Mariche Metrocable



Cabletren Bolivariano (Cable Liner) Opens in Venezuela

Cabletren. Image from Facebook group Nuestro Norte es el SUR.

Without much fanfare or media attention outside of Venezuela, another urban CPT system has opened — the Cabletren Bolivariano. This system is a 2.1km bottom-supported cable liner that’s located in Petare, an administrative division within the greater Caracas area.

If Google Translate is accurate, it appears that only half of the system is currently operational. As per phase 1 plans, 3 of the 5 stations are in service while the other 2 is expected to be up and running by 2014.

Cabletren - Phase 1 and 2. Original image from MPP Transporte Terrestre.

Cabletren – Phase 1 and 2. Original image from MPP Transporte Terrestre.

Despite its function as a short feeder line, the system is estimated to benefit up to 120,000 residents. Some additional key stats for the Cabletren are:

  • Line capacity: 3,000 pphpd
  • Train: 232 passengers
  • Ticket: 1.5 bolivars ($0.25 USD)
  • Operations: 5:30am – 10:00pm
  • Trip Time: 6 minutes 44 seconds
  • Max Speed: 47km/h
  • Average Speed: 19km/h



Strangely, most of the news articles I’ve read online fail to describe in much detail what and where this CPT system connects to. However, luckily after a bit more digging, I stumbled on the official Metro Caracas map.

Cabletren Map. Original image from Metro de Caracas.

Cabletren Map. Original image from Metro de Caracas.

Based on the map, it seems that the Cabletren will one day function as a connector between 4 different transit lines: Linea 1 (existing), Linea 5 (under construction), Sistema Caracas Guarenas-Guatire (under construction) and Metrocable de Petare Sur (planning).

In addition to linking these various rapid transit lines, careful observers will notice that the Cabletren’s Petare II terminal is situated only one station west of the Metrocable de Mariche’s local and express lines. Assuming that the Petare Sur and Mariche “local” cable lifts  are built in the near to mid term, the cable liner will essentially function as part of an incredibly robust and integrated CPT network.

Being the inquisitive soul that I am, I decided to add up the system lengths for all existing and proposed cable cars.

  • Cabletren (existing): 2.1km
  • Metrocable de Mariche Express (existing): 4.8km
  • Metrocable de Petare Sur (planning): 4.8km
  • Metrocable de Mariche Local (planning): 4.8km

So assuming I didn’t add this up incorrectly, this means that within the Petare area alone, it will be home to over 16km of cable car lines! And in turn, what this suggests is that in the near future, the title of “City with Largest Network of CPT” may be handed over from La Paz to Caracas.

These recent developments in Caracas are undoubtedly very exciting and time will tell if these CPT systems can effectively mitigate/solve some of the major transport challenges in the city. And as cable systems become larger, more complex and form bigger rapid transit networks, decision-makers worldwide should definitely pay close attention to understand the ongoing evolution of CPT technology.

Cabletren Bolivariano / Mariche Metrocable
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Comments Off on Cabletren Bolivariano (Cable Liner) Opens in Venezuela


Mariche MetroCable – Update

Last week we told you about the soon-to-be-opened Mariche Metrocable in Caracas, Venezuela.

As we mentioned, the system would be Caracas’s second public transit urban gondola system and the first known system to implement an express line. We’ve since gathered more details:

Apparently, the line that is about to open is only the express line. The local line is still under construction and we’re unsure as of right now when it line will be open – we’re also not exactly certain what the alignment will be.

As always, we’ll keep following this one and let you know as soon as we have more information.

Mariche Metrocable
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Comments Off on Mariche MetroCable – Update


Second Metrocable in Caracas to Open in Early 2013 – With an Express Line

A fleet of cabins await installation on the Mariche Cable Car. Image via Cuidad CCS.

Anyone who follows this urban cable car trend knows that Caracas and Medellin are the two clear trendsetters in this particular niche. Arguably, Medellin was the more visible of the two, but  Caracas’ second Metrocable system could change that.

Set to open in early 2013, the Mariche Cable Car will be the first system that we’ve encountered the be equipped with both a local line and an express line.

According to Metro de Caracas, the local line will have four stops and be 4.84 km long and require a total trip time of 25 minutes. The express line, meanwhile, will only be a mere 50 meters shorter (4.79 km) but will have a total trip time of 17 minutes. The system, like most Latin American urban gondolas, is built around MDG technology.

Image via Metro de Caracas.

Careful observers will notice a couple of curious things here.

Firstly, while the image above suggests that the express line and the local line intersect at La Dolorita Bloque, that is not, actually the case – at least according to a variety of other sources (like here, here and here for example).

Why exactly that is isn’t yet clear but it may suggest a design technique. Most times, express lines and local lines ply the same route with the express line merely skipping stops. A network design such as above not only reduces travel time but also increases coverage.

The second curiosity lies in the total travel time.

The two lines are essentially the same length and presumably operate at the same speeds. That suggests then, that the 8 minute time differential between the two is due to dwell times and terminal times.

What those dwell and terminal times are, however, isn’t clear. But if past systems are any indication, we can probably expect dwell times of roughly 1-1.5 minutes and terminal times of 2-3 minutes. Should terminal times be included in the 25 minute calculation, the actual travel time the rider would experience would be 25 minutes less terminal times. But again, this is not yet clear.

Despite a lack of clear information, this is a system well worth attention. A configuration like this is quite unique and deserves to be analyzed thoroughly in the near future.

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