Posts Tagged: Dual Loop Cable Cars



Cable Cars, Lesson 3: Dual Loop Cable Shuttles

The Pearson Airport Tram in Toronto is an example of a Dual Cable Shuttle LIner. Two tracks and two rope loops allow two separate vehicles to operate independently. Image by flickr user Gustavo Oliveira.

For our new readers: Despite the fact that systems like the planned London Thames Cable Car are often officially called “Cable Cars,” they are more often than not Gondolas. This can be confusing to cable transit novices. To make it easier: Cable Cars are supported from below (like cars) and Gondolas are supported from the top (like ski lift gondolas). This is an error of nomenclature, nothing more.

For Cable Cars Lesson 1, click here.

For Cable Cars Lesson 2, click here.

The Dual Loop Cable Shuttle is a modest upgrade to the Single loop Cable Shuttle. And yet that modest upgrade carriers with it extremely enhanced performance characteristics.

The easiest way to contemplate the performance difference between the two technologies is to imagine the Single Loop Cable Shuttle as an Aerial Tram and a Dual Loop Cable Shuttle as a Funifor.

Like the Funifor-style technologies, the two vehicles in a Dual Loop Cable Shuttle configuration operate independently of one another. This means decreased wait times, increased reliability and the potential for 24 hour service.

For example, the Pearson Airport Tram in Toronto, Canada operates 24 hours a day, 365 days a year in some of the harshest weather any major city on the planet has to experience. And – typical of most Dual Loop systems – it boasts availability levels in excess of 99.5%.

In layman’s’ terms, that means that out of 24 hours a day, 365 days a year the system will operate as expected 99.5% of the time.

The reason for this is rather straightforward: During off-peak hours, there is no reason to have both independent loops running. As such, system operators will take one loop out of service for maintenance, cleaning, etc. while the other loop continues in service.

Similarly, if either of the loops experience an emergency and/or technical problem, the second loop is still available for service. In all but the rarest of circumstances, there will always be one loop available for operation. The vary nature of the system implies built-in operational redundancy.

This redundancy does come with a higher price point than the Single Loop systems (assume for argument’s sake that a Dual Loop system will cost roughly ~150% of the price of a Single Loop system), but the increased reliability it affords makes opting for a Dual Loop over a Single Loop a no-brainer.

Image by CUP Projects

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.