9 Cable Systems That Are Important (And Virtually Unknown)

Post by Steven Dale

Sometimes important things are hidden away in far off (or difficult to access) places. Other times, they’re nearby but finding information very difficult.

In any case, here are nine cable systems that have great potential for expanding our knowledge about Cable-Propelled Transit but are so isolated, bizarre or obscure, research is painfully scant.

I suspect part of the problem is language. There could be reams of information on many of the systems listed below, but that research isn’t available in English.

  • The Skyrail Rainforest Cableway, Austrialia – A 7.5 km long system with four stations. Very sensitive to its rainforest environment and has won several eco-tourism awards. Built in the early 1990’s, it’s capacity was more than doubled a few years after it originally opened. It’s only 2,500 kilometers north of Sydney.
  • The Urban Gondolas of Algeria – A series of five urban gondolas built in North Africa. The first three have been completed already. The country still struggles with the lingering effects of a brutal civil war.
  • The Norsjö Aerial Ropeway, Sweden – Currently, the longest passenger ropeway in the world. Located a 12 hour drive north of Stockholm, so if anyone’s thinking of a road trip this summer . . .
  • The Ngong Ping 360, Hong Kong – A Chinese system with a rather difficult history. Finding reports on this system are very hard to come by.
  • The Koblenz Rheinseilbahn, Germany – A brand new system with some of the wildest looking cabins around. So new is the system, it’s very difficult to find any publicly-accessible information on it.
  • The Fun’ambule, Switzerland – A Hybrid Funicular like the Hungerburgbahn in Austria. This one is built by Doppelmayr and uses a different technique of adjusting inclination than that used by Poma in the Hungerburgbahn. Apparently, it operates underground.
  • The Fribourg Funicular, Switzerland – A funicular dating from the late 1800’s. It’s run exclusively (get this) using waste water.
  • The Gangtok Ropeway, India – An Aerial Tram with a mid-station. It’s the only fixed link transit system in this mountaintop city of 30,000. Find Gangtok on a map, and you’ll see just how isolated this system is.
  • The Makong Gondola, Taipei – Turbulent decision-making process. Very difficult to find information.

If anyone out there knows anything about any of these systems; has toured any of these systems; or can locate information on any of these systems, please tell us about it in the comments below.

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.

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.


  1. Ive ridden on the Ngong Ping 360, when i was in Hong Kong about a month ago and have a lot of photos if you are interested. A TV series called extreme engineering did an episode on it's construction (Season 3 Episode 3). Although a lot of the episode is focused on logistics of construction there are useful details about it's design. The Ngong Ping 360 and has very long spans due to environmental requirements for minimum numbers of tower. It has a capacity of 3500pphpd with each cabin having a capacity of 10 seated and 7 standing. Although while I was there they were only filling cabins to seated capacity. I have become a bit of a fan of your work. I haven't noticed any other guest posts , but if it fits with your blog I would be happy to do a write up of this system.
  2. You wouldn't happen to have came across a magazine called "Elevator World" in your research. There is an article in the Nov 1996 edition on the Skyrail rain forest cableway.
  3. If you register for free at: http://research.elevator-world.com/ and you can search for "Skyrail" and get the full article online from the Nov 1996 edition of the magazine. Sam.
  4. Hey Steven, Since I used to get sent to Cairns for work for a month at a time I have lots of photos of Skyrail (and the DVD somewhere) It costs an arm and a leg to ride, and I'm officially limbless. It caters for tourists rather than locals. It goes from Caravonica in the northern suburbs/canefields of Cairns to Kuranda. It is very nice to ride, mainly because of the forest you fly over (and all that lawyer vine aka wait o' while amongst it, that can't rip your flesh when you're in the gondola.) I've hiked up from Cairns to Kuranda before (which is a bit of a feat in itself) and when the train wasn't running I may have hiked up the railway line (I also may not have, in case there are any law enforcement people types reading this) through the tunnels and over the famous curved bridge in front of the waterfall. If you hike up to Kuranda, and consequently stink, it being the tropics after all, then you get a gondola all to yourself for the ride down. Steven, Let me know if you'd like photos sent to you so you can write a blogpost for it here on the gondolaproject.
  5. Thanks for this, Matt! Feel free to send the photos. As for writing a blog post, you'd probably be more qualified since you actually toured the system.
  6. Scott, We've done a guest post in the past, and would be more than happy to welcome another. Send me an email and we'll figure it out. I'd love to see your insights into the Ngong Ping.
  7. The problem is many like me would not take them. Tried one and too frightening. Too many problems with safety with them. Ie it breaks down. How does one escape fire truck or rope. Could be stuck for hours if not days. Plus many of them are to an attraction also alternate transport to it. Low scale capacity.
  8. Is it a question of fear? Because when you look at the safety stats, it is generally a far safer technology than most other forms. As per the "low scale capacity" you'll see that it can provide similar capacity to those needed in many western cities.
  9. Similar idea in Portland Oregon http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Portland_Aerial_Tram
  10. Type Maokong instead of Makong. Or have a look here: http://www.poma.net/media/pomalink/en/PomaLink03.pdf
  11. About the mud slide at Taipeh: Wed, Oct 01, 2008 , Taipeh Times, http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/taiwan/archives/2008/10/01/2003424725
  12. I've found about Fun’ambule: http://www.funimag.com/funimag20/Funambule01.htm and data: http://www.lift-world.info/en/lifts/2449/datas.htm

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