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Strange and unique lifts thread

chairlift unusual strange odd ringer

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#1 passengerpigeon

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Posted 28 August 2015 - 05:38 PM

Dear users,
I have started this thread to compile a list of all of the unusual lifts that exist or have existed in the past. To qualify as "unusual", a lift must meet 1 or more of the following criteria:
•Rare or unknown manufacturer
•Unusual technology
•Strange location
•Unusual modifications

I'll start this thread with 3 of my own examples:

Hörnlebahn, Bad Kohlgrub, Ringer, 1953. One of the oldest operational chairlifts in Europe as well as the last lift with Ringer Double-Swivel seats.
Cordoba, Westouter, Unknown Manufacturer, 1958. Originally built to carry visitors over the 1958 Universal Exposition grounds, this centre pole double was reinstalled between 2 small hills in the Belgian countryside and is now a tourist attraction in its own right.
Transcanal, Palavas-les-Flots, Poma, 1974. This very short fixed-grip chondola crosses a canal in the south of France. The lift was originally a pulsed gondola before refurbishment in 2005.

#2 DonaldMReif

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Posted 28 August 2015 - 07:30 PM

Quicksilver Super6 as a double loading six pack
YouTube channel for chairlift POV videos and other random stuff:
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#3 Razvan

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Posted 29 August 2015 - 09:30 AM

http://tramclub.org/...pic.php?t=10489

Telecabina Tâmpa, Brașov, România: pulsed tramway built by Ceretti e Tanfani in 1971, no towers.

#4 Backbowlsbilly

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Posted 31 August 2015 - 03:19 PM

I'd go with the Mt. Roberts Tram in Juneau, Alaska, a Poma tram with continuous haul rope and one heck of a top terminal that juts out from a very steep mountain. It has no towers as well.

Posted Image

#5 Mike12164

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Posted 07 September 2015 - 06:05 PM

The Summit Chair at Whitewater, Nelson, BC. A 1975 Riblet double. It originally had counterweight tensioning but because of the unstable ground the drive terminal is built on it had to be removed as the force of the carriage moving constantly was making the foundation shift causing worse and worse alignment issues

The tension carriage is now LOCKED in place, it can be adjusted hydraulically but not while the lift is loaded. During normal operation the tension does not change... this makes for some interesting bounces, I would assume this drastically shortens the useful life of the haul rope as well.

Some images below, I have many more including several inside the drive terminal as well as videos showing the lift in operation if anyone's interested.

The drive terminal, looking up the line:
Attached File  IMG_8305.jpg (1.19MB)
Number of downloads: 180

Carriage rails, note the steel pin holding the carriage in place:
Attached File  IMG_8311.jpg (1.14MB)
Number of downloads: 237

Annunciation panel in the machine room, when the lift is running, tension pressure is displayed in the bottom left:
Attached File  IMG_8287.jpg (400.61K)
Number of downloads: 186

This post has been edited by Mike12164: 07 September 2015 - 06:06 PM


#6 Allan

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Posted 07 September 2015 - 08:04 PM

View PostMike12164, on 07 September 2015 - 06:05 PM, said:

The Summit Chair at Whitewater, Nelson, BC. A 1975 Riblet double. It originally had counterweight tensioning but because of the unstable ground the drive terminal is built on it had to be removed as the force of the carriage moving constantly was making the foundation shift causing worse and worse alignment issues

The tension carriage is now LOCKED in place, it can be adjusted hydraulically but not while the lift is loaded. During normal operation the tension does not change... this makes for some interesting bounces, I would assume this drastically shortens the useful life of the haul rope as well.

Some images below, I have many more including several inside the drive terminal as well as videos showing the lift in operation if anyone's interested.

The drive terminal, looking up the line:
Attachement IMG_8305.jpg

Carriage rails, note the steel pin holding the carriage in place:
Attachement IMG_8311.jpg

Annunciation panel in the machine room, when the lift is running, tension pressure is displayed in the bottom left:
Attachement IMG_8287.jpg


Is that an automated drum controller in the bottom pic (bottom right.)
- Allan

#7 Mike12164

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Posted 07 September 2015 - 10:25 PM

View PostAllan, on 07 September 2015 - 08:04 PM, said:


Is that an automated drum controller in the bottom pic (bottom right.)


Sure is. From what I understand, the servo motor on it is actually designed for use on small airplanes to control flaps. The resistor bank is in the cage you see in the image below to right. This can be a bit of problem since it has no dedicated cooling system, the lift is always run at full speed (approx 500fpm) all the time to avoid overheating, gotta love old school AC drives.

Attached File  IMG_8285.jpg (478.04K)
Number of downloads: 84

#8 Allan

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Posted 08 September 2015 - 06:26 PM

View PostMike12164, on 07 September 2015 - 10:25 PM, said:


Sure is. From what I understand, the servo motor on it is actually designed for use on small airplanes to control flaps. The resistor bank is in the cage you see in the image below to right. This can be a bit of problem since it has no dedicated cooling system, the lift is always run at full speed (approx 500fpm) all the time to avoid overheating, gotta love old school AC drives.

Attachement IMG_8285.jpg



Neat, and a great idea! I'm pretty familiar with AC drives with manual drums, we've got two at Red.
- Allan

#9 passengerpigeon

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Posted 10 September 2015 - 06:21 AM

View PostMike12164, on 07 September 2015 - 06:05 PM, said:

Some images below, I have many more including several inside the drive terminal as well as videos showing the lift in operation if anyone's interested.

Please upload the videos, it would certainly be interesting to see how a lift runs with the tension locked.
I heard somewhere that Murray-Latta lifts could also bounce you quite high when they stopped. Has anybody ever experienced this?

PS: does the Summit Double have safety bars/seatbelts/chains? Every current Canadian chairlift that I have seen images of is equipped with safety bars - is the installation and/or use of them mandated by any Canadian province? If not, do any currently running lifts lack bars?

#10 2milehi

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Posted 10 September 2015 - 09:33 AM

View PostMike12164, on 07 September 2015 - 10:25 PM, said:


Sure is. From what I understand, the servo motor on it is actually designed for use on small airplanes to control flaps. The resistor bank is in the cage you see in the image below to right. This can be a bit of problem since it has no dedicated cooling system, the lift is always run at full speed (approx 500fpm) all the time to avoid overheating, gotta love old school AC drives.

Attachement IMG_8285.jpg


I have a hard time calling that a "drive".
Anything is possible when you don't understand what you are talking about.

#11 liftmech

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Posted 10 September 2015 - 10:18 AM

View Postpassengerpigeon, on 10 September 2015 - 06:21 AM, said:

I heard somewhere that Murray-Latta lifts could also bounce you quite high when they stopped. Has anybody ever experienced this?



Yes. Old chair 1 at Hyak would move quite a bit on a stop. There was a very long span about halfway up where you'd really notice it. Also, old chair 4 at Baker would bounce far more than its parallel twin, chair 5. I always chalked it up to the top tension (versus chair 5's bottom). Differing design philosophies also.
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#12 Mike12164

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Posted 10 September 2015 - 08:30 PM

View Postpassengerpigeon, on 10 September 2015 - 06:21 AM, said:

Please upload the videos, it would certainly be interesting to see how a lift runs with the tension locked.
I heard somewhere that Murray-Latta lifts could also bounce you quite high when they stopped. Has anybody ever experienced this?

PS: does the Summit Double have safety bars/seatbelts/chains? Every current Canadian chairlift that I have seen images of is equipped with safety bars - is the installation and/or use of them mandated by any Canadian province? If not, do any currently running lifts lack bars?


I'm on the road for the next day or so and my laptop has trouble encoding HD video but I'll get it up in a day or 2.

The Summit chair actually starts and stops quite smoothly, this is because the bounces on stops and starts are the result of the tension system adjusting to keep up with the changes in speed, this obviously doesn't happen with a fixed carriage. However the lift does sway and bounce unpredictably while running, especially when fully loaded.

It also has safety bars although it wasn't built with them. Like the Silver King (Whitewater's other double chair, a Murray-Latta that would also probably be quite at home in this thread for a couple of reasons, a story for another day) the safety bars are mounted to the centre post and flip down horizontally, they were aftermarket modifications done to bring the lifts up to code whenever that became a requirement, likely in the late 80's or early 90's.

I personally like this style of safety bar (i.e. you can't even tell the lift has them at a glance but it's still effective at keeping small children from falling to their deaths)

#13 passengerpigeon

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Posted 11 September 2015 - 06:31 PM

Some of you may have already seen this lift on this forum, but the weirdness of it merits a repost in this thread:
Télébourg, Valmorel, Montaz-Mautino, 1980. This lift is a monocable reversible aerial tramway with 2 seperate sections (i.e. you need to change cabins at the middle station in order to ride all the way up). However, both sections of the lift use the same haul rope, with the motor located at the middle station. At the middle station, the cable is threaded down into the drive vault, around the motor and then back out again to continue on the 2nd section, necessitating a complex series of pulleys. Another strange feature of this lift is the flexible cabins, which bend as the haul rope changes steepness. Can anybody make sense of why the motor wasn't just installed at the top or bottom station?

#14 Razvan

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Posted 12 September 2015 - 02:44 AM

"La présence de résidences à proximité des gares amont et en aval a conduit les promoteurs a placer la motorisation en gare intermédiaire" [...]

"The presence of residences close to the top and bottom stations led the developers to place the drive into the mid station"

"La gare amont du Télébourg est située à 1378 mètres d'altitude, entre deux bâtiments résidentiels [...]
Afin d’éviter des nuisances sonores, la gare amont se réduit à une poulie retour fixe."

"The top station of the Telebourg is situated at an altitude of 1378 m (~4100 feet), between two residential buildings. [...]
To avoid troubles caused by noise, the top station only has a return bullwheel."

This post has been edited by Razvan: 12 September 2015 - 02:53 AM


#15 Mike12164

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Posted 12 September 2015 - 03:56 PM

A followup on my previous post, the video showing Whitewater's Summit chair (Riblet double, fixed tension) in operation.
Also a few more images of the inner workings.

Video shows the chair running with a light load, full load, as well as starting and stopping.
https://www.youtube....h?v=gAP1cXC4zFE

Main drive motor:
Attached File  IMG_8293.jpg (401.57K)
Number of downloads: 64

Standby engine:
Attached File  IMG_8301.jpg (924.67K)
Number of downloads: 89

Service brake, gearbox, standby drive coupling:
Attached File  IMG_8302.jpg (569.83K)
Number of downloads: 95

Attendant control station:
Attached File  IMG_8304.jpg (533.91K)
Number of downloads: 77

This post has been edited by Mike12164: 12 September 2015 - 03:58 PM


#16 2milehi

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Posted 14 September 2015 - 07:10 PM

^^^ Reminds me of 7-Chair at Breck (Rip's Ride)
Anything is possible when you don't understand what you are talking about.

#17 RibStaThiok

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Posted 16 September 2015 - 01:44 AM

Is it just me or does that lift start and get up to speed fairly quickly for a FG?
Ryan

#18 Mike12164

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Posted 17 September 2015 - 01:27 AM

View PostRibStaThiok, on 16 September 2015 - 01:44 AM, said:

Is it just me or does that lift start and get up to speed fairly quickly for a FG?


Not that uncommon for older AC lifts. Unlike a DC drive or modern AC drive which can run anywhere between 0 and 100 percent speed, older AC systems generally only have as many speed settings as they do resistors so they tend to jump between speeds quite quickly.

#19 vons

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Posted 17 September 2015 - 11:05 AM

These tramways don't move you up a mountain but it looks interesting anyway https://www.rixen-ca...bleways-germany

#20 DonaldMReif

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Posted 18 September 2015 - 04:18 PM

American Flyer for having a vault drive, the sole one of its kind in the country since the replacement of the original Colorado SuperChair
YouTube channel for chairlift POV videos and other random stuff:
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