Teleférico de Mérida

09
Aug

2016

Merida Cable Car (Teleferico de Merida) to Reopen Soon

After 5 years of construction, riders this year finally had the chance to board the Merida Cable Car (Spanish: Teleferico de Merida) which is located in the Venezuelan Andeans. The system was originally built in the 1950s but was shut down in 2008 for a complete overhaul.

The cable lift is considered one of the highest operating ropeways in the world as its terminus station (Pico Espejo) is located at a dizzying 4,765m! Perhaps what’s even more impressive is the fact that the system currently holds the record for the world’s longest multi-section aerial tram (4 cable loops totalling 12.5km).

As the system is expected to complete its pre-commercial trial runs this month, CCTV America had the chance to take viewers on a journey aboard the cable car. Check it out.

 



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Teleférico de Mérida
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03
May

2016

World’s Longest Multiple Section Aerial Tram Reopens – Mérida Cable Car

For those who have been following events in South America, news from Venezuela haven’t exactly been the most bright and cheery recently.

In fact, it has been downright terrifying as observers predict the country is on the brink of economic, social and political collapse.

Mérida Cable Car. Image by Flickr user Wilfredor.

However, if we could find a silver lining to all this, the Mérida Cable Car (Spanish: Teleférico de Mérida) has finally reopened after nearly 8 years of inoperation.

Calling it a “cable car” is somewhat misleading as the Doppelmayr-built ropeway is actually a 5-station network of aerial trams designed in four sections:

  1. Barinitas – La Montaña (3.4km)
  2. La Montaña – La Aguada (3.3km)
  3. La Aguada – Loma Redonda (2.8km); and
  4. Loma Redonda (3.0km).

To give a short background, the aerial trams were originally built in 1960 for ~$16 million with the help of Swiss, German and French personnel. However, after nearly 50 years of operations, technicians determined in 2008 that system components were now operating well beyond their intended life span.

The cable cars were subsequently shut down and it was not until last week before the system was reopened for “pre-commercial” testing. With the modernization program complete, it will hopefully reinvigorate the local tourism industry as the cable car was Mérida’s top attraction.

And it’s not hard to see understand why the ropeway was so popular — it offers passengers unparalleled panoramic views of the city and nature as they fly from the foot of the Andes (1,577m) to the top of Pico Espejo (4,765m).

Views from Pico Espejo and cable car. Image by Flickr user Nancycven.

While reports online have constantly coined the system as the world’s “highest” and “longest”, this is only partially true — depending on how you define it.

It’s top station is located at 4,765m, which is about 78m lower than the Dagu Glacier Gondola for the world’s highest passenger ropeway. However, at 12.5km in length, it does currently stand as the world’s longest multiple section aerial tram network.

Each cabin holds about 60 persons (40 seated, 20 standing) and the entire 4 section journey takes about 40 minutes to complete. The system is expected to finish its pre-commercial phase and then officially open its gates to the general public in 3-4 months.



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23
Feb

2012

Teleférico de Mérida Reconstruction

Located at an altitude of 4,765m, the Merida Cable Car is amongst the highest cable system in the world. Image from Photobucket.

After operating for nearly 50 years, the Teleférico de Mérida in Venezuela finally reached the end of its service life in 2008 – it is currently undergoing modernization. Thanks to an informative thread from Skyscrapercity (in Spanish), we found a cool time-lapse video of the cable system’s reconstruction we wanted to share. Check it out.



The system is scheduled to open later this year. As part of its reopening, it will feature an exhibition which will display mechanical parts from the old system as well as a brief run through on it’s history. Here’s a sneak peek of it what visitor’s should expect.




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26
Apr

2010

6 Iconic (and Important) Aerial Trams

The other day I was pretty hard on Aerial Trams for being obsolete, expensive and inefficient members of the cable transit family. Because of their place in history, however, many of the most iconic and important cable transit systems ever built were Aerial Trams, a point I failed to mention. Here are 6 of them:

6. The Vanoise Express

The Vanoise Express in France. Image by hchalkley at flickr.

One of the world’s only double-decker Aerial Trams, this Dual Shuttle system in France can carry a whopping 200 people in each cabin! Opened in 2003, the system was shut down in 2007 for repairs after a vehicle operator failed to slow the vehicle down upon entering the station. The accident caused no injuries and the system was reopened the following season. Read more



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