Weekly Roundup: More Urban Cable Cars in Venezuela

Post by Steven Dale

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

  • In Caracas, Venezuela, Latin America’s largest barrio, Petare, is to benefit from upcoming investments in cable car transit systems. Should this occur, Caracas will become only the second Latin American city in the world – indeed, quite possibly the entire world – to have installed multiple cable car systems as fully-integrated components of their public transit system. The first was Medellin. Coincidentally enough, we have a whole photo essay series on these two cities called Medellin / Caracas.
  • Because sometimes having the safest transit technology around isn’t enough: A 26-year-old man died after climbing out of the window of a gondola at Silver Mountain Resort in Idaho and plunged 85 feet onto rocky terrain.

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. Great news for Caracas/Petare! Multiple systems and integrated with existing mass transit? Very cool! Bummer to hear about the 26 year old who "died after climbing out of the window of a gondola at Silver Mountain Resort in Idaho and plunged 85 feet onto rocky terrain" This is definitely a finalist/winner for the "Darwin" Award! or perhaps the Ron White "You can't fix stupid" Award. Sorry to sound crass, but...
  2. Steven, There are actually three cable propelled transit systems in the vicinity or gliding above that particular barrio (Venezuelan for shanty town, I apologize if the term used is "politically incorrect" on this media or affects people’s sensitivity) in various stages of completion. I could be wrong, I admit it, but I am under the impression that you have so far mentioned only two of them on several posts. I describe these three systems bellow using the names which I have gathered from official and non-official press releases. Here is a link to a site in Spanish, but you can click on a diagram to expand it to better visualize what I am narrating. http://www.vtv.gob.ve/articulos/2012/10/25/metro-de-caracas-inicio-asambleas-informativas-sobre-el-metrocable-para-petare-sur-6732.html First, you have the Petare Sur 8MDG system, designed to serve the aforementioned neighborhood, mainly as a feeder line to an existing metro (subway) line. This system, is comprised of a main cable line and two feeder cable lines at one end (Is this a first?). Not sure though how this is going to work, if one embarks in a gondola at the beginning of the journey which is predestined to one of the final bifurcations or simply disembark at the bifurcation station and board a final gondola on any of the two feeder lines. It is in the design stage as far as I know. Second, you have the Mariches dual 8MDG system under construction (“multiple duty”, a feeder line to an existing regular metro (subway) line, and intra-neighborhood between Mariches and Petare) which is comprised of two quasi parallel independent gondola systems that have common end stations, one gondola system stops at several intermediate stations, in an arch shaped route; and the other one is an express line only stopping at the end stations, but on a separate rope and a secant path to the arch one (Is this configuration a first for a gondola?). I know that one cable car-funicular-people mover system in Las Vegas has two parallel tracks, one stopping at four stations and the other being an express line between the end stations. It is under construction, but they are already doing dynamic testing on the express line, as I understand. Third, you have the Waraira Repano “cable liner” (not sure if it is a ‘trade mark’ of a respectable Swiss-Austrian group or an industry cable category), using what they call a pinched loop traction mechanism, with multiple parallel and overlapping ropes; multiple 5-car articulated trains (walkthrough) working in a similar fashion as a metro system, stopping at a few intermediate stations. This corporation has installed similar (but not quite the same), shuttle systems in Las Vegas, Venice, etc. This Waraira Repano cable liner system will interconnect two regular subway lines (one fully operational, the other being designed) and a suburban line under construction, actually the cable liner linking two major hubs. I am under the impression that this particular cable liner in Petare shouldn’t be categorized as a mere shuttle system since it doesn’t simply go back and forth between two “stand alone end stations”, but rather a new category, perhaps an ultra light fully automatic cable metro system with walkthrough trains (Is this a first?). They are already performing dynamic testing on the partially completed line. Steven, this cable liner system deserves a full post with more data and pictures, don’t you agree?; and a diagram explaining the pinch loop mechanism and the rope overlapping deal, which I understand is similar to the detachable gondola mechanism, but more complex. I have read somewhere on an official manufacturer “sheet” (I believe) that this system “selects” the rope, on which the train needs to travel (Is this a first?), but I am not sure if this allows the trains to be fully independent, travelling at different speeds (frequencies, headways). And, perhaps letting a single train to, say, back up on a track and/or to change track at stations or in between stations using points (switches), like for instance to configure short and long loops or take detours in case of stranded trains, adjust to demand, etc (this definitively would be a first!). By the way I have read your various posts on the Colombia-Medellin and the Caracas-San Agustin Metrocable systems, and they are outstanding. Besides data and knowledge, there is a lot of wisdom and ethics coming from your words.[img]http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8059/8165140016_8b670c1866_m.jpg[/img][img]http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8059/8165140016_8b670c1866_m.jpg[/img]
  3. Oops! Sorry. I attached the small (minuscule) version of a diagram I drew to better understan the topology of the three systems described. Here is the link to the bigger version (I hope). http://www.flickr.com/photos/89783838@N02/8165140016/
  4. Hi Roger, We know about those lines, but admittedly know very little. We're trying to gather as much data as possible, but it's always hard to keep up. As much information as you can provide, the better. Thanks for this stuff!

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