04
Apr

2014

Weekly Roundup: 30km of Cable Cars Proposed for Haiti’s Port-au-Prince

Post by Nick Chu

Port-au-Prince. Image by Flickr user Siri. B.L.

A quick look at some of the things that happened this week in the world of cable cars, urban gondolas and cable propelled transit:



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03
Apr

2014

Cable Car Photo of the Week: Emirates Air Line

Post by Nick Chu

Emirates Air Line. Image by Flickr user Chris Sampson.

Photographer: 

Photo by Flickr user Chris Sampson.

About:

Every Thursday, the Gondola Project team will select stunning captures of CPT lines. We hope this will continue to bring more attention to the technology and provide visually impactful examples of cable car systems worldwide.

If you’d like to submit or nominate a picture for our “Photo of the Week”, we’d love to hear from you. Leave a comment below or send us an email at gondola@creativeurbanprojects.com.

 



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02
Apr

2014

Fairy Tale Gondola in Grächen, Switzerland

Post by Nick Chu

If you have kids, taking them skiing is probably some of the most fun you can have together as a family. But what happens when just hitting the slopes is no longer enough?

Well, the Märchen-Gondelbahn system in Grächen (Switzerland) decided to one-up their offerings by introducing specially designed “Fairy Tale Gondolas”.

Fairy Tale Gondola. Image from RRO.ch.

Since the 2011/2012 season, children onboard cabins can now listen to timeless favourites such as Rapunzel, Little Red Riding Hood and Sleeping Beauty.

This one-of-kind feature was part of a larger multi-million dollar investment to attract more families to the resort. The classic fairy tales are voiced by Swiss actress Silvia Jost and last for the entire 7 minute journey.

A big thanks goes to Barry for sending us the link!



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28
Mar

2014

Weekly Roundup: Yenimahalle – Şentepe Teleferik (Cable Car) in Ankara Opens

Post by Nick Chu

Yenimahalle – Şentepe Teleferik (Cable Car). Image from LEITNER ropeways.

A quick look at some of the things that happened this week in the world of cable cars, urban gondolas, and cable propelled transit:

  • Dubbed as the largest urban ropeway on the Eurasian continent, the Yenimahalle – Şentepe Teleferik in Ankara (Turkey) is the country’s first public transit cable car. LEITNER Ropeways was responsible for implementing this 4-station, 3.2km system. The cable car is expected to complete testing in the next week and officially open for public consumption.


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27
Mar

2014

Cable Car Photo of the Week: Bondinho do Pão de Açúcar (Sugarloaf Cable Car)

Post by Nick Chu

Bondinho do Pão de Açúcar. Image by Flickr user Rosana Prada.

Photographer: 

Photo by Flickr user Rosana Prada.

About:

Every Thursday, the Gondola Project team will select stunning captures of CPT lines. We hope this will continue to bring more attention to the technology and provide visually impactful examples of cable car systems worldwide.

If you’d like to submit or nominate a picture for our “Photo of the Week”, we’d love to hear from you. Leave a comment below or send us an email at gondola@creativeurbanprojects.com.



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

26
Mar

2014

Urban Gondolas: Innovative Station Designs, Part 2

Post by Nick Chu

This is a guest post by Billy Beasley.

It is the second article of a two-part series examining innovative station designs found in recreational cable cars that could be useful for urban implementation. Click here for the first article. 

Heavenly Mountain Gondola (Nevada)

In some situations, cabin parking may not be an issue — rather, it’s how to build a station in a terrain-constrained location.

One unique solution may be to literally “cut it in half”.

Heavenly Mountain Gondola mid-station. Image by Flickr user inkknife_2000.

This technique is used on many gondola systems but I’ll examine the gondola at Heavenly Mountain in South Lake Tahoe which takes guests from the resort village/hotels to the mountain.

The mountain wanted a mid-station on top of the ridge which has beautiful views of Lake Tahoe but instead of constructing a full station, they only built the mid-station for the side of the lift that was going up.



The uphill side of the line stops at the viewing deck but the downhill side travels down without stopping, saving time on the downhill ride time, space and money because only one side of the terminal and terminal equipment is being built. This was especially practical for Heavenly since there was no natural flat spot on the ridge so the deck had to be built sticking out from the side of the ridge. This would have meant that if the other side was built, the deck would have to be longer and stairs would have to be built to get to the other side where the best views are as well as shops and restaurants.

This could be useful in a tight urban space where there isn’t enough room for a full mid-station but access is required in one particular direction. 

Some aerial tramways terminals have shifting unloading platforms so only one tram unloading dock needs to be built instead of two. This technique conserves space and would be helpful for an urban gondola in a tight situation.

 

Skyeship Express Gondola (Killington, Vermont)

Killington, Vermont’s Skyeship Express Gondola is a two-stage gondola that can be run two different ways: as one continuous gondola or as two separate systems. At the mid-station, the cabins will either turn back around and go back down the line and the lift functions as two totally different system or the cabins continue on to the second stage and the lift functions as one big system.

Check out Ski-Lifts.org for pictures of the mid-station and system design.

This could be useful for an urban gondola that wants to alter its route for traffic and flow patterns. For example, running the lift as two different sections in the morning and rush hour for peak times and running it as one big system during non-peak times. 

 

Breckenridge Quicksilver Super6 – Double Loading (Colorado)

Double loading can also be used, which alternates cabins between two different loading areas to improve station efficiency. Breckenridge’s Quicksilver Super6 was the first American lift to utilize double loading. As the chairs come into the terminal, one turns and heads back up the mountain like a regular detachable lift while the next chair travels onto another lift loading area and this continues on in an alternating pattern. The chairs from the lower loading section of the station then rejoin the line of the upper loading section and the chairs travel up on one line then unloads like a regular chairlift.

Check out Colorado Ski History for great overview and pictures of this system.

The upper loading section is used for guests coming from the mountain and the lower is used for guests from the town and nearby hotels. The two loading zones have separate loading cues and separate loading locations so there is no intermingling or confusion between lines. This could be used on an urban system where passengers are coming from two different areas or in situations where having two loading areas are necessary to ease congestion.

But if all else fails and nothing else works, you could just put that terminal in the side of a mountain, like what was done on the Huashan Xifeng Cable Car in China!

Thanks to skilifts.orgcoloradoskihistory.com and doppelmayr.com for the information and thanks for reading. Feel free to comment what you think and have a nice day.

 

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24
Mar

2014

Urban Gondolas: Innovative Station Designs, Part 1

Post by Nick Chu

This is a guest post by Billy Beasley. 

For many years, some critics of urban gondolas have argued that they won’t work in dense city centers due to the lack of space to build terminals. These stations, especially for larger lift types like the 3S or Aerial Tram require larger buildings to house the important machinery that power them.

Even more space is required on systems where the operator wants to take the cabins off the line nightly and keep them in a storage building to prevent wear and tear. Thus, one question becomes how to minimize and conserve space for urban gondolas in situations where land is in short supply. For this first article of a 2-part series, we will examine two unique and innovative case examples.


Solden Ski Resort – Gaislachkoglbahn (Austria)

Check out this Doppelmayr installation in Austria at the well-known Solden Ski Resort named Gaislachkoglbahn. This system is designed with two segments: the first section consists of a monocable gondola while the second section has a 3S tricable gondola.

Typically there would four terminals for the lift but in this instance, Solden only built 3 stations (map of transfer station). The top terminal of the 8-passenger gondola is combined with the bottom terminal of the 3S system. With this configuration, it saves money and space as two stations are built as one single building.

The two cable lifts also feature incredibly innovative cabin parking systems. The monocable’s lower segment parks the cabins above the actual lift terminal itself and when the operator is ready to start the cable car, the cabins descend on a series of rails down to the terminal where they join the line.

Bottom station. Image by Flickr user liquidx.

The 3S segment also features an innovative cabin management system located in the bottom terminal of the lift (which remind you, is also the top station of the lower segment). The cabins enter the bottom station but a set of the in-terminal sheaves rotates and transfers the cabin from the line to a series of rails. From here, it transfers the cabin to the correct spot in the parking area. The parking area itself is inside the station, where the lift maze starts for loading the 3S gondola. With this design, the entire system manages to save a significant amount of space as potentially six buildings for the system (four stations, two cabin parking buildings) has been effectively reduced to three.

This would be helpful for an urban gondola system that wants to utilize cabin parking but doesn’t have a tremendous amount of space to put the cabins when they are not on the line.

Keystone Mountain (Colorado) – Outpost Gondola and River Run Gondola

Keystone Mountain in Colorado used cabin parking for their two gondolas in an before they built their new gondola but they did it in an interesting fashion. The bottom floor of the Outpost Gondola (the top was the lift station itself) was a sprawling cabin parking facility for both the Outpost Gondola and the nearby River Run Gondola.

Check out Skilifts.org for some great pictures and walkthrough of this design!

Lift maintenance would transfer the cabins from the line of the River Run Gondola to the cabin parking facility where the cabins from the Outpost Gondola were also being stored. From here, maintenance crews could work on the grips, clean the cabins, and store the cabins properly for both lifts in one convenient location. This is especially impressive when you consider that the lifts were built by two different manufacturers – the River Run Gondola by Von Roll and the Outpost Gondola by Doppelmayr (keep in mind, this was before Doppelmayr purchased Von Roll and both companies had separate grip designs at the time).

Therefore, two different rails and two different storage pods needed to be built because the Von Roll cabins couldn’t go on the Doppelmayr rails and vice versa. There were two separate control systems but maintenance could do typical work on the cabins in one big facility.

This design could be helpful on urban gondola systems that are built with two different lift types or on ones that add another section to an existing system of a different model.

In the next article we will examine systems in Nevada, Vermont and Colorado. Stay tuned!



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