Unlike the past era, the ropeways today are much more sturdy and reliable. The enhanced use of technological advancements is making the whole process safer than ever.
Isn’t this every avid skier’s dream: gliding downhill and then being whisked back uphill in comfort and ease by a ropeway or gondola in minutes? Year after year, ski lift and/or ropeway operators face the same challenge: safely and quickly transporting visitors from the valley up the mountain. Aerial tramways bring a new dimension to vacations, in addition to breath-taking views and thrilling journeys. Cable cars and ropeways are ubiquitous in India, with most hill stations boasting of having one. While a ropeway trip is a common occurrence for many, it is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for others; it is a responsibility for the builders.
The development of ropeways is an intricate and challenging process as it requires working on inaccessible terrain to develop a system of transport that will take the riders to another level of adrenaline rush.
Unlike the past era, the ropeways today are much more sturdy and reliable. The enhanced use of technological advancements is making the whole process safer than ever. The technological intervention starts from the start when the location is chosen.
First is the topographical inspection that consists of surveying the terrain and producing a graphical representation of it. To a naked eye, the terrain will look beautiful, but for the ropeways construction, every single possible hitch has to be taken into account to ensure utmost safety of the passengers who decide to take a ride in it.
To ensure perfect excavation and concrete work, reference points are fixed. Various devices, such as heavy-duty excavators for large-scale excavations or walking excavators for inaccessible areas, are used depending on the quality of the land on which the device is to be mounted. The installation’s basic components, such as the station foundations, support poles, duty rooms, and parking structures, are partially or entirely reinforced concrete. Roller batteries and load-bearing structures for the stations are tested.
After the structural parts of the stations, the rope assembly is the most critical part of the building of a ropeway. Building a sound and long lasting ropeway is not just about building a proper lift system or trolley car or reliable and strong ropes, it is also essential to ensure in your day to day operations that all the systems are in place, regular safety checks are undertaken, periodical checks of the ropeways and cables should be done by specialists. Safety should always be kept as a paramount concern! Both making and running a ropeway comes with plenty technical challenges, a full 360 degree perspective is what is required.
Even temperature at the location plays a significant part in designing the ropeway. If the location is at High altitude then there would be lower air density, and high heat transfer capacity; low temperature (up to -20 degree Centigrade) site will witness slow hydration process of cement affecting the strength & durability of concrete, yield and tensile strengths of metals also get affected. The problem is solved by choosing the materials & design considering the temperature. The materials that help in countering the ill effects of the temperature are Grade-C Carbon Steel E 350, as per IS 2062-2011, High-Grade Cement- OP53, Special Lubricants, use of hot water while concerting, condensation drain holes and/or heaters, rating requirements For Electrical Equipment, Cables & Motor, are checked.
Aerial cable cars, which were first used to explore mountainous regions over a century ago, have also recently made an appearance in several major cities, where they are being used as an alternative to traditional urban transportation modes. Cable cars have the distinct advantage of being able to scale steep hills for a fraction of the expense of building a new tunnel or bridge. The effectiveness of a public transportation system hinges on the happiness of its users. Cable cars have the advantage of providing commuters with a “ride with a view,” but to stay popular over time, they must meet high standards of comfort, safety, and security.