Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Sandia Peak Tramway

Sunday afternoon was beautiful with sunny 65 degree weather. We decided it was a good day for doing the tram ride up the mountains. Sandia Peak Tramway is the world’s longest passenger tramway. It was manufactured by Bell Engineering of Switzerland and constructed between 1964-1966 at a cost of 2 million dollars.

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The total horizontal length is 2.7 miles and total vertical rise is 3,819 feet. At the start of the ride the elevation is 6,559 feet and when you arrive at the top the elevation is 10,378 feet. What a wonderful, beautiful ride that lasts about 14 minutes at a speed of  13.6 miles per hour.

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There are two towers like this one that the cables are attached to and the car rides on. The open span between the 2nd tower and the top is one mile, making it one of the longest spans in the world.

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This is the 600 HP DC electric motor and the wheels that make this tram run.

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This is how it looks as the tram leaves the platform and begins it’s ascent.

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As it goes up the view is amazing overlooking Albuquerque.

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The view as you pass over the 1st tower. The tram sways as it goes over the tower and at 7,010 feet it is a little scary.

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After passing over the 2nd tower the terrain changes from desert floor, over rocky canyons and lush forest, to the top. The distance of the ride provides a total of an 11,000 square mile view.

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And then you finally see the platform at the top. This includes 2 restaurants, a gift shop, and a ski area. Many skiers take the tram to the top but on the other side of the mountain is a ski area with many lifts.

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And when you get off---the view is unbelievable!

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The ski lift area on the other side of Sandia Peak.

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The temperature was a little different at the top but the sun was very warm.Sandia Tramway 143

After about an hour of taking pictures and watching the skiers we got back on another tram for our trip back down the mountain.

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We past another tram car on the way to the top as we were going down.

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And then we arrived safely at the bottom.

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