Engineering is our Passion, Safety is our Priority

At Finger Lakes Tram, beauty and reliability are second only to safety. Every element on the tram system is scrutinized and engineered for safety; from the initial install, to the daily operation, to the long term inspection and service of the system. Our #1 strategy for safety management is prevention. Our goal is to never have to use the safety systems, but if they are engaged, we have to make sure you can quickly and safely recover from any situation, and get back up and running as soon as possible.

Because we are dealing with cliffs and inclines, speed control is paramount. If a tram ever exceeds operating speed by 15%, a safety brake automatically secures the tram to a 3rd, independent stainless steel cable. However, we don’t stop there.
We also make sure that if the safety brake does engage, the tram is secured to the track without compromising any part of the system.

Over speed is the obvious focus, but there are many more elements comprising a safe tram system, from pinch point elimination, to electrical safe practices, to redundant operator controls. We have spent more engineering, design, and testing hours on safety than any other design element.

A few highlights of our safety strategy:

  • Electrical control design to ASME A.17 and National Electric Code standards; including SOOW and TFFN cable wire, NEMA 4 outdoor – all weather enclosures, and CE compliant components.
  • Security key switches: standard at upper station.
  • Wireless safety controls preventing motion if tram is switched off.
  • Distributed Load Safety Brake Shoe – Cam/Wedge design distributes brake load evenly across brake cable, eliminated concentrated stress load found on competing designs.
  • Dual cables on grooved hoist drum drive, able to carry over 20,000 lbs (15X rated max. load). Mechanical Nicopress® Crimping system to secure drive and safety cables.
  • Cable Slack Detection
  • Interlocking gate switches that inhibit station operation of tram if gates are open.
  • SkylockTM overspeed brake system.
  • Variable Speed Drive controlling 240V/3HP gear motor used to generate smooth accel and decel regardless of payload weight.
  • Dynamic external resistor to dissipate excess energy during downhill travel.
  • Motor brake that engages after gear motor has decelerated to a stop.
  • Overload monitoring. Tram controls will
    prevent motion if overloaded.
  • High strength aircraft aluminum used for rails, anodized brown to blend with surroundings.
  • Track secured to hillside using 2″ OD T5051 aluminum pipe, driven to refusal or to a depth of 42″.
  • Continuous hoist drum shaft.

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