Posts Tagged: Dual MDG



Introducing “Stacking” or The Dual MDG

Yesterday I asked people to consider the implications of two images of relatively obscure gondola transit systems, the Madrid Teleferico and that Ocean Park Gondola.

These systems reinforce the idea that “stacking” or “doubling” of a gondola line is possible. The implications are the very same I outlined in a previous post about the Sugarloaf Double Double Chairlift. There is, however, a big difference here.

When I discussed the Sugarloaf Double Double, I said this:

And yet here in Sugarloaf we have a system from the 1970′s that demonstrates that the concept is not so outlandish. It suggests that there is actually an historical precedent for such an idea.

Now of course a double-seater chairlift is a different beast than a gondola system. Nevertheless, it doesn’t take much of a mental leap to move from two loops of chairlifts on the same tower to two loops of gondolas on the same tower. The concept is equivalent in spirit if not exactly in execution.

The Ocean Park Gondola. Image by flickr user Luke Chan.

The Marid Teleferico. Image by flickr user R.Duran.

In the Ocean Park situation, we can clearly see two different sets of towers carrying two different loops of gondolas. The key, of course, being that they are moving through the same corridor.

This means increased capacity, decreased wait times and the potential for express lines and skip stops.

They don’t, however, share the same tower infrastructure (though they presumably share the same stations).

So while the concept of stacking is displayed in principal, it’s not demonstrated exactly in execution.

When we look at the Madrid Teleferico, meanwhile, we’re left with a somewhat more puzzling situation. In this situation we don’t see two lines of gondolas. We do, however, see a tower that has clearly been constructed to carry a second line. Were there a second line in operation, we would again witness increased capacity, decreased wait times and the potential for express lines and skip stops.

And while the holy grail here would be to see two lines in operation on the Madrid Teleferico, seeing only one is also an opportunity: The Madrid Teleferico demonstrates how a line can be designed with the intention of doubling capacity in the future, without necessarily committing to it in the present.

The funny part about these two systems is that we here at CUP have known about them for a long time. We’d seen pictures (even used one here) of the system, but had always sort of dismissed them as mere Toys for Tourists. We didn’t discover the stacking implications until just a couple of days ago. We’d never seen the right picture of the right piece of infrastructure from the right angle.

It’s quite amazing really. The more you learn about something, the more you learn how little you really know.

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