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.
“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.
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.
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