Vietnam doesn’t have skiing. That fact makes it an unlikely candidate for the title of world ropeway capital. With multiple record-breaking gondolas operating and more under construction, that may soon change. In 2007, Poma built a spectacular installation over two miles of ocean called the Vinpearl Cable Car. The Hanoi-based Sun Group is behind many of Vietnam’s lift projects and is perhaps the Doppelmayr/Garaventa Group’s best customer. Sun Group operates the second longest mono-cable gondola, just commissioned the world’s longest 3S gondola and is currently building another 3S that’s a mile longer than the first one. Now they are building a huge aerial tramway and at least two more gondola lifts.
Vietnam’s first reversible aerial tramway under construction in Ha Long Bay will break two world records. The
Mystic Mountain Skyway Ha Long Queen Cable Car will link a new amusement park called Ha Long Ocean Park with one of the world’s largest observation wheels on a neighboring mountain across the bay. The $282 million project is a perfect site for an aerial tramway with two points needing to be connected but with natural obstacles in between. At the same time, the alignment is relatively short with moderate capacity needs.
Garaventa designed a jig-back tramway that will feature the largest-ever tram cars and world’s tallest lift tower. Since 2003, the former title belonged to the Vanoise Express, built by Poma to connect Les Arcs and La Plagne in the French Alps. Its double-stack cabins carry 200 passengers each. Mystic Mountain will have two 230-passenger cabins built by CWA with
just one level each two levels each. The second record is for the height of the towers. The world’s current tallest lift tower is 373 feet on an Austrian tramway. T1 in Ha Long Bay will crush that with a height of 617 feet and T2 will be 436 feet. Even with two very tall towers, the lift is only about 5,000 feet long and a far cry from the 26,000 foot gondola going up in South Vietnam which will have its own 400’+ towers over water.
The Mystic Mountain Skyway’s two concrete towers were recently finished by the Austrian contractor Gleitbau and its terminals are substantially complete. Ha Long Ocean Park is scheduled to open in late 2016. Thanks to Dominik K. for letting me know about this unique project.