Tram – Roosevelt Island, NY

This aerial tramway operates as part of the New York City public transportation network.
Poma replaced the 1976 VonRoll tram with a dual haul version in 2010.
Sigma cabin with unique carrier.
Poma operator controls in the North cabin.
Tower 3.
Tower 2.
South cabin and tower 1.
Arriving on Roosevelt Island.
Loading area with platform doors.
The drive station.
Lower terminal on Roosevelt Island.
Track and haul ropes for the north line.
Cabin passing tower 1.
The VonRoll lattice towers were re-used with new crossarms added.
Return station along 59th Street.
Tramway Plaza.
Another view of tower 3.
Passing over the East River.
A tramway cabin.
Because this system is dual haul, the cabins pass at different places each trip.
Both the North and South carriers for 110 passengers.
T1 on Roosevelt Island.
Side view of tower saddles.
Tower 2 saddles.

8 thoughts on “Tram – Roosevelt Island, NY

  1. snowbasinlocal12894 September 23, 2018 / 9:02 pm

    What do you mean a dual haul. And why do the cabins do a fly by at diffrent times?


    • Collin September 23, 2018 / 10:10 pm

      Most trams, including Big Red at Jackson Hole have a single haulrope loop, so both cabins must move at the same time and always pass each other exactly halfway through the line. This lift has two separate drives and haulropes, so each side can operate independently. When both sides are running, they will initiate the trip as soon as loading is complete rather than needing to wait for both sides to be ready. This setup is only possible on lifts with little to no vertical like this one because there isn’t a second cabin acting as a counterweight. Imagine how hard the motor would have to work to haul a fully loaded cabin Jackson Hole without a second cabin to balance things out.

      They went with the dual haul system on this tram because of how difficult it is to evacuate over the East River. The old tram stranded passengers during a power outage in 2006 and they were stuck overnight. With the dual haul system, they can use one tram to evacuate the other with no need for expensive evacuation systems that will likely never be needed.

      Liked by 1 person

      • snowbasinlocal12894 September 24, 2018 / 3:43 pm

        Did the old tram have a diesel evac drive? They could of used that to evacuate the old tram. I know there is another tram in europe that has a dual haul system.


      • V12Tommy April 24, 2022 / 4:17 pm

        I wouldn’t say it is only possible on flat terrain. All funifor installations are dual haul. (there is at least one that only has 1 side installed currently, and I assume the second side will be installed once more capacity is required) They go up steep inclines all the time. Having the other cabin as a counterweight I think is more energy efficient, although if the the installation is connected to the grid, the descending cabin can generate power and feed it back into the grid, so it probably isn’t too big of a difference in energy consumption.


  2. Mike N September 25, 2018 / 7:54 am

    Nice you visited Roosevelt Island! So is this the United State’s first urban tramway??


    • Collin September 25, 2018 / 8:57 am

      I don’t know if it was the first urban tram in the US, but the original VonRoll tram opened in 1976 as a temporary solution to repeated delays in the construction of a subway line that would serve Roosevelt Island. The tram became so popular as a tourist attraction that even when the subway line finally opened in 1989, they kept the tram.

      In 2010, the original VonRoll system was becoming unreliable since it had very high hours as urban lifts run much more than ski lifts. Instead of taking that opportunity to finally put the once temporary transportation solution to rest, they completely replaced it with the Leitner-Poma tram.


  3. Phoenix February 15, 2020 / 9:38 pm

    Anyone know why they dropped the capacity from 125 to 110 when they rebuilt?


    • milanyvr March 14, 2020 / 2:40 pm

      I think because of the line speed boost.


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