Page 12 - Wire Rope News & Sling Technology - October2019
P. 12

Upper Station.

         Lower Station, 1940.

         continued from page 10               The Upper Station sits at 3,500 feet   morials, and observation points around
           A cabin emerges from the Lower   above sea level, some 2,310 feet higher   the Western, Central, and Eastern Ta-
         Station. It begins a steep climb that   than the  Lower  Station. A veneer  of   ble. Standing at the station, the view
         matches that of the mountain’s sloped   native stone blends the building into   includes Lion’s Head Peak, Cape Town,
         granite skirt. The ropes run parallel to   the surrounding  geology. Upper Sta-  Table Bay, and Robben Island, as well
         India  Ravine  and  fly  over  India  Ven-  tion  houses  the  electric  primary and   as  the  flat  expanse  of  the  Table  with
         ster trail up to where  it meets Table   auxiliary rope drives, transmissions,   Devil’s Peak and the Atlantic seaboard
         Mountain  Lower  Station  trail.  Table   sheave wheels, a control room, docking   to the south and west. Visitor ameni-
         Mountain then rears suddenly and its   rails, and a single movable cabin plat-  ties  include  audio or  guided walking
         geology changes from granite to a near   form that can access either track rope.   tours, the Table Mountain Café, a wi-fi
         vertical  sandstone  plateau. The  cabin   The control room provided a clear view   lounge, historical registered structure,
         ascends the wall of the Western Table,   down  the  line,  had a back-up hand-  and various observation points.
         gliding  high  above a  bowl  formed be-  braking system, line throttle, indicator   After two years of challenging con-
         tween  Africa  Ledge and Kloof  Corner   panels, signal bells, a telephone system   struction, on October 4, 1929,  Cape
         Ridge. The cabin gets slammed by a   for communicating with the Lower Sta-  Town’s Mayor Rev. A.J.S. Lewis opened
         strong gust off the Atlantic Ocean.   tion and cabins, as well as access to the   the Table Mountain Aerial Cableway
           The cabin sways and creaks, and the   machine and rope spaces.      to its citizens and the world.
         vibrating wire  rope  bounces.  Passen-  The cabin parks and passengers dis-
         gers  laugh  nervously.  Ahead, Upper   embark, exiting Upper Station on to a   TMAC UPDATES
         Station  stands  on  the  precipice  of  Af-  sweeping paved patio. There is a mail-  The Table Mountain Aerial Cable-
         rica  Ledge. The  cabin  approaches the   box that offers a unique Table Mountain   way has been updated four times since
         station’s arched  mouth  and slows  to   postmark, and trailheads that promise   opening day: in 1958, 1967, 1974, and,
         meet the platform.                 ways to the Table Mountain Café, me-  most extensively, in 1997.
                                                                                 The 1958 update replaced the origi-
                                                                               nal Bleichert 25-passenger cabins with
                                                                               new  all-metal ones that held 27 pas-
                                                                               sengers. The original wire ropes made
                                                                               by Bleichert  were  changed  out,  too,
                                                                               with  new  ones  made in  South  Africa.
                                                                               The 1958 cabins ran until 1966.
                                                                                 The  1967 update included  new  cab-
                                                                               ins  that held  28 passengers,  and  the
                                                                               electric  drive motors and transmis-
                                                                               sion  were replaced in the Upper Sta-
                                                                               tion. Further, the ropes were lowered
                                                                               to the ground and electro-magnetically
                                                                                 The  1974 update replaced the  1967
                                                                               cabins with newer, lighter ones, though
                                                                               cabin capacity remained the same at 28
                                                                                 The most ambitious and expensive
                                                                               update occurred in 1997. Under new
                                                      Upper Station schematic.
                                                                                                continued on page 14
         12     Wire Rope News & Sling Technology   October 2019
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