Posts Tagged: Gondola

12
Jul

2016

WORLD MAP UPDATE: Proposals and Ropeways Added

Given the recent flurry of activity within the urban cable car sector, we took time to update the world map. For a larger version of map, click on the upper right hand corner of the map below or click here.



PROPOSALS ADDED

  • Albany, New York (July 2016)
  • Busan, South Korea (May 2016)
  • Chicago Skyline, Illinois (May 2016)
  • Don Valley Cable Car, Toronto, Ontario (March 2016)
  • Guatemala City, Guatemala (April 2016)
  • Kathmandu, Nepal (June 2016)
  • Konstantz, Germany (June 2016)
  • Linea Plateada (Silver Line) – Mi Teleférico (February 2016)
  • Seoul Sports Complex – Ttukseom Hangang Park (June 2016)
  • SFU Gondola, Burnaby, British Columbia (re-added due to news from June 2016)
  • Zurich, Switzerland (March 2016)


SYSTEMS ADDED

Our Facebook and Twitter page has up-to-the-minute updates, so be sure to check it out. If you have any ideas on how to make the map better, please let us know in the comments below or send us an email at gondola@creativeurbanprojects.com.



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07
Oct

2015

Public Transit: Safety Should Never Be Compromised

Sometimes you forget how incredibly awesome and safe cable systems are – especially when entire systems are supported by a single cable the width of golf ball.

Note: this is a repost from an original article in 2012.

Last week, guest blogger Ryan O’Connor, wrote a brief analysis on the state of HSR (high speed rail) and the potential implications and lessons cable can learn from China’s recent love affair with rail. If you haven’t been keeping up-to-date with transportation news in China, last Saturday a tragic accident occurred when two HSR trains near Wenzhou collided.

Having just recently traveled to China and experienced the comfort and convenience of HSR, I cannot imagine the pain and sorrow that the victims and their families are experiencing.

Built partly to raise national pride and joy, the entire HSR network is now under extreme scrutiny as members of the public are demanding immediate answers from the government. Unfortunately, as China continues to build and develop HSR at such an unprecedented and feverish rate, quality and safety most likely will continue to arise. Hopefully this recent tragedy will serve as a grim reminder and lesson that safety should always be the paramount priority.

While the pace of HSR and CPT development are not nearly on the same level, the fact is, cable will also continue to grow. Let us hope that the growth of CPT technology continues to develop and evolve without any major setbacks.

In fact (although I don’t have the official statistics on hand) the safety record of cable technology since its inception is  nothing short of a remarkable achievement – probably one that is neither praised enough nor one that’s given the attention it deserves.

Can you think of the last time someone died in a gondola accident as a result of mechanical failure? Last one that comes to my mind is the Peak2Peak Excalibur Gondola tower failure, but no fatalities resulted.

So to all the cable engineer dudes and dudettes that may read this blog and the supporting staff that work day and night to ensure the safety of CPT passengers, on the behalf of the Gondola Project and myself, my hat goes off to you.

 



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26
Nov

2013

Vizcaya (“Hanging”) Bridge: Half Gondola, Half Bridge, 100% Awesomeness

Ever wonder what happens when you crossbreed a bridge and a gondola?

Well if infrastructure could reproduce, it’d probably look a lot like the Vizcaya Bridge in Northern Spain.

Vizcaya Bridge

Vizcaya Bridge with suspended gondola in middle. Image by Flickr user Thomas Roland.

Puente Colgante

Vizcaya Bridge. Image by Flickr user Ian Turk.



First designed and constructed in 1893 with the latest 19th century building techniques, this 45m high and 160m long transporter bridge has been ferrying passengers across the Nervión river for 120 years!

While the concept of a shuttle bridge sounds bizarre at first, engineers decided to construct this rather than standard overpass for several logical and practical reasons:

  • help facilitate cross-river transit between summer resorts towns of Portugalete and Getxo without disrupting shipping lanes
  • ability to transport both passenger and cargo
  • reasonable construction costs; and
  • ability to build a bridge without long ramps

The 90 second suspended gondola ride leaves every 8 minutes during the day — or approximately every hour at night. It has the ability to transport 200 persons, 6 cars and 6 motorcycles/bicycles each time it traverses the river.

And perhaps to encourage greater use of the bridge, the Vizcaya is actually fare integrated with Bilbao’s travel card system, Creditrans, while passenger tickets are extremely affordable, at only USD$0.50.

Aside from a few other shuttle bridges — most of which are now unfortunately no longer operational —  the Vizcaya remains the most successful and arguably, the most architecturally stunning example.

As an official recognition of its significance to the region and world, it was declared an UNESCO World Heritage Site back in 2006.

Today, the bridge is a major tourist draw and each day over 300 shuttle trips are made with an estimated four million passengers and half a million vehicles transported each year!

 



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29
Jul

2013

Walt Disney and Urban Gondolas

This is a guest post by Billy Beasley.

Walt Disney. Just the sound of his name evokes thoughts of Mickey Mouse, animation, and the sprawling theme parks that bear his name. But Disney wasn’t just an animator, he was a master urban planner.

EPCOT Model – Disney’s Future City. Image from WikiTravel.

Disney orchestrated everything when it came to his parks from perception of buildings to the flow of traffic to even the distance between trash cans – he thought of it all. Walt Disney was a dreamer, always pushing to innovate and to push the limits of what was possible. He was also captivated by the future, constantly thinking about what it would look like. In some areas of his theme parks that he dubbed Tomorrowland, he built attractions and features that he believed would be a part of future urban cities. He even built a prototype city model which was to be completely developed and owned by Disney and be a literal living blueprint for future metropolises. Although this massive plan was never built, a model is on display at Disney World. In fact, the E.P.C.O.T. park (the proposed name for the city) evolved into this style and design. Being so captivated by the future, Disney imagined what future transportation methods would be and one of the many solutions he envisioned was the gondola.

Skyway Gondola, first cable car system in Walt Disney Resorts. Image from Wikipedia.

After looking around the world at ski resorts with thoughts of buying one, he noticed how efficient gondola lifts were. So when building his Disneyland park, he added a gondola to connect two parts of the park. Disney envisioned gondolas as futuristic transport and his park was a perfect place to showcase this relatively new and unknown technology. The Skyway Gondola was a four passenger monocable gondola designed by VonRoll, a classic type 101 skyride. This gondola was the first Von Roll gondola in the United States and it even went through another attraction, a smaller model of the Matterhorn mountain.

Disneyland Skyway

Disneyland Skyway from another angle. Image by Flickr user Phil Aaronson.

However, this backfired on Disney when other theme parks noticed the gondola and purchased a system of their own to serve as an attraction, not a model for futuristic transportation. Soon, VonRoll type 101 skyrides were popping up in amusement parks everywhere like the San Diego Zoo and in Sea World San Diego. Even Disney themselves used gondolas as attraction at their Disney World and Tokyo Disney Land parks. Soon after, the idea of urban gondolas disappeared into the depths of the amusement parks until its recent resurgence.

Skyway to Tomorrowland - Magic Kingdom, WDW 1999

Skyway at Tomorrowland – Magic Kingdom. Image by Flickr user Halfpintpixie.

Skyway at Tokyo Disneyland. Image by Flickr user Michael.

Today, all of the Skyway gondolas at the three Disney Parks are closed for various reasons. The old gondolas were becoming too much of a cost to maintain and by removing the system, Disney was able to open up land for new attractions. These classic gondolas were landmarks for the industry, helping to introduce the American public to a new form of transportation while staying at the cutting edge of technology.

While unfortunately these gondolas are gone, one aerial ropeway system remains and that is the chairlift at Disney World’s Blizzard Beach (a ski resort themed water park).

Blizzard Beach Summit Plummet and Chairlift

Blizzard Beach Chairlift. Image by Flickr User Marcus.

Walt Disney, under all of the Mickey Mouse paraphernalia and publicity, was a visionary man and a great urban planner, one that many cities would be delighted to have working for them today. After a recent visit to Disney World with my family, the attention to detail is apparent and although he rarely receives credit for it, Disney excelled in the area of urban design.

The addition of Walt Disney’s name to the urban gondola movement is one that could help give credibility to it as well as introduce urban gondolas to hundreds of more people. Years after the Skyway gondolas, Walt Disney’s prediction is finally being fulfilled and the technology that he helped to pioneer in his parks is coming to fruition in the cities of today.

 

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15
Jul

2013

Genoa Funivia/Cabinovia: First Aerial Cable Car Connection to an Airport?

While many bottom-supported CPT lines already exist for internal airport transport (i.e. Birmingham, Toronto, Mexico City), top-supported CPT systems connecting to an airport have yet to materialize.

However, this may soon change as a plan coming from Genoa, Italy proposes to link a future rail station to the airport via an aerial gondola. Thanks to reader GiorgioXT, he offered to not only update us on this project but to translate the article!

Genova Funivia proposal. Image via La Repubblica Genova.

Today, accessing the city’s airport — Cristoforo Colombo Airport — via public transit is difficult despite having a rail line near the terminal. Passengers must board an inefficient ~4km long bus from Genova Porta Principe Station that takes upward of 30 minutes due to heavy traffic in the city.

To solve this problem, four groups — Regione Liguria, Genoa Municipality, the Airport and a Cornigliano company — came together to develop the cable car solution. So far, the project has received €1.2 million in financial support from the TEN-T EU network to study its feasibility.

Proposed CPT route alignment. Image via La Repubblica Genova.

Project proponents envision a MDG system that is built in two sections. The first will be >600m in length and will connect the airport terminal to the new rail station Aeroporto-Erzelli on the Genoa-Ventimiglia railway. The second portion will continue east and then north to connect Erzelli hill and a Technology Campus (Parco Scientifico e Tecnologico di Genova-Erzelli).

In total the 4 station system is estimated to cost €15 million with a capacity of 4,000. Final designs are due for completion by 2014.

If this project is successful, the implications for CPT could be far-reaching — it could be the first aerial cable car system to connect to an airport while solving a clear last mile problem. More importantly, it may serve as a best practice example for other cities who wish to improve airport connectivity.

Thanks again to GiorgioXT for submitting and translating the link for us!

 



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14
Jun

2013

Weekly Roundup: Koblenz Rheinseilbahn Not Compatible with Area – UNESCO Status in Jeopardy

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

Koblenz Seilbahn

Koblenz Rheinseilbahn. Image by Flickr user Steffi.



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06
Jun

2013

Cable Car Vending Machine

What do you do with an old gondola cabin? Turn it into art and everyday home items of course!

Vending machine cabin. Image from My Modern Met.

As part of the Verbiers Mountain Climber project, these gondolas will be on display at a charity event called Design Miami in Basel from June 10-17. In total, there will be 40 cabins that are transformed from boring passenger old cabins into decorative, fancy home furnishings.

The brainchild of this project are three entrepreneurs Inès Flammarion, Nicolas Bernheim and Albert Schrurs.

Ultimately, these cabins will be auctioned off at Christies and the money received will be donated to Switzerland’s Make-A-Wish Foundation.

Rocking chair cabin. Image from Mountain Climbers.

To stay up to date with this event and see more photos, please visit the Mountain Climbers website.



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