enough, several record-breaking bobbins measuring in at 4.4m x 4.6m were specially crafted to hold and transport the massive cables!

These steel track cables are designed with optical fibres in their core which enables them to transmit information between stations. Before being transported, all the cables were subjected to enormous safety testing onsite at Fatzer’s main plant in Switzerland.

With projects like the Gulf of Thailand Cable Car, Fatzer demonstrates that the future of the cable car industry is safe and in capable hands.

Click on the following links to learn more about Fatzer ropeway cables which include the Stabilo® rope and Performa rope.



Materials on this page are paid for. Gondola Project (including its parent companies and its team of writers and contributors) does not explicitly or implicitly endorse third parties in exchange for advertising. Advertising does not influence editorial content, products, or services offered on Gondola Project.

 



Want more? Purchase Cable Car Confidential: The Essential Guide to Cable Cars, Urban Gondolas & Cable Propelled Transit and start learning about the world's fastest growing transportation technologies.