telpherage n : a transportation system in which cars (telphers) are suspended from cables and operated on electricity [syn: telferage]
EtymologyFrom telpher + -age.
- An automated transportation system
powered by electricity, especially a
car used to transport minerals or other goods.
- 2006, Thomas Pynchon, Against the Day, Vintage 2007, p. 1125:
- the coming of the snows is no longer the year's curse but its promise, awaited eagerly for its influx of moneyed seekers after wintertime recreation, when the shining strands of telpherage have subdued every mountainside, and all is festival and wholesome sport and eugenically chosen stock
- 2006, Thomas Pynchon, Against the Day, Vintage 2007, p. 1125:
An aerial tramway is a type of aerial lift in which a cabin is suspended from a cable and is pulled by another cable.
Aerial tramways are often called a cable car or ropeway, and sometimes incorrectly referred to as a gondola lift (not to be confused with a gondola). Because of the proliferation of such systems in the Alpine regions of Europe, the French and German language names of Téléphérique and Seilbahn are often also used in an English language context. "Cable car" is the usual term in British English, as in British English the word "tramway" generally refers to a railed street tramway. Note also that, in American English, "cable car" is most often associated with surface cable car systems, e.g. San Francisco's Cable Cars, so careful phrasing is necessary to prevent confusion.
OverviewAn aerial tramway is one or two fixed cables (called track cables), one loop of cable (called a haulage rope), and two passenger cabins. The fixed cables provide support for the cabins. The haulage rope, by means of a grip, is solidly connected to the truck (the wheel set that rolls on the track cables). The haulage rope is usually driven by an electric motor and being connected to the cabins, moves them up or down the mountain.
Aerial tramways differ from gondola lifts in that the latter use several smaller cabins suspended from a circulating looped cable.
Two-car tramways use a jig-back system: A large electric motor is located at the bottom of the tramway so that it effectively pulls one cabin down, using that cabin's weight to help pull the other cabin up. A similar system of cables is used in a funicular railway. The two passenger cabins, which carry from 4 to over 150 people, are situated at opposite ends of the loops of cable. Thus, while one is coming up, the other is going down the mountain, and they pass each other midway on the cable span.
Some aerial trams have only one cabin, which lends itself better for systems with small elevation changes along the cable run.
Many aerial tramways were built by Von Roll Ltd. of Switzerland, which has since been acquired by Austrian lift manufacturer Doppelmayr. The German firm of Bleichert built hundreds of freight and military tramways .
An escape aerial tramway is a special form of the aerial tramway that allows a fast escape from a dangerous location. They are used on rocket launching sites in order to offer the launch staff or astronauts a fast retreat. The tramway consists of a rope which runs from the launch tower downward to a protection shelter. On the launch supply tower several small cabs can be occupied by the launch staff or the astronauts. After loosening a barrier these roll downward to the protection shelter. An escape aerial tramway exists on the launch pads 39A and 39B on Cape Canaveral.
Some aerial tramways have their own propulsion, such as the Lasso Mule or the Josef Mountain Aerial Tramway near Merano.
TelpherageThe original version was called telpherage, and was invented by Scottish engineer Fleeming Jenkin. Smaller telpherage systems are sometimes used to transport objects such as tools or mail within a building or factory.
The telpherage concept was first publicised in 1883 and several experimental lines were constructed. It was not designed to compete with railways, but with horses and carts.
The first commercial telpherage line was in Glynde, which is in Sussex, England. It was built to connect a newly-opened clay pit to the local railway station and opened in 1885.
There are aerial tramways with double deck cabins. The Vanoise Express cable car carries 200 people in each cabin at a height of 380 m (1250') over the Ponturin gorge in France. The Shinhotaka Ropeway carries 121 people in each cabin at the Hotakadake in Japan.
- Tallest support tower: 113.6 metres (373 feet) (Gletscherbahn Kaprun, Austria)
- Deepest: Masada cableway, Israel
- Highest: Mérida cable car, Venezuela
- Longest ropeway: Norsjö aerial ropeway, Sweden
- As mass transit: The Roosevelt Island Tramway in New York City was the first aerial tramway in North America used by commuters as a mode of mass transit (See Transportation in New York City). Passengers pay with the same farecard used for the New York City Subway. The Portland Aerial Tram in Portland, Oregon was opened in January 2007 and became the second public transportation aerial tramway in North America. In Medellin, Colombia, both the Metro and the recent Metrocable aerial tramway addition can be used while paying a single fare.
- The Sandia Peak Tramway in Albuquerque, New Mexico is the world's longest double reversible tramway.
- The Mount Roberts Tramway in Juneau, Alaska, serves visitors arriving in Juneau on cruise ships with its base terminal on the cruise ship dock. At sea level it is one of the lowest aerial tramway terminals.
- Palm Springs Aerial Tramway in Palm Springs, California has the world's largest rotating tramcars
List of accidents
- August 151960: between Castellammare di Stabia and the Monte Faito, near Naples, Italy.
- August 291961: A military plane splits the hauling cable of a cabin railway on the Aiguille du Midi in the Mont Blanc massif: six people killed.
- 1963: Cabin of the renovated PKB crashes at the valley station, one person killed, several injured.
- December 251965: Power failure on the aerial ropeway at Puy de Sancy in central France causes abrupt cabin halt, cabin wall breaks. 17 people fall, seven killed.
- July 91966: A cable breaks on a cabin railway at Aiguille du Midi in the Mont Blanc massif: three cabins fall, four people killed.
- December 61970: Five people killed at Merano (Meran), Italy.
- July 131972: 13 killed at the crash of a cab in Bettmeralp, Switzerland.
- October 261972: During a test at an aerial tramway at Les Deux Alpes in France, two cabs collide. nine killed.
- July 91974: Hauling cable breaks on the aerial tramway at Ulriken, Norway. One cabin fell, four killed.
- March 91976: In the Italian Dolomites at Cavalese, a cab falls after a rope break, killing 42. (See Cavalese cable-car disaster (1976))
- March 261976: Damage to the carrying rope leads to crash of multiple cabs of the aerial tramway at Vail, Colorado, USA. Four people killed, five injured.
- April 151978: In a storm, two carrying ropes of the Squaw Valley Aerial Tramway in California fall from the aerial tramway support tower. One of the ropes partly destroys the cabin. four killed, 32 injured.
- February 131983: Two cabs collide in Aosta (Italy), 11 dead.
- January 131989: Eight people killed during a test of the French aerial tramway Vaujany in the Alpe D'Huez area.
- June 11990: 15 people killed after a rope break in Tbilisi, Georgia.
- 1995: Operator error causes cabin of Muttereralmbahn near Innsbruck, Austria, to crash. No casualties or injuries.
- February 31998: U.S. military aircraft severs the cable of an aerial ropeway in Cavalese, Italy, killing 20 people. (See Cavalese cable-car disaster)
- July 11999: 20 people killed at the crash of an aerial tramway at the Bure observatory in the French alps.
- July 62000: Entering the middle station of Nebelhornbahn, a cabin fails to brake. 23 people injured.
- October 192003: Four were killed and 11 injured when three cars slipped off the cable of the Darjeeling Ropeway.
- October 92004: Crash of a cabin of the Grünberg aerial tramway in Gmunden, Austria. Many hurt.
- November 142004: Empty cabin of tramway in Sölden, Austria, falls after becoming entangled with rope. No casualties, 113 people rescued from other cabins
- April 182006: New York's Roosevelt Island Tramway experiences a power failure, leaving 69 passengers in two trams stranded over the East River for approximately seven hours, just eight months after a similar incident in which trams were stranded for 90 minutes. No injuries or fatalities occurred in either incident.
Sandia Peak Tramway in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Titlis gondola provides passengers better view Katoomba Scenic Skyway in the Blue Mountains of Australia.
- Aerial tramway support pillar
- Blondin (quarry equipment)
- Cable car (disambiguation)
- Cable ferry
- Hallidie ropeway
- List of aerial tramways
- List of aerial lift manufacturers
- List of spans
- Moanda cableway in Moanda
- Riblet Tramway Company
- Roosevelt Island Tramway
- Skiing and Skiing Topics
- Transporter bridge
telpherage in Catalan: telefèric
telpherage in German: Luftseilbahn
telpherage in Spanish: teleférico
telpherage in Esperanto: Telfero
telpherage in French: Téléphérique
telpherage in Indonesian: Kereta gantung
telpherage in Italian: Funivia aerea
telpherage in Hebrew: רכבל
telpherage in Dutch: Kabelbaan
telpherage in Japanese: 索道
telpherage in Portuguese: Teleférico
telpherage in Russian: Канатная дорога
telpherage in Simple English: Cable car
telpherage in Swedish: Kabinbana
telpherage in Ukrainian: Канатна дорога
telpherage in Contenese: 吊車
telpherage in Chinese: 索道