Page 14 - Wire Rope News & Sling Technology - October2019
P. 14

is controlled by four variable frequency
                                          A Rotair cabin approaches the Upper Station.   drives.  If municipal  electricity is  cut,
                                          Lion’s Peak, Cape Town, and Robben Island are
                                          in the background (photo: F. Williams)  the cable has two back-up hydraulic
                                                                               systems that can power the cableway.
                                                                               The first is powered by a Volvo engine
                                                                               and the second with one from Deutz.
                                                                                 Braking the line is accomplished with
                                                                               the service brake that affects the gear-
                                                                               box shaft of the haul rope, and there is
                                                                               an emergency brake that can stop the
                                                                               haul rope drive wheel. Lastly, a cabin
                                                                               master can brake and lock a cabin in-
                                                                               dependent of station control.
                                                                                 The new Rotair-car System allowed a
                                                                               line speed of 33 feet per second, some
                                                                               19 feet faster than before. The new ca-
                                                                               pacity and speed provided by the 1997
                                                                               update enabled Table Mountain Aerial
                                                                               Cableway to carry 800 passengers per
                                                                               hour in trips of under five-minutes be-
                                                                               tween stations.
                                                                                 Both stations were modified in 1997
                                                                               to accommodate  new machinery, the
                                                                               larger  cabins,  and  were  generally  re-
                                                                               furbished. Cabins from 1958 and 1974
                                                                               were converted to information and tick-
                                                                               et booths and were installed near the
                                                                               Lower Station entrance.
         continued from page 12             Group. Rotair cabins were known for   The cableway was closed in 1996 for
         ownership  and contending  with  six-  their use at Mt. Titlis, Engelberg,   construction, then reopened on Octo-
         hour wait times at the busy cableway,   Switzerland, and, Mt. San Jacinto,   ber 4, 1997, the 68th Anniversary of
         the TMACC embarked on extensive    Palm Springs, USA. The cabins uti-  the  cableway’s  opening  day  in  1929.
         modernization of the system. An R87   lize aircraft grade materials and are   Ridership  soared  with  the  improve-
         million (about 10 million 2019 US dol-  round,  making  them  less  susceptible   ments. In the  high  season,  upwards
         lars)  contract  was  signed  with  rope-  to winds. The cabins can take on 793   of 10,000 people ride the cableway per
         way engineering firm Garaventa AG of   gallons  of  fresh  water  in  a tank  be-  day, and 2018 saw record overall rid-
         Switzerland for installation of a Rotair-  neath  their  floor.  The  water  acts  as   ership of 855,000.
         car System at Table Mountain.      ballast against high winds, expanding   The Table Mountain Aerial Cable-
           Table Mountain Aerial Cableway’s   the cableway’s operating envelope to   way is one of Africa’s greatest tourist
         rope layout was changed from the origi-  37 mph gusts, and can be transferred   attractions, and celebrates its 90th
         nal Bleichert bi-rope to Garaventa’s   to a reservoir at the Upper Station for   Anniversary on October 4, 2019. Party
         modern tri-rope type. The tri-rope con-  use at the restaurant and other moun-  plans  include  a stakeholder  event on
         sisted of dual full-locked coil 238-ton   taintop facilities.         October  4th,  and a variety of enter-
         rated track ropes and 75-ton rated   A Rotair cabin holds 64 passengers   tainment the weekend of October 4-6
         haul and heel ropes. The new system   plus one cabin master, or, alterna-  at the  Lower  Station.  Further,  locals
         located each cabin at the opposite end   tively, the cabin can haul 5 tons of pay-  will enjoy promotion pricing the whole
         of the haul and heel ropes for counter-  load up the  mountain,  supplying  the   month of October, and there are plans
         balance, operating in a jig-back system   restaurant,  shops,  and  café.  Rotairs   for  monthly  activities  at the  stations
         that  harkens  to  Bleichert-Zuegg.  The   are named for their rotating floor that   until September 2020. Of course,  the
         system’s dual track ropes could carry   provides passengers  with  panoramic   all-important  staff will be celebrated,
         heavier loads while providing lateral   views. A waste tank can be slung be-  too. The Table Mountain Aerial Cable-
         separation that countered cabin sway   neath the cabin to bring sewage down   way has a rich engineering history, and
         in windy conditions. Primary control of   to the Lower Station for dumping into   continues  its  endless  journey  at Cape
         the line was changed from the Upper   Cape Town’s municipal system.   Town’s Table Mountain. WRN
         to the Lower Station, and new rope an-  Each cabin and its hanging  gear
         chors were installed consisting of 9-foot   weigh approximately  11 tons, and is   The author is the great-great grand-
         concrete bollards with 45-foot long steel   suspended from the track ropes with   son of Adolf Bleichert.
         anchors driven into the rockface. With a   a 24-wheel carriage and hanger. This
         new tensioning system, counterweights   running  gear sports special shafts   • Special thanks to Emile Streicher,
         were reduced to 134 tons. Lastly, the   equipped with dampers that ensure op-  Collette Van Aswegen,  and Mike Wil-
         1997 update included new cabins.   timal contact between the wheels and   liams at TMACC
                                            rope, further reducing cabin swing.  • Research assistance by Hartmut
         ROTAIRS                                                               von Bleichert
           ‘Rotair’ cabins were purchased from   POWER & BRAKES                  • For  more  information,  please  visit
         Swiss manufacturer CWA, now a sub-   A 540kW alternating current induc-  ‘Bleichert’s Wire Ropeways’ on Facebook,
         sidiary of the Doppelmayr-Garaventa   tion motor was installed in 2013, and   vonbleichert.eu, and tablemountain.net
         14     Wire Rope News & Sling Technology   October 2019
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