Abstract

Aerial tramways are of value where no other means of transportation is possible and also in competition with other methods of transportation. The difficulties of an engineering nature are easily overcome. The advantages over other methods are independence of weather conditions, independence of ground conditions such as crossing streams, roads, ravines, and mountains, thus avoiding expensive tunneling or trestle work, and the easy protection of property by guard screens over railroads, highways, and buildings. With aerial tramways, the length and capacity are unlimited from an engineering standpoint. Tramways have been built up to 54 miles. An extremely long tramway can be built in several sections. There are tramways with a capacity up to 300 tons per hour in successful operation. Extreme length and capacity are sometimes limited from a commercial standpoint, where long railroad hauls are more economical. In the handling of material a small amount of labor is required. A tramway of 200 tons per hour can be operated by one man and a helper, with no rehandling of material. The aerial tramway is applicable for large construction jobs. There is a 220-tons-per-hour tramway for dam construction running 24 hours per day. Among tramways of special design are the tramway at Alabaster, Mich., which carries 300 tons per hour of gypsum rock from a shore bin to a lake dock 6600 ft. out; a tramway at Gerlach, Nev., which carries 100 tons per hour of gypsum rock 5¼ miles to a discharge terminal with the special feature of discharging into a bin or of forming a big stock pile outside of the station. Passenger tramways have not been built in this country to any extent on account of the opposition to this means of transportation.

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