Doppelmayr / Garaventa: Iconic funicular in Hong Kong undergoes complete overhaul
The official reopening of the Peak Tram, which has been fully modernized by Garaventa, was held on August 27. The new tramcars in Hong Kong are equipped with cutting-edge technology.
Hong Kong’s Peak Tram first went into service in 1888. In the over 130 years it has been operating, the funicular railway has successfully evolved from an essential means of transport to become one of Hong Kong’s most popular tourist attractions. The Peak Tram carried more than six million passengers a year before the pandemic. In the past, however, the popularity of this funicular resulted in long waiting times due to the limited space available in the cars. For this reason, Peak Tramways Company Limited took the decision to implement a comprehensive modernization project in collaboration with Garaventa. The rebuild work started at the end of 2018. Since August 2022, the sixth generation of the Peak Tram has undergone a spectacular new transformation.
Waiting times are a thing of the past
The new tramcars, which were manufactured at CWA in Olten, now provide room for 210 rather than the previous 120 passengers. As a consequence, transport capacity has been increased by 75 percent, leading to a reduction in waiting times in the stations of over 70 percent. The new tramcars are longer, which made it necessary to upgrade the entire ropeway technology. The specialists at Garaventa AG have replaced the entire haulage and control system. Track foundations and bridge structures were reinforced by the customer. The passing loops were also extended due to the relocation of the lower terminal at a higher elevation.
Unique double-winch system
The drive for the Peak Tram is provided by a double-winch system. In jig-back operation, the winch simultaneously winds up one rope and unwinds the other. The winch has a drum diameter of five meters and the brake disk has an outer diameter of 6.2 meters. The total weight of this component is 85 tons. The winch is equipped with eight brake calipers. The rope diameter is 50.5 millimeters. During the installation work, bringing the entire winch drive into the machinery room posed a major challenge as it involved using an opening in the ceiling that measured just 2.8 x 3.5 meters.
In addition to the upgrade of the entire ropeway technology, the stations were also the subject of comprehensive modernization which included the construction of a new lower terminal. For passengers with baby strollers or wheelchairs, barrier-free access was provided. A covered and temperature-controlled waiting area in the lower terminal for up to 1,300 people gives visitors a comfortable and convenient start to their trip.
210-FUL Peak Tram, Hong Kong
Customer: Peak Tramways Company Ltd.
Inclined length: 1,277 m
Vertical rise: 358 m
Capacity: 1,576 passengers per hour
Operating Speed: 6.0 m/s