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ej kerr: you
seem to be saying that the Cable Car Trust must have
considered the effects of traffic flows diverting to avoid
the proposed moving road blocks. Their website shows that
they have thought about this: under the headline "Potential
Traffic Problems". They, however, wrongly see traffic
diverting up nearby streets as a solution to the problem and
don't acknowledge that this would create an additional
problem for the residents of those streets who are
unaccustomed to high volume traffic in their quiet
High Street carries about 4600 vehicles per day because that
is its purpose; that is what we paid for and what most
motorised travellers along High Street expect. For them this
is the most suitable route. The deliberate creation of
congestion on High Street amounts to vandalism, in my view.
The Cable Car Trust is very focused on achieving its vision,
and they don't seem to care if their playthings cause
problems to others.
Tui has genetic vocal memory of huia. We need a song
collector before it's too late.
If we just consider the tourist appeal of a cable car or
cableway system. Why not have a cableway up to the Signal
Hill Lookout leaving from the Stadium? There could be a
restaurant up on Signal Hill as well.
Cape Town has a very lucrative cable car business running up
to the top of Table Mountain. This could be a revenue
gathering venture by the company running the Stadium. At
least when we arrive at the top there would be a magnificent
view and pleasant surroundings.
The Mornington shopping area is hardly a tourist destination.
There could be a package deal for people attending events at
the Stadium too. We have all these magnificent
mountains/hills surrounding our city, but we don't utilise
them as other cities do.
I agree with all your comments, Autonomouse. I too would be
concerned about the long-term viability of this route even
though I applaud the sentiment to bring back some
cablecar/tramway system. It would be a shame to see yet
another project falter in this city.
A very good and useful route would be similar to Chch or
Melbourne trams by going along their main route, in our case
George St to the end, around the gardens then back down to
the uni/museum and down to the new museum/Chinese gardens
around to near Speight's and looping back around again to the
Octagon, and that's plenty to do and see for all.
This is good for shoppers, uni students and tourists.
The Chch trams paid for themselves in 10 years.
On a day like this for tuis in upper High St, with no cable
cars, just commuter congestion and low moans, "Singing in the
rain" for unfit pedestrians.
Well not to me. I wouldn't get a bus to town so its doubtful
I would get a cable car either. Shops that provide car
parking get my business or I buy over the internet. Everyone
else misses out.
Well, seeing as you guys don't like using High Street and
prefer McClaggan then why should the bring back the cable
car, you're absolutely right!!
However, I dont like McClaggan Street, so I think it should
go on High St. So there!
Honestly people, what sort of argument is that.
There's only one thing TO do, ej kerr. Sing "where little
cable cars reach halfway to the stars".
Like the idea of a cable car, just don't see any point in it
going to such a lacklustre destination (though appreciate the
historical significance of such a destination). If anything,
I'd like to see a Christchurch (pre earthquake of course)
style tram that traverses back & forwards between the
Oval and Botanical Garden via Princes and George Streets.
Leave George Street open to cars still but get rid of casual
parking (other than loading zones and the occassional 5m pick
up & drop off point).
Such an initiative would actually be deemed desirable to both
tourists and locals, as opposed to a tourism only/one off
local visitation focus
The DCCT people haven't given a thought to effects on High St
and surrounding roads, not for a second. San Francisco keeps
it tightly under the lid that the cable car routes grind the
city to an absolute halt each day. What to do?!
Couldn't agree more, I use both Maclaggan and Stafford
And again, I don't want to take away the noise, the wood or
any other historical part of the cable car. I'd only seek to
replace at least one of the two men with some form of
I hate using High St and haven't used it for 20 years. I
travel to Mornington weekly and will always get there via
Mclaggan St. If it indeed manages to go ahead, other traffic
can use this route also if they wish not to share with the
The dreamworld visions of the Cable Car Trust could turn into
a transport nightmare for vehicles using High Street if these
people get their way. Transforming High Street from a useful
arterial road into an all-day traffic jam is a serious
non-financial cost to the City. The degree of congestion for
motorised traffic that would be caused by this scheme would
normally justify spending millions of dollars of
taxpayer/ratepayer money to remedy. Instead it is proposed to
spend $22+ million to create congestion by building a cable
car system. The disruption caused if this goes ahead is large
scale vandalism in my view.
People who think this sounds like a good idea are probably
unaware of the probable ongoing funding needed from the DCC
and the disruption that would be inflicted on cars using High
The cable car visionaries should understand that Dunedin is
not an imaginary playground where they can put their toys
where they want; it is a place where real people need to get
to and from their real jobs using functioning roads. I don't
mind if they build it, but just keep it well-away from any
streets/roads/footpaths etc. Don't wreck the place - have
some respect for your city and the way it has evolved and
progressed over the years.
As one who rode the Kaikorai cable car from Highgate to
the stop near King Edward Tech for 3 years I can tell you
that cable cars are very very quiet. The cable noise alone
was also very low. Our over-protective society would not now
allow passengers to hang off the back of the cars like we
Having once been resident at Kelburn, I think MikeStk is on
to it. A real cable car is made of wood, with seating on the
outside, where passengers can leg it through tunnels. It
judders, goes bang and a bell rings. Hot metal comes from
hydraulic traction. The motorman can spray Old Spice (tm)
around for the pine etc smell.
It's not that hard to make a hydraulic ram do the same thing.
It's a shame you can't see how cool a marriage of modern
technology and history could be.
Another harebrained idea that in the end would require the
ratepayers to prop it up.
I think that if you make it fully automatic you're just
making a Disneyland ride, might as well just buy some of
those faux motorised cable cars that ply the streets of San
Francisco looking for tourists that can't be bothered waiting
in the long lines for the real thing. I don't think it's a
real cable car if it doesn't have the bangs and crashes, the
smell of oil and hot metal and pine smoke and sweat of the
Inventing an automatic grip is going to be difficult too -
things like chairlifts work by accelerating the chairs to
cable speed then applying the grip with no relative motion,
while a cable car needs to be able to slip the grip on the
cable as it incrementally picks up energy to accelerate the
car - I'm sure it's a learned art to do it smoothly.
I honestly don't think there's any practical energy to
recover from such a system other than using downwards cars as
counter weights for upwards ones, just like a lift, and
you're already doing that and getting it for free - certainly
not without an expensive amount of bespoke engineering - and
especially not because you lose any energy gain from car
There are couple of extra issues the city will have to
consider - San Francisco has an ongoing problem with the
noise that the cable makes, especially late at night - the
people living next to it don't like it. It probably helps
that High St doesn't have a lot of corners. Sharing the road
is also an issue - will buses and cable cars be able to share
It can still be both, commuter and tourist attraction. Hide
the technology and the tourists will never know, or care for
that matter. I know I wouldn't care whether it's a man with a
big lever or a pneumatic switch locking it on to the cable.
The cable car could still have ancillary power, for lights
and so it could lock on to and disconnect from the cable
without two men to run it, or any. It could be run by a guy
in the control room. If that makes it a tram then so be it,
but it would still be being pulled up the hill by a cable,
not by turning its wheels on the track, like a tram.
Furthermore if it's connected to the constant speed cable on
the way down the hill it becomes regenerative. None of that
is hard to engineer, it's just up to the imagination to
decide how good this could be. It's still a blank slate, and
if cost is a factor technology makes things cheaper.
Gregglles - I have a
better idea, and it is already built. I propose that High
Street is left as it is, as a useful part of the City's
transport infrastructure. Thanks to the DCC, High Street very
effectively helps thousands of people each day to go about
There were good reasons why the horse-and-cart was superseded
by motorized transport; and there were good reasons why the
cable cars were superseded by buses. These reasons are still
valid today and would be obvious to any passenger at the
bottom of High Street deciding between a bus and a cable car.
If the Cable Car Trust really believes that it will not need
ratepayers' money, then it needs to tell prospective donors
how it will fund its annual operating losses. The Trust
Chairman has recognized this as a problem when he said
23/12/11) - "We are realistic in that it is not just a
question of getting it built; it is a question of keeping it
funded after it is built."
It would be a cruel trick to accept $22 million from
well-intentioned organizations and individuals, and then have
the trust go bankrupt after the first 6 months of operation
because no one thought to check if the project was
financially viable. [abridged]
If the cars are self-powered and brake against a static cable
in the ground (or anything) I believe you are building a
tram, not a cable car.
As I've said earlier in this discussion I do support this
initiative, especially if it's built as a traditional cable
car for tourist trade. I think Dunedin needs more tourist
attractions, and we should build them before we build new
hotels, not after - but I do definitely believe the city
should not put any money into this project, the rugby stadium
has come close to bankrupting us and the city has dig itself
out of that hole before we spend up big on anything else.
Mostly though I've been at a loss as to how regenerative
braking could work on a traditional cable car - frankly it's
still a mystery.
...if you've got a better idea get if built. If you don't
support a privately funded idea like this one then argue that
the council mandate that it never gets public funds.
And, it doesn't need to be a replica. You can power the cars
and you can make it brake on the cable. A modern engineered
interpretation would of the the historical car would be
awesome and still attract a few tourists and heaps of
commuters including me.
Gregglles: sure you can possibly get some small amount of
energy back if more cars are going down than up, or maybe
just use a little less - but that's actually a much more
difficult engineering thing to do than true regenerative
braking, and honestly not much real difference from a bus
going down the hill with the clutch pushed in.
The cable in a cable car system never brakes - it always runs
at a fixed speed - cars hop on and off the cable when they
need to move and brake (a bit like a high speed chair lift) -
when they're braking they should not be not connected to the
cable at all and have no way to return that energy to the
An electric engine does not run backwards when electromagnet
braking. The current in the battery goes the other way, but
that's because the engine is being turned by the motion of
the vehicle, rather than the magnetic field.
It doesn't matter how you go about it, if you've got three
cars going down the hill you're going to be
electomagnetically braking the cable. If you've got three
cars going up the hill then they'll turn around and go back
down. That's regenerative. It's about energy, not balanced
Gregglles: a cable car doesn't have a motor it can run
backwards when it brakes - sure there is a motor driving the
cable, but it's shared by all the cars, because they share
the road with other traffic they need to be able to let go of
the cable and brake independently of each other to avoid
A traditional cable car is going to be less efficient than a
bus simply because it takes two people to operate - a gripman
and a brakeman - imagine that you have to make hill starts by
pulling a really tough lever with all your strength (rather
than hitting the accelerator) while at the same time easing
off on the handbrake - no power in the car so no vacuum
assist here for braking etc. So for a traditional cable car,
what I assume we're building to attract tourists, it takes
two people to operate it.
To break even the usage rate will have to be higher than for
buses - and only locals living within walking distance of the
line will be using it regularly - the Exchange is sadly not
the hub it used to be - I think this means it will live or
die financially depending on whether it can get the tourists.
Such was once the legend on park benches, I've no idea what
it meant. Just wanted to say your opening riposte is a model
answer to the ad hominem.
1/ Tall poppy syndrome - if you've got a better idea get it
built, don't whine about what someone else is doing.
2/ Regeneration - they're not building a replica. Besides
anyway a cable car will be much more efficient than empty
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