Posts Tagged: Low Profile Stations



Quick Dwell Times Demonstrated!

A gondola lift servicing Hasliberg, Switzerland includes a mid station (seen above) with only 40 second dwell times. Image via Remontees-Mecaniques.

Sometimes life is just weird.

Last week the issue of dwell times pretty much dominated conversation and discussion around these parts at The Gondola Project (here and then here). The main issue was whether or not dwell times were a real problem and if so, what solutions could be engineered.

And then – by some bizarre fluke – this past weekend I visited a mountain in the Berner Oberland region of Central Switzerland. That mountain, Hasliberg, happens to be serviced by a gondola lift that includes a mid station with dwell times of only 40 seconds (trust me, I timed it). That the station is so incredibly slim profile only heightens its importance.

A few caveats:

  • The top speed of this gondola is only 18 km/hr.
  • Vehicles can only carry 6 passengers.
  • System capacity is only 1,200 pphpd.
  • There is no major turn co-located within the station.

Increasing any of these metrics could, potentially, nullify the possibility of such short dwell times. Nevertheless, the Hasliberg gondola demonstrates that short dwell times are not just possible in theory, but demonstrable in practice as well.

Built by Garaventa in 1996, it bears a striking resemblance to the Grindelwald-First gondola -another major find in the Berner Oberland region of Central Switzerland. That system is one of the only lifts I know of that includes high-speed turns.

Combined, the Hasliberg and Grindelwald-First gondolas demonstrate that there is a whole sub-sector of cable tactics and technologies which are little known or understood. How these tactics are discovered and then usefully integrated into urban gondola transit systems will largely determine cable’s success into the future.

They also increasingly demonstrate the importance of our learning from existing ski resort systems as a means to improve upon existing urban systems.

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