Construction of London’s first urban cable car came a step closer to opening yesterday as all 34 cabins of the Emirates Air Line took off for their inaugural load testing ‘flight’.
The successful test follows last month’s completion of the Emirates Air Line’s three towers with cabling extended across the river. The cabins will travel across 1.1km of cable, gliding 90m above the Thames with weights representing the maximum number of passengers before the Emirates Air Line opens for passenger service in summer 2012.
The cable car will have the capacity to carry up to 2,500 people per hour in each direction – the equivalent of 30 buses per hour.
The London mayor’s office has secured £36M from Emirates to fund the connection which will create a direct link between the O2 and ExCeL, and an additional interchange between the Jubilee Line and Docklands Light Railway.
“The speed with which we have gone from designs to safety testing of the Emirates Air Line is a clear demonstration of London’s ability to deliver world class projects and attract major investment,” said London mayor Boris Johnson This new transport link is set to support my plans to transform east London into a vibrant new metropolitan quarter boasting new jobs, homes and enterprise.
Design, build and operating contractor Mace has been working alongside cable car specialist Doppelmayr to carry out the testing.