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Published on Aug 17, 2010
A trip on the world's longest aerial tramway transports you above deep canyons and breathtaking terrain a distance of 2.7 miles. See some of nature's more dramatic beauty unfold before you. At sunset the desert skies produce a spectacular array of color, and your vantage point from the observation deck atop 10,378 foot Sandia Peak in the Cibola National Forest affords an 11,000 square-mile panoramic view of the Rio Grande Valley and the Land of Enchantment. Located on the eastern edge of Albuquerque in the Sandia Foothills at the end of Tramway Road.
World's longest passenger tramway Total Horizontal Length: 2.7 miles Total Vertical Rise: 3,819 feet Elevation of Lower Terminal: 6,559 feet Elevation of Tower One: 7,010 feet Elevation of Tower Two: 8,750 feet Elevation of Top Terminal: 10,378 feet Height of Tower One: 232 feet - leans at an 18 deg angle Height of Tower Two: 80 feet Hourly Capacity: 220 passengers at 4 trips per hour Average Number of Passengers Per Year: 275,000 Normal Speed: 12 mph or 20 feet per second Maximum Clear Span Between 7,720 feet or 1 1/2 miles Tower Two and Top Terminal: This is the 3rd longest clear span in the world. Number of Tramcars: Two Capacity of each: 55/50 with watertank Weight of each tramcar empty: 8,000 pounds Maximum Payload of each tramcar: 10,000 pounds Water Tank Capacity: 1,000 gallons New Tramcars Installed: May 17, 1986 for 20th Anniversary New Track Cables Installed: April, 1997 The tramway was manufactured by Bell Engineering, Lucerne, Switzerland in 1964-66 at a cost of 2 million dollars. It is a Double Reversible Jigback Aerial Tramway. Five thousand helicopter trips were made during construction of Tower 2 and cable installation. Track Ropes: 4 each with a diameter of 40mm or 1 5/8 inches Weight of Each: 52 tons 4 Track Cable Counterweights: 47 tons each (located at lower terminal) Depth of counterweight pit: 70 feet Haul Ropes: 1 haul rope and counter rope Diameter of Haul Ropes: 32mm or 1 1/4 inches each weighing 17 tons Main Power Unit: 600 HP DC Electric Winch Motor Auxiliary Drive: 250 HP Ford Gasoline Engine