02
Sep

2014

Mt. Roberts Tramway: Gliding Above Juneau

Post by Nick Chu

This is a guest post by Billy Beasley.

The Cabin

Mount Roberts Tramway. Image by Billy Beasley.

Juneau, Alaska is a city perched between ocean waters and sharply sloped mountain peaks. Due to this position, it is situated in one of the most scenic locations possible for a cable lift. The Mt. Roberts Tramway runs from the city’s waterfront to Mt. Roberts above.

Although the tram was built purely for tourists, it still offers some lessons for urban gondolas. The tram is a 60 passenger Poma system with a capacity of 1,050 people per hour and a total length of 3,087 feet (~1km). It is only about a five minute ride but it quickly ascends 1,800 feet in those five minutes – compared to the 3,300 foot length and 500 foot vertical rise of another Northwest ropeway, the Portland Tram.

Cabin Entering Top Station. Image by Billy Beasley.

Cabin Entering Top Station. Image by Billy Beasley.

The Mt. Roberts Tramway uses a continuous haul rope loop, meaning that both cabins ride on one haul rope instead of two and that the haul rope goes around a bulked up bullwheel similar to those found on gondola lifts. The haul rope changes direction to take the cabins up or down.

Unlike many cable lifts, this tram system doesn’t have any towers, just a bottom station and top station.

The Top Station

Top station cantilevering off side of Mount Roberts. Image by Billy Beasley.

The top station is one of the most unique found on any tram. Since there was no flat place to locate the top station without extending it up into the fragile alpine areas, the top station was built into the side of the mountain. At 165 feet tall, the station towers into the sky and also houses a 3,000 square foot viewing platform, restaurant, gift shop and movie theatre. Over 200 tons of steel had to be airlifted by helicopter during construction because there was no other way to haul the steel up.

In many urban cable car projects, there is no clear location to put a station because of its size or geographical constrictions – and in these situations, a station could be built with the same methods that were pioneered at the top station of the Mt. Roberts Tramway.

The possibilities in the urban context are endless but perhaps one could imagine a cable car anchored between two skyscrapers, soaring above a park/open space or cantilevering off the side of a valley.

 

 

Once visitors are at the top, there are a host of activities including hiking the nearby trails, grabbing a bite and/or visiting the nature center.

The bottom station is less of an engineering feat but still offers lessons to urban gondolas. The bottom terminal is noticeably low profile and it blends in seamlessly to downtown Juneau and the cruise ship docks. The tram is one of the first things that people see when they get off of the cruise ship and those visitors provide big business to the tram. The tram’s hours are actually built to correspond to cruise ship arrival and departure times.

The Tram Cabin Going Out of the Station

Bottom Station. Image by Billy Beasley.

Future urban gondolas would be well served by looking at the integration of the Mt. Roberts Tramway into the waterfront district and applying these best practices to commercial or cruise ship ports. The tram is steeped in Native American heritage, as the two cabins are named for the native Tlingit words for Eagle and Raven and the cable car honors the traditions of Native Americans in the Juneau area.

The Cabin in the Bottom Station

Raven Cabin. Image by Billy Beasley.

When visitors are done with the ride, it’s a brief walk back to the ship, into downtown, or to a nearby salmon processing and packaging plant.

In case you’re interested, you can follow this link for more information.

Become a Contributor, Write a Guest Post.
For more information check out the Get Involved page here.



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.

29
Aug

2014

Weekly Roundup: Creative Marketing Strategies Around La Paz’s Red Line (Linea Roja)

Post by Nick Chu

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



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.

28
Aug

2014

Cable Car Photo of the Week: Line Yellow (Línea Amarilla), La Paz, Bolivia

Post by Nick Chu

Line Yellow (Línea Amarilla), La Paz, Bolivia. Image by Photobucket user ZPLAQ.

Photographer: 

Photo by Photobucket user ZPLAQ.

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 world's fastest growing transportation technologies.

26
Aug

2014

Beach, Mountains and City

Post by Nick Chu

Post by Mauricio Miranda.

Teleférico Warairarepano. Image from Ministerio del Poder Popular Para el Turismo.

Teleférico Warairarepano. Image from Ministerio del Poder Popular Para el Turismo.

The Caracas Metrocable is expanding again, and the result promises to be spectacular. The planned 10-km line, which will connect Caracas with the northern state of Vargas, offers riders the possibility of travelling to three different landscapes—the beach, mountains, and the city—during the approximately 45-minute trip.

The main objective of this $680 million USD investment is to further promote tourism in the region by connecting Venezuela’s capital with the nearby coast — Vargas is a notable destination for tourists, due to its beaches and close proximity to Caracas. The system will also be used as an alternate route to Simon Bolivar de Maiquetia International Airport, which is a 20 minute drive from Macuto.

Image from El Venezolanoes.

Image from El Venezolanoes.

What is interesting about this project is that there once was a cable car system that connected Caracas with Macuto’s beach area along this very route. Built in the 1950s, the first section of the gondola travelled from Caracas’ Mariperez to the Warairarepano National Park (or Avila Park as it’s also known) where a funicular system also carried riders for 600 meters to Humboldt Hotel (built on top of a mountain within park). From there, it continued to El Cojo station in Macuto.

Fun fact: The system featured a golden coloured cabin reserved for presidential use, which was emblazoned with Venezuela’s national coat of arms. Unfortunately the system experienced a significant decline of ridership during the 20-or-so years after it was built, which led to it shutting down permanently in the late 1970s.

In the following decades, all the stations and infrastructure was pretty much left to deteriorate. Other than a few unsuccessful efforts to revive the cable car, no significant progress was ever made until early 2000s, when the first section was retrofitted by the federal government, converting it into one of the most modern cable car facilities.

Though I have not been there personally, everything I’ve seen and read about the system makes it sound like an amazing place. At the Warairarepano Park station, which sits 2,150 meters above sea level, one can appreciate the different landscapes that Caracas and its national park can offer. The station is also surrounded by restaurants and entertainment facilities: corporate convention rooms overlooking the city; lounges to grab a few drinks at night; great family eateries like La Cima; and even an ice skating rink!

Image from Correo del Orinoco.

Image from Correo del Orinoco.

Now, the state-owned company Ventel and its partner Doppelmayr is set to to continue the cable car line all the way again to El Cojo-Macuto as was originally intended. The expansion will include three additional stations more: San Jose de Galipan, La Hacienda, and El Cojo-Macuto. (See the image below for the route plan.)

Image from Noticias 365.net

Route Map. Image from Noticias365.net

Image from Noticias365.net

La Hacienda Station. Image from Noticias365.net

There’s been much effort by the developers to retain as much of the existing cable-car infrastructure as possible. In particular, the Macuto station has the potential to become something remarkable, especially when you consider how spacious and aesthetically pleasing the Metrocable stations in Caracas are already.

The government predicts that the system will attract some five million annual riders, numbers which are bolstered by the fact that the Warairarepano Park station complex already receives around two million visitors each year. Two additional hotels already under construction should further boost the project’s profile and tourism in general.

I don’t know about you, but it sounds like it would be a great Sunday plan to go to the beach, check out a national park and be back in the city all in a 45 minute ride.

Map.

Major destinations to be connected to by cable car. Image by Mauricio Miranda.



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.

23
Aug

2014

Weekly Roundup: Le Téléphérique Oued Koreiche-Bouzaréah To Soon Launch

Post by Nick Chu

Le Téléphérique Oued Koreiche-Bouzaréah. Image from Binyen.com

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



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.

21
Aug

2014

Cable Car Photo of the Week: Chongqing Yangtze River Cable Car

Post by Nick Chu

Yangtze River Cable Car (Chongqing, China). Image by Flickr user Clément Belleudy.

Photographer: 

Photo by Flickr user Clément Belleudy.

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 world's fastest growing transportation technologies.

19
Aug

2014

NYT: Subway in the Sky – La Paz

Post by Nick Chu

Even though we’re now seeing more and more Cable Propelled Transit (CPT) systems being implemented around the world, mainstream North American media has, arguably, paid little attention to urban gondola lifts.

This past weekend, however, New York Times flew their correspondents down to La Paz and documented the city’s Red Line, — or what they cleverly termed, “Bolivia’s Subway in the Sky”.

They even made a short film about it and interviewed locals what they thought of their brand new cable car.

The article is a wonderful inside look into how the cable system is not only transforming the city’s public transit network, but how a cable car line is actively breaking down cultural and social stigmas.



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.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...