Posts Tagged: Télépheriques



The Algiers Téléphériques

One of four Téléphériques in Algiers, Algeria. Image via Poma.

From what we can piece together, Cable Propelled Transit (CPT) systems in Algeria began in the mid-1950’s with the construction of the Téléphérique d’El Madania in the capital Algiers. This system was then followed in 1982 by the Téléphérique Notre-Dame d’Afrique – again in Algiers.

Five years later in 1987, two more Téléphériques would be constructed in Algiers; the Télépherique du Memorial and the Téléphérique du Palais de la Culture.

All four of these systems would be Aerial Trams designed, manufactured and built by the Italian company Poma – the company that would eventually renovate and modernize the systems 20 years later.

Despite moving millions of people per year (according to the Poma website the el Madania system alone moves more than 1 million people per year), these are remarkably modest systems:

  • None have intermediary stations.
  • System vehicles have capacity for 35 people and the systems can offer total capacity of 1,200 pphpd.

Maybe more surprising is how short in length these systems are:

  • Téléphérique d’El Madania – 220m
  • Téléphérique du Mémorial – 230m
  • Téléphérique du Palais de la Culture – 368m
  • Téléphérique de Notre Dame d’Afrique – 250m

To put those numbers in perspective, the line distances are little more than the distance between two North American bus stops. In other words, the Téléphériques function more like elevators than transit; similar in the way the Ascencors of Valparaiso manage to collapse height and distance and ease movements between the higher and lower parts of the city.

Yet to call these systems mere “elevators” would do them an injustice.

The Téléphériques are important enough to the movement of people in Algiers that they are all fully integrated with ETUSA, Algiers’ regional transit planning agency. And as stated previously, these systems do move millions of people a year. That suggests these aren’t simple elevators but rather essential links in the growing Algiers transit scheme.

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New Urban Gondola Under Construction in Algiers


Construction site of the Bouzareah Télécabine. Image via Imageshack.

Of all the Urban Gondolas / Téléphériques / Télécabines in Algeria, perhaps the most exciting right now is the Bouzareah Télécabine. The reason is fourfold:

ONE – This system is actually under construction and has been for at least the last year. That suggests it should be nearing completion any time now.

TWO – From what we understand, this will be the first Gondola system built in Algiers. The five previous systems that were built/rehabilitated in Algiers were all Aerial Trams. This is a step in the right direction as Gondola technology is arguably more suitable to complex urban environments than Aerial Tram technology (for a discussion on this matter, see here).

THREE – We can actually find research on it. That may sound like a poor reason to name something “the most exciting,” but given the lack of available research on the Algerian Gondolas, it’s exciting enough for us. Granted the research is in the form of poorly translated SkyscraperCity Forums (this one was particularly enlightening), but those forums led us to images like these:

Bouzareah Télécabine construction site. Image via Imageshack.

Close-up of Bouzareah Télécabine construction site signage. Image via Imageshack.

User-created map of the Bouzareah Télécabine route showing tower locations, route and station locations. Image via Imageshack.

Which leads us to the fourth reason to get excited:

FOUR – This is a fairly robust system. True, it only has three stations. But on the flip side, it’s almost 3 km in length and has an extreme turn at Station Frais Valon.

A last point: From the above images, we also learn that the system is being built by Garaventa of Switzerland. It’s therefore likely to be designed similarly to past Garaventa-built systems in Tlemcen, Constantine and Skikda.

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.