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$B 33 311 



Bleichert System 


Aerial Tramways 


Aerial Tramways of Special Design 



Trenton, New Jersey, U. S. A. 

Manufacturers and Sole Licensees in America under the Bleichert Patents 

1 9 9 ; ' 

V ,\ 

Copyright, Trenton Iron Co., 1897, 1900, 1902 and 1909 

• • • • r ! 


Length of line, 13,300 feet. Hourly capacity, 12 tons. 

Bleichert Tramway of the Eureka Slate Co., Slatington, Cal. 
View of 2,400-foot span across the American River Canyon. 

The Bleichert System of 
Aerial Tramways 

THE Bleichert System of aerial tramways is one whereby the 
material is carried in receptacles suspended from carriages 
on stationary track cables of special construction, supported at vary- 
ing elevations above the ground. The carriers move in a continuous 
circuit, at definite intervals, determined by the individual loads and 
the amount of material to be transported in a given time, and at 
distances apart varying in accordance with the speed; the loaded 
carriers traveling along a line of cable graduated in size to the weight 
it has to support, and the empties returning along a lighter line of 
cable parallel with the loaded line. Motion is imparted to the car- 
riers by means of a comparatively light endless wire rope, of the 
ordinary or Lang lay, commonly known as the traction rope, to 
which the carriers are gripped. The Bleichert System belongs to 
that class of aerial tramways known to many as the "Double-rope," 
in contradistinction to the ''Single-rope" class, wherein one rope 
performs both the functions of support and propulsion. 

The Bleichert System is especially adapted to the transportation 
of ores, coal, crushed stone, slate, clay, sand, and all kinds of raw 
materials. It is also well adapted to the conveyance of fruits, cereals 
and other plantation produce, cordwood and sawmill products, 
manufacturers' supplies, refuse, materials in process of manufacture, 
merchandise of all kinds, and particularly products requiring careful 
manipulation, such as explosives, liquids, glassware, and, in fact, all 
materials that admit of being carried in moderate loads. 

The materials are carried in bee lines, directly from the loading 
stations to the places of delivery, without rehandling, at costs per^ 
mile varying from 2 cents to 5 cents per ton. 

6 •*.•'..*••*'':'. 'AkRIAL TRAMWAYS 

The Bleichert System is especially adapted to mountainous local- 
ities, and is recommended for heavy service. The ruggedness of 
contour, steepness of grades, and width of valleys or rivers, are no 
bar to the successful operation of such a line. The costly grading of 
circuitous routes, and the building of expensive bridges or viaducts, 
requisite in the construction of mountain railways, are entirely 
avoided. In fact, a Bleichert tramway often affords a means of 
communication with points inaccessible by any kind of a surface 

More than 2,000 lines have been built, aggregating over 1,300 
miles in length, and about 160 million tons annual capacity. One 
line, carrying 40 tons hourly of ore a distance of 21 miles, the longest 
aerial tramway ever built, has a vertical descent of 11,600 feet. 
Spans occur in this line exceeding half a mile in the clear. 

Even in cases where the ground favors the construction of a rail- 
way, a Bleichert tramway will often be found the more economical 
installation, owing to the additional cost of loading and unloading 
the railway cars, due to the fact that such cars cannot be brought 
close to the places where the material is obtained or delivered, and 
this additional cost may exceed the entire cost of operating a 
Bleichert tramway. 

Every detail has been thoroughly worked out to meet the varying 
conditions incident to the construction and operation of our Bleichert 
installations, and particular attention is invited in the following pages 
to our Patent Locked-Coil Track Cable and our Patent Com- 
pression Grips^ the merits of which have contributed more than 
anything else to the economy, durability and superior efficiency of the 
Bleichert System. 


THE Track Cables used exclusively in the aerial tramways built 
by The Trenton Iron Company, known as the patent locked- 
coil cables, are so named from the fact that the outer wires, which are 
drawn to^hape, interlock one with the other, as illustrated in Fig. i. 

Patent Locked-Coil Track Cable. 

The smooth surface of this cable results in a uniform distribution 
of wear, not obtained in any other kind of cable, which adds to the 
life not only of the cable itself, but also of the carriage wheels that 
traverse it. No other track cables made can compare with the patent 
locked-coil cable in durability. This cable is made in lengths varying 
from 800 to 1,500 feet, and owing to its peculiar construction is quite 
stiff, but sufficiently flexible to be shipped in coils from 5 feet to 
6 feet in diameter. 

Wire cable of the ordinary construction, composed of round wire 
strands, laid about a hemp or wire strand core, is not at all adapted 
to the purpose, on account of the rapid wearing out and fracturing 
of the comparatively small wires under the constant traction of the 
carriage wheels. The special forms of cables with approximately 
cylindrical surfaces, composed of strands made of round wires 
wrapped about triangular or other shaped core wires, are little 
better. In the effort to obtain from such cables a reasonable service, 


larger sizes have been used than actually required as far as strength 
is concerned, but these large cables are cumbersome, and experience 
has shown that the additional service obtained is hardly commen- 
surate with the difference in cost, nor anything like equal to the 

Fig. 2. Ordinary Wire Cable after 4 months' service as a Track Cable. 

Fig. 3. Patent Locked-Coil Track Cable (iJ4 inch diam.), from the Highland 

Boy Tramway, Bingham, Utah, after earring two million tons of ore 

in a period of 6 years. (From photographs.) 

service obtained from the smaller sizes of the patent locked-coil 
cables. With the patent locked-coil cable, in event of any of the 
outer wires breaking — which rarely happens until after years of 
service — the ends of the wires do not protrude and result in a ragged 
surface of tangled wires as with the ordinary or special forms of 
cables referred to, but always present a smooth surface. 

The superintendent of a concern operating a Bleichert tramway, 
after having tried various kinds of track cables, writes as follows : 

"Your patent locked-coil cables have unquestionably given us better service 
than any of the different designs we have tried so far. As a matter of busi- 
ness courtesy we would not care to specify the different types of cables we 
have tried for carrying cables. We believe it is quite sufficient to state that 
for our purpose, and based on our experience, the locked-coil cable is the best, 
and we are so far satisfied of this fact that we shall make no further 
experiments along this line." 

When a lower-priced equipment is desired, and the conditions 
are favorable, we offer what is known as the smooth-coil cable, illus- 


trated in Fig. 4. This cable is composed simply of a number of com- 
paratively large round wires coiled in concentric layers about a core 
wire, the number of layers and size of the wires varying according 
to the size of the cable, which is in reality simply a large strand, the 
surface of which, when new, resembles that of a spirally-fluted cylin- 
der, and when worn approximates that of a smooth round bar. The 
smooth-coil cable is more durable than the track cables offered by 
other makers at the same price, made of smaller wires, and barring 

Fig. 4. Smooth-Coil Track Cable. 

the patent locked-coil cable, is unsurpassed as a track cable in its 
wearing qualifications. 

Track Cable Oiler. — We manufacture a special carrier, illus- 
trated in Fig. 18, for coating the track cables with oil, or with any 
standard cable coating sufficiently fluid to pass through the pump. 
The oil or standard compound is carried in a cylindrical tank, to 
which is attached a small rotary pump, driven from the carriage 
wheels by a belt and gears, that forces the material up through a 
small pipe to the cable at a point just under the middle of the 

Couplings. — Particular attention is invited to the facility with 
which the patent locked-coil and the smooth-coil track cables can 
be installed, renewed, or extended from time to time as occasion 
may require, owing to the comparatively short lengths, varying, as 
already stated, from 800 to 1,500 feet, which are joined by patented 
steel couplings, illustrated in Fig. 5. Each coupling consists of 


three pieces, two taper sockets of nickel steel which are attached, by 
means of a press, specially designed for the purpose, illustrated in 

Fig 5. Patent Coupling. 

Fig. 6, to the respective ends of the cables to be joined, and a 
central plug, which has a right and left hand thread corresponding 
to the threads in the coupling sockets. 

By inserting the plug and turning it, the sockets are drawn to- 
gether against the central collar of the plug, forming a perfectly 

Fig. 6. Press for attaching Coupling Sockets to Track Cables. 

secure and serviceable joint possessing the same tensile strength 
as the cables, and offering no obstruction to the free passage over 
them of the carriages from which the buckets are suspended. This 
not only facilitates the handling of the cables, but if at any time 
any one section or portion of a section becomes worn in service, 
or is in any way injured, the worn place — whether it be a few feet 
or more — can be cut out, and a new piece of cable of the required 
length inserted by means of the couplings. An opportunity is thus 
afforded of renewing the cable as occasion requires, which cannot 


be done with cables made of twisted strands, since the spHces that 
would have to be made do not give good results, and the operation 
of making such a splice is generally a very difficult and expensive 

Advantages of Stationary Track Cables. — The track cables 
are graduated to the loads and pressure they have to sustain, and, 
being stationary, possess the great advantage of relieving the trac- 
tion rope of the weight of the loads, so that on comparatively level 
lines the tension upon the traction rope is but little more than the 
tractive force required to move the loads. Upon slopes, however, 
the weight of the loads is shared, to a certain extent, by both the 
track cable and traction rope, the amount borne by each depending 
on the inclination ; the steeper the inclination the greater the weight 
on the traction rope and the less on the track cable, and vice versa. 
The stress upon the track cable, however, varies little with differ- 
ences in the inclinations, since it is weighted to a maximum safe 
tension so that such differences result only in corresponding varia- 
tions in the deflections, but the stress upon the traction rope will 
depend on the slope, and it is important, therefore, in estimating 
upon any line, to know what the grades are. A further advantage 
derived from the use of stationary track cables is the decreased wear 
and tear due to the high tension to which these are stretched, thus 
securing to the loads a comparatively direct path; in other words, 
they are subject to less fluctuations of rise and fall, or wave motion, 
than in single rope lines, since, in the latter, the deflections for 
similar loads must necessarily be greater to correspond with a prac- 
tical safe working tension, and the double duty the rope has to per- 
form of supporting and moving the loads. For this reason, also, and 
owing to the greater strength of the track cables, the Bleichert 
System is adapted to the transportation of much heavier loads than 
is practicable in any kind of single- rope tramway. 

The curves of the track cables are carefully plotted to the con- 
tour of the ground for a safe working tension, and the heights of 
the supports determined accordingly. For this purpose a profile 
of the ground made from an accurate survey is required in any 






case. The cables, however, when the line is erected, are actually 
stretched to a somewhat lower tension, so that there may be no 
possibility of their lifting out of the saddles upon which they rest. 
Transporting Track Cables Over Mountain Trails. — Track 
cables that have to be transported over mountain trails are gen- 
erally cut in lengths of 500 to 800 feet, which are most conveniently 
carried on the shoulders of men, as shown in the picture on the 
opposite page. 

Loading Terminal, Bleichert Tramway of the United States Mining Company, 

Bingham, Utah. Showing Detacher and Loaded Carrier in 

position for attaching to the Traction Rope. 


THE traction rope is made of six strands coiled about a hemp 
core in the usual way, each strand being- composed of selected 
steel wires, varying in number and grade according to the size of 
the rope and the duty it has to perform. Our lines are generally 
equipped with the style of rope illustrated in Fig. 7, commonly 
known as the "Lang-lay." The peculiarity- of this rope is that the 
strands and the wires of which they are composed are both twisted 
in the same relative direction, whereas in the ordinary rope they are 
twisted reversely one to the Qther. In the Lang-lay rope the wires 
of one strand are approximately parallel with the wires in the ad- 
joining strands, which renders it somewhat more flexible than 
ordinary wire rope of the same diameter and the same size of wires. 
The chief advantage, however, is due to the diagonal lay of the 

Fig. 7. Lang-Lay Traction Rope as it appeared after having transported over 

660,000 tons of ore. 

exposed surfaces of the wires with respect to the axis of the rope, 
which makes the surface contact with any particular wire much 
greater than in ropes of the ordinary lay, in which the exposed 
wires are parallel with the axis, and the wires of one strand cross 
those of the adjoining strands at nearly right angles. 

The above illustration is from a photograph of a piece of a 
%-inch rope taken from the Highland Boy tramway of the Utah 
Consolidated Mining Co., after it had been in constant service 4 
years and 9 months; during which time 661,125 tons of ore were 
transported. With the rope replacing this over a million tons of 
ore was transported. 



The following from the general manager of the Camp Bird 
Ltd., Ouray, Col., relates to a ^^-inch cast steel traction rope of the 
Lang-lay : 

"We are to-day changing the traction rope on our tramway, and it may 
interest you to know that this rope was installed November 8, 1898, has been 
in constant use until January 25, 1905, and during that period 387,050 tons 
of ore have been conveyed from the mine to the mills, a distance of about 
8,800 feet. We have no accurate record of the tonnage delivered back from 
mills to mine, but it is approximately 8,000 tons." 

Traction Rope Coating Device. — The traction rope should be 
coated occasionally with some 
standard cable coating, espe- 
cially in cases where the line 
remains idle at times, to pro- 
tect it from rust. 

A convenient device for 
coating or varnishing the trac- 
tion rope is illustrated in Fig. 
8. This consists of a U-shaped 
receptacle containing the oil 
or coating, which is suspended 
near one of the terminal guide 
sheaves. The rope passes over 
a small roller in this recep- 
tacle, which in revolving 
slushes it with the coating ma- 
terial, and then between some 
brushes that wipe off the drip. 

Transporting Traction Rope Over Mountain Trails. — With 
equipments that have to be packed over mountain trails on the 
backs of mules, the traction rope is put up in coils weighing about 
150 pounds each, which are arranged in pairs so as to be con- 
veniently carried astride the animals' backs, leaving a space between 
each pair of coils of about 25 feet. In this manner a very long rope 
can be carried unbroken over a narrow trail by a train of mules, as 
shown in the accompanying picture. 

Fig. 8. 

Coating Device 

for Traction 








THE ordinary carrier, such as used for transporting ore and 
like material, illustrated in Fig. 9, consists of a carriage that 
traverses the track cables, from which is pivoted in suspension a 
hanger that supports a bucket or other receptacle, and above which is 
a grip by means of which attachment to the traction rope is effected. 
The carriers move in a continuous circuit at definite intervals, 
the loaded carriers traveling along one line of track cable, and the 
empties returning by the companion cable, which in the ordinary 
constructions is parallel with the loaded line, as already stated. 
When the carriers arrive at either terminal, or other loading or 
discharge stations, the grips detach automatically and the carriages 
are shunted to overhead rails, supported by the structure of the 
station, and by means of which they are conveyed to the various 
points of loading or discharge as the case may be. 

Carriages. — The carriages each consist of two steel side plates, 
between which are mounted two cast steel wheels, fitted with phos- 
phor-bronze pins, so designed that as the upper surfaces become 
worn, they can be turned around underside up. The hanger pins 
are made of the best machinery steel. 

Grips. — The Webber Patent Compression Grip with which the 
ordinary carriers are equipped can be used on the steepest grades. 
With this grip no buttons, lugs or knots of any kind are required 
on the traction rope, and the troubles incident to the slipping of 
such contrivances are entirely avoided. A great economy is also 
effected in the life of the rope, owing to the fact that the zvear is 
not confined to certain spots, but is distributed over the entire rope. 
The gripping of the traction rope is also effected with certainty, and 
automatically, by means of a patented device shown in Fig. p, the 
operation of which is such that the jazvs take hold of the rope zvith- 
out the slightest jerk as the carrier is pushed out from the station. 


The wearing parts are all of cast steel. This grip has given such 
universal satisfaction that it has entirely superseded the old friction 
and lug grips formerly used. 

At angle and terminal stations, where the buckets are not dis- 
charged, but merely have to pass around the sheaves, it is reason- 
able to look for an economy of labor in the passage of the carriers 
without detaching from the traction rope. This is more especially 
the case with lines equipped with self-dumping buckets, such as 
illustrated in Figs. 13 and 14, page 20, which are discharged at 
various points along the line. With the ordinary carrier equipped 
with an underhung grip attached to the hanger between the carriage 
and the bucket, it is obvious that this is impossible, not necessarily 
because the grip must come in contact with the flanges of the 
sheaves, but because on the angle side of the bend the hangers 
would come between the rope and the sheaves, which would be 
objectionable, to say the least, if not altogether in feasible. This 
difficulty is readily overcome by running the traction rope just 
above the track cables, and making the grip an integral part of the 
carriage mechanism, as in Figs. 10 and 11. 

The construction of the Bleichert Patent Automatic Overhead 
Grip illustrated in Fig. 10 is such that the weight of the carrier 
acts as the gripping force, which varies with the inclination of the 
cable, but this construction possesses the advantage of being inde- 
pendent of any nice adjustment of the grip jaws, so that the grip 
automatically accommodates itself to irregularities in the wear of 
the traction rope. 

The overhead grip illustrated in Figs. 13 and 14, page 20, is 
similar in its action to the Webber grip, the bite of the jaws being 
self -locking under a positive invariable pressure, determined by 
adjusting screws. 

It is not practicable, however, to run the traction rope above the 
track cables in cases where the line crosses mountain ridges, or 
other points where sharp vertical angles or sudden changes of grade 
occur, owing to the downward pressure of the rope which would 
throw the empty carriers out of plumb. The Bleichert Patent Auto- 



^<::s 'i^' 

Fig. 9. Carrier, with Webber Patent 

Compression Grip, showing Patent 

Automatic Attacher. 

Fig. ID. Carrier, with Bleichert Pat- 
ent Automatic Overhead Grip. 

Fig. II. Bale Carrier, with Overhead 

Fig. 12. Carrier, with Bleichert Pat- 
ent Automatic Underhung Grip. 




Fig. 15. Platform Carrier, for bar- 
rels, boxes, etc. 

Fig. 16. Cordwood Carrier. 

Fig. 17. Banana Carrier. Fig. 18. Track-Cable Oiler. 


Fig. 19. Log Carrier. 

Fig. 20. Liquid Carrier. 

Fig. 21. Carrier, with Self -Dumping 

and Self-Righting Bucket, for 

Reversible Tramways. 



matic Underhung Grip illustrated in Fig 12 may be used in such 
cases. This grip is similar in its action to the Bleichert Overhead 
Grip illustrated in Fig. 10 — the gripping force being exerted by the 

Fig. 22. Self-Dumping Buckets, showing Tripper and Cable Hold-Down 
Frame, on line of the Colorado Fuel and Iron Co., Sopris, Col. 

weight of the carrier — and possesses the same advantage in not 
requiring any adjustment of the jaws to the wear of the traction 
rope. Since the grip forms an integral part of the carriage, it 


also possesses the advantage of accommodating itself to varying 
inclinations of the cable, without pulling the bucket out of plumb, 
as it does with an underhung grip attached to the hanger. 

Receptacles. — The ordinary buckets and other receptacles are 
shown in the illustrations. Self-dumping buckets are furnished 
when required, which may be both self-dumping and self-righting, 
as illustrated in Fig. 21, page 22, or simply self-dumping as illus- 
trated in Figs. 13 and 14, page 20. The latter, which are somewhat 
lighter and cheaper than the self-righting buckets, are generally 
used, since it requires little or no effort on the part of the operator 
in loading to right and latch the bucket. Self-righting buckets are 
only required in cases where the construction is such that it is 
inconvenient for the operator to attend to both righting and loading 
the buckets, or where the empty bucket in returning enters the 
loading station close to the ground or floor, and there would be 
insufficient clearance for the ordinary bucket to come in as it does 
upside down. In either case the latch that secures the bucket is 
disengaged at the desired point of dumping by a specially designed 
tripping bar attached to the track cable or station rail as the case 
may be, the bucket being so hung that it instantly turns over and 
discharges its contents. In dumping along the line at a high eleva- 
tion between supports at a considerable distance apart, this tripping 
bar is generally attached to a frame, guyed to the ground by wire 
ropes, in order to prevent the rebounding of the cable in dumping 
and consequent possibility of the carrier being thrown off. This 
construction is shown in Fig. 22. Special receptacles are made to 
suit the material to be carried, a few of which are illustrated on 
pages 19 to 22 inclusive. 


THE supports may be of wood or steel, as preferred, and the 
accompanying views, Figs. 23, 25, and 26, show the ordinary 
constructions of wooden supports. Other designs, however, are 
made to correspond with the weight they have to sustain and to meet 
the special conditions involved, as shown in the views on pages 26 
and 28. 

Fig. 2^. Support on line of The Nevada Gypsum Co., Mound House, Nev. 



Fig. 24. Steel Support, 100 feet 

high, on line of the Carbon 

Coal and Coke Co., 

Trinidad, Col. 

Fig. 25. Support 90 feet high on line 

of The Yampa Smelting Co., 

Bingham, Utah. 

The spacing of the supports is governed by the contour of the 
ground and the capacity of the line. Over level ground the dis- 
tance apart will vary from 200 to 300 feet. In mountainous locali- 
ties where the contour is rugged (see profile sheet at back of book), 
the distances between the supports will vary greatly, being closer on 
the ridges and wider apart in the valleys. 

Trestles. — Where much of a vertical angle occurs in passing 



over a ridge or bluff, structures are erected, consisting of a series 
of bents, from 15 to 20 feet apart, that usually support lines of 
rails overlaying the track cables, although where the traffic is light. 

Fig. 26. Support on line of The Eureka Slate Co., Slatington, Cal. 

ordinary saddles are sometimes used in place of the rails. The 
rails, which are the same as used at the terminal and other stations, 
relieve the cables of the undue wear to which they would otherwise 


be subjected. A structure of this kind in the line of the San Toy 
Mining Co. is illustrated on the opposite page. 

Fig. 27. Side Hill Support on line of the Old Hundred Mining Co., 
Howardsville, Col. 

Long Spans. — In crossing ravines, valleys and rivers, on the other 
hand, spans have been made exceeding half a mile in the clear. 
The frontispiece shows a 2,400-foot span across the American 
River Canyon, in the line of the Eureka Slate Co., Slatington, Cali- 
fornia. Spans over 1,000 feet are common. Long spans are not 



Length of line, 1,300 feet. 

Hourly capacity, 30 tons. 

Bleichert Tramway, with Self-Dumping Buckets. St. Louis Rocky 
Mountain & Pacific Co., Koehler, New Mexico. 

Length of line, 20,800 feet. 

Bleichert Tramway Rail Station. 

Chihuahua, Mexico. 

Hourly capacity, 50 tons. 

San Toy Mining Co., 



objectionable provided the loads are not so great as to produce too 
sharp an angle at either support. Special saddles known as "protec- 
tion saddles'' are used on such supports (illustrated in Fig. 28). 
These saddles are provided with hinged steel hoods, that cover a 
certain portion of the cable on both sides of the siaddle, and protect 
it from undue wear. They are also used on supports where there 
may occur occasionally, with certain positions of the carriers, such a 
tension as to cause the cables to lift out of the saddle grooves. 

Fig. 28. Protection Saddle. 

Tension Stations. — In lines of considerable length it is neces- 
sary to apply tension to the track cables at intermediate points on 
account of the saddle friction. Special structures known as "ten- 
sion stations'' are erected for this purpose, at which the track cables 
are parted, the ends of which are either rigidly anchored or coun- 
terweighted. The carriers pass from one section of cable to the 
next by means of intervening rails, such as used at the terminal 
and other stations, without being detached from the traction rope, 
so that no interruption occurs in the continuity of the track, and 
the so-called station therefore is in reality only a special type of 
support. The cable ends of each section may be anchored, or one 
section may be anchored and the other counterweighted, or both 
sections may be counterweighted, according to the exigencies of 
the location, and such stations therefore are respectively designated 
as double anchorage, anchorage tension, and double tension stations. 
The views of anchorage tension stations on the opposite page illus- 
trate the ordinary timber and steel constructions. 



Fig. 29. Tension Station. Steel Structure. 

Fig. 30. Tension Station. Timber Structure. 



Guard Net on line of The Farnam-Cheshire Lime Co., Cheshire, Mass. 

Guard Net on line of The Solvay Process Co., Solvay, N. Y. 



Guard Nets and Bridges. — In crossing public highways or rail- 
roads, where it is desired to guard against the risk of accident from 
the premature discharge of a bucket or other cause, wire nets are 
usually suspended between supports on either side, or structures 
specially erected for the purpose. Illustrations of such nets are 
shown on the opposite page. These nets 
are supported by wire ropes stretched be- 
tween the supports and firmly secured 
at each end to ground anchorages or 
braced bents. Accidents, however, are of 
very rare occurrence, and unless the 
traffic is considerable, a guard net is un- 
necessary. A possibility of such con- 
struction is illustrated in the view on 
page 34, vshowing an aerial tramway 
crossing a number of railroad tracks over 
a suspension bridge, which not only 
serves as a protection to the railroad, but 
also as. a supporting structure for the 
track cables and traction rope of the 
tramway. A steel bridge covered with 
sheet iron spans the main tracks of the 
Pennsylvania Railroad near Johnstown, 
Pa., where the aerial tramway of the Cambria Steel Co. crosses, and 
a similar bridge at Plymouth, Mass., protects some tracks under the 
line of the Plymouth Cordage Co. Such structures, however, are 
only required where extreme precaution is necessary. 

Support on line of the High- 
land Boy Tramway, Bing- 
ham, Utah. 










THE Bleiciiert System of aerial tramways is more especially 
adapted to long hauls between definite points of loading 
and discharge, and finds its widest application as a means of com- 
munication with mines or quarries in mountainous or other locali- 
ties where a surface line of any kind would be impracticable or 
could only be built at great expense. The stations are so designed 
and equipped as to make the operation of the tramway as nearly 
automatic as practicable, so that but little labor is required. 

Terminals and Intermediate Stations. — Ordinarily the only 
stations required are the terminals, one where the receptacles are 
loaded and the other where they are discharged, designated respec- 
tively as the loading and discharge terminals. 

It is often desired, however, to load or discharge at intermediate 
points, in which case stations are erected, so designed that the car- 
riers may be detached from the traction rope and switched off 
along shunt rails for such purposes, or may be run through without 
detaching, as circumstances may require. 

Lines of great length or very heavy capacity sometimes have to 
be divided in sections, owing to bends in the line, or on account 
of the stress in the traction rope, which if operated in one length 
would be so great as to preclude the ordinary sizes of rope such 
as the grips are constructed for. In such cases the connecting 
stations of course are located where the division of the line can 
be made to best advantage. If angles happen to occur in such 
a line, the connecting stations are most advantageously located at 
such points, but in any event due allowance must be made for the 
stress in the traction rope. 

Shunt Rails, Switches, Etc. — The carriers upon arriving at 
any station are automatically detached and sKunted to overhead 
rails of our double-head pattern, made especially for this purpose. 

Length of line, 5,300 feet. Hourly capacity, 62^/2 tons. 

Loading Terminal. Parley's Canon Lime and Stone Co., 
Parley's Canon, Utah. 

Length of line, 12,270 feet. Hourly capacity, 60 tons. 

Discharge Terminal. Yampa Smelting Co., Bingham, Utah. 


by means of which they are taken to the various points of loading 
or discharge, as the case may be, and thence to the opposite cable 
where they are attached mechanically to the traction rope, and again 
sent out over the line, loaded or empty, as the case may be. 

At the points where the carriers enter or depart from a station, 
the shunt rails terminate in what are known as "terminal shoes" — 
a special form of saddle so designed that the transition of carriers 
to and from the cables is without jar. These shoes are provided 
with hinged steel hoods, similar to those used on the "protection 
saddles" described and illustrated on page 30, which save the cables 
from undue wear. 

The diagrams on the inset sheet opposite this page illustrate the 
usual constructions of the terminal stations in a line operated by 
gravity. The ordinary shunt rails for taking the carriers around 
the terminal sheaves are shown in the plans by the full lines. These 
shunt rails may be extended by means of switches, so as to reach 
distant points of discharge as indicated by the dotted lines; so 
also at the loading terminal where the material is taken from several 
bins or various points of loading. Turntables are used where 
angles have to be turned and the space will not admit of a switch. 

With such switches or turntables it is practicable to operate a 
system of shunt rails whereby a large area may be covered for 
purposes of loading or discharge. 

The views of stations on page 42 show carriers in position about 
to be attached to the traction rope. 

Angle Stations. — In selecting the route for any line it should 
be distinctly borne in mind that it is impracticable to operate along 
curves, and that differences in vertical elevations, no matter hozv 
rugged the ground, are seldom considered, from a practical point 
of view, as obstacles to a perfectly straight course. It is not always 
possible, however, to obtain the right of way for a straight course, 
and bends are made in such cases, but it should be clearly under- 
stood that such bends are only practicable by angles, and that every 
angle requires a station for supporting the necessary deflecting 
sheaves and shunt rails. With overhead grips the carriers if de- 


sired may be passed around the sheaves without detaching from 
the traction rope, but it is necessary in such cases to use sheaves 
of large diameter, requiring expensive structures. It is not always 
practicable, however, to use overhead grips. With underhung 

Length of line, 1,150 feet. Hourly capacity, 7J/^ tons. 

Angle Station. Plymouth Cordage Co., Plymouth, Mass. 

grips the carriers must be detached from the traction, rope upon 
entering the station, in order to pass the deflecting sheaves, and be 
re-attached in despatching them from the opposite sides. Inter- 
vening shunt rails are used for this purpose and an attendant is 
required to pass the carriers and grip them to the traction rope. 
Such stations, therefore, add not only to the first cost of the 
equipment, but also to the cost of operating, and should be 
avoided as far as possible. There is no objection, however, to 
angle stations in cases where these happen at points of loading or 
discharge, or where one section of a line connects with another 
section, since stations with attendants would be required at such 
points in any event. 



Speed Controllers. — It usually happens, especially with ores, 
coal and other raw materials, that the discharge is at a lower eleva- 
tion than the loading station, and that the fall is often sufficient for 
the gravity of the descending material to develop an amount of 
power in excess of that required to operate the line. In such cases 
brakes are provided, consisting usually of steel bands lined with 
hardwood blocks which are operated by levers or screws, and if 
the surplus power developed is not great, such brakes are sufficient 
to control the speed. In cases where the surplus power exceeds 
15 to 20 H. P., it is not easy to control the speed by brake bands 
alone, and in such cases hydraulic speed controllers of our own 

Length of line, 16,375 feet. Hourly capacity, 75 tons. 

Bleichert Tramway of The Balaklala Consolidated Copper Co., 
Coram Cal. View of Loading Terminal. 

manufacture are furnished (illustrated in Fig. 31), which are 
specially designed for automatically regulating the speed. 

The machine consists essentially of a closed tank or receptacle 
for a specially prepared liquid; a valve, the position of which is 
determined by a governor; and a pump, the action of which causes 



the liquid to circulate through the valve, the same liquid being 
used continuously. The operation is as follows: As the tramway 
increases its speed the pump runs faster, the governor decreases 
the aperture of the valve port, which increases the pressure in the 

Fig. 31. Hydraulic Speed Controller. 

pump chamber, adding to the work of the pump, thus absorbing 
the surplus energy and holding the line at its normal speed. If 
the tramway should run too slow, the governor opens the valve 
wider, thus lessening the pressure in the pump chamber and the 
work of the pump, relieving the tramway of a certain load, and 
allowing it to regain its normal speed. If the liquid becomes too 
hot, it may be cooled by running water through a coil of pipe in 
the tank, provided for that purpose. 

The general superintendent of a line controlled by such a machine, 
writes as follows : 

"The controller, of 50 H. P. size, was put into use November 8, 1904, and 
within two hours of the time it was ready to turn over it took entire con- 
trol of the line, and from that time until now, excepting during the five 


months that our mill was shut down, pending the completion of certain 
changes, it has operated to our very great satisfaction. Our tramway, as 
you know, was one of the most difficult to control of all the tramways in 
the West. Built as it is, crossing high ridges and going down into the gulch 
at the Curve Station, high bursts of speed were unavoidable with the old 
hand brakes. The result was constant breakage of standing cable and 
numerous runaway buckets. The controller has changed this absolutely, 
and the speed control is remarkable. Neither in riding the line nor in 
watching it is any appreciable change of speed noticeable, and it will run 
for hours at a time delivering exactly the rated number of buckets. This 
improved condition has reacted most strongly to lengthen the life of both 
the traction and standing cables. The former is in perfect condition, and 
the repair item on the latter has been reduced by 75 per cent. The labor 
of one man on each shift is saved. Therefore, taking all these points into 
consideration, it affords us pleasure to give this machine our heartiest 

The surplus power may often be utilized for operating crushers 
or other machinery, or for transporting back freight. In such 
cases, however, owing to the variable amount of power required, 
it is not well to depend solely upon the surplus power developed by 
the tramway. If this surplus power is always in excess of the 
power required to run the machinery, or raise the back freight, as 
the case may be, a speed controller such as we have described 
should be attached to the operating mechanism, as otherwise it 
would be difficult to maintain a uniform speed, and the operation 
would be unsatisfactory. If the power required will exceed the 
surplus power developed by the tramway, always or even occasion- 
ally, an engine or motor of some kind with a suitable governor 
should be provided to supply the deficiency in power or absorb the 
excess, and serves as a controller to maintain a uniform speed. 

Automatic Loaders. — Requests are frequently received to quote 
prices on aerial tramways equipped with automatic loaders, under 
a misapprehension that they are economical of labor. Such devices 
are necessary on lines with carriers attached permanently to the 
traction rope by means of clips, in order that the buckets may be 
loaded while in motion, and are the exigency of a condition, and 
not a means introduced to save operating expense. Lines equipped 
with automatic loaders have to be run at slow speed, or at least the 
speed has to be slackened while the buckets are being loaded, and 



Length of line, 3,660 feet. Hourly capacity, 10 toi 

Loading Terminal, showing Carriers with Underhung Grips, one in posi- 
tion for attaching, and the other about to be detached from the 
Traction Rope. Bagdad Chase Gold Mining Co., Atlanta, Idaho. 

Length of line, 1,300 feet. Hourly capacity, 30 tons. 

Loading Terminal, showing Carrier with Overhead Grip about to be 

attached to the Traction Rope. St. Louis, Rocky Mountain & 

Pacific Co., Koehler, New Mexico. 


in some instances it has been found necessary to stop the Hne 
altogether at such times. Such a device can only be used on lines 
of relatively small capacity. A man is invariably required to attend 
to the brake or driving machinery, and the same man has also to 
attend to filling the automatic loading chute from the main bin, 
to say nothing of having to clean up the material spilled, whereas 
in our design, the carrier with empty bucket automatically detaches 
itself from the traction rope upon entering the terminal, and by its 
own momentum runs to the loading point. Here the operator has 
only to raise the gate of the loading chute, keeping it open for a 
few seconds until the bucket is full, and then quickly closing the 
gate, he pushes the carrier along the shunt rail into the mechanical 
attacher, shown in Fig. 9, which grips it again to the traction rope. 
This whole operation can be effected in less time than is required 
with an automatic loader, it does not require any more labor, and 
the line can be run at a constant speed, double that of a line with 
automatic loader, thus proportionately reducing the number of car- 
riers and the wear and tear. There is nothing to get out of order, 
and no material to be cleaned up at intervals from the floor of the 
loading station. Our method of operating furthermore admits of 
loading from, or discharging into, a number of bins, which is often 
desirable, as, for instance, in the case of ores that have to be graded, 
or where the output of several mines has to be kept separate. It 
also admits of the transportation of back freight, such as coal for 
operating, timber and supplies, which cannot be done on lines with 
automatic loaders without stopping the line. 

Transfer of Buckets to and from Surface Cars. — Ordinarily 
the buckets are loaded from bins by means of chutes, such as 
shown in the view of the loading station on page 13. In the case, 
however, of materials that will not readily flow through a chute, 
such as rock in large lumps, sticky clay, or materials like soft coal 
that would suflFer from breakage if handled in this way, the buckets, 
if desired, may be transferred to surface cars, conveyed directly 
to the working faces of the quarry or mine, as the case may be, and 
after loading, returned to the tramway station, transferred back to 



Length of line, 12,270 feet. Hourly capacity, 60 tons. 

Line of Yampa Smelting Co., Bingham, Utah, showing portion of 
750-foot span, and 90-foot support. 

Length of line, 12,650 feet. Hourly capacity, 40 tons. 

Along the line of the Gold Prince Tramway, Animas Forks, Col. 



the carrier hangers, and thus without rehandling of the material 
despatched over the line. 

Fig. 32. Transferring Buckets to and from Surface Cars by Mechanism. 

The transferring of the buckets may be effected by mechanical 
means, as illustrated in Fig. 32, or it may be done without such 
apparatus, by laying the surface track in a circuit under the station 
shunt rails upon a rising inclination on one side, just sufficient to 



lift the empty buckets from the hangers as the carriers and surface 
cars are moved along together, and upon a like falling inclination 

on the opposite side, 
whereby the loaded 
buckets in a similar man- 
ner are dropped into the 
hangers, as illustrated in 
FiR- 33- The latter 
method of operating re- 
quires more space, and 
on this account is not 
always practicable, but it 
has been found quite 
as satisfactory a way of 

Dock Hoists. — Bleich- 
ert tramways are used 
advantageously in many 
places for conveying ma- 
terials from vessels or 
boats alongside docks, to 
warehouses or factories, 
and in such cases it is 
generally found most 
convenient to use hoists operated by separate power for taking the 
materials out of the holds of the vessels, since the work of a dock 
hoist is more or less intermittent. Conditions sometimes occur, how- 
ever, where it may be practicable to operate both hoist and tramway 
from the same power. Coal, ore, and like, materials are handled in 
this way by elevating them to bins from which the tramway buckets 
are loaded by chutes in the usual way. Two views of such stations 
are shown on page 47. 

It is generally desired in such cases to unload quickly, and bins 
of ample size therefore should be provided, with hoists exceeding the 

Fig. 33' Transferring Buckets to and from 
Surface Cars by Inclined Tracks. 



Length of line, 525 feet. 

Hourly capacity, 30 tons. 

Dock Hoist and Loading Terminal. American Agricultural 
Chemical Co., Searsport, Maine. 

Length of line, 1,050 feet. 

Hourly capacity, 30 tons. 

Dock Hoist and Loading Terminal, Maine Insane Hospital, 
Augusta, Maine. 



capacities of the tramways, so that the work of the latter may be 
regular and not intermittent. 

Elevators, Scales and Counters. — The carriers, if desired, may 
be raised or lowered at any terminal or intermediate station by 
means of elevators or hoists specially designed for the purpose. 
If the loaded carriers are raised, such elevators are operated in the 
usual way by belts or a suitable motor. If, however, the loaded 
carriers are lowered, it is customary in this case to use two cages, 
so that the power developed by the gravity of the loaded carrier 
may be used to raise the empty carrier, the motion of the cages 
being controlled by means of brakes. 

The cage of such a hoist in either case is usually provided with 

a short section of rail having a slight 
depression cut in the upper edge, just 
long enough to accommodate the car- 
riage, and serving to hold it in place 
while raising or lowering. 

Upon arriving at the desired eleva- 
tion, as, for instance, in passing from 
one floor to another in a warehouse or 
factory, the carriers, if necessary, can 
be transferred to lines of overhead 
rails, the same as the station shunt 
rails, and thus conveyed to the desired 
points of loading or discharge at the 
various elevations. 
Scales are also furnished of special design, illustrated in Fig. 34, 
for weighing the loaded receptacles, or counters, which will auto- 
matically register the number transported. 

Fig. 34. Bleichert Tramway 






be I. It is adapted to the heaviest traffic. Capacities up to 200 tons 

per hour can be transported, which is not possible with any other 
ay .' system of aerial tramway. 

t)} 2. The carriers are moved under ordinary conditions at speeds 

t varying from five to six miles per hour. This is about double the 

1^ speed possible with a single-rope line, or any kind of aerial tram- 

(i way with carriers permanently attached to the traction rope, or 

with receptacles that have to be loaded in motion. It follows that 

3. The number of carriers required for a given service is less 
than with other lines. 

4. The loading and discharge of the receptacles at either terminal 
or intermediate station can be effected at any point or any number 
of points. This is not practicable with other lines having carriers 
permanently attached to the traction rope or receptacles that have 
to be loaded in motion. 

5. The steepest grades can be surmounted without difficulty. 

6. Less power is required, or more developed, as the case may 
be, than with any other system. This is due to the smooth surface 
of the track cables, and their greater strength than ordinary cables 
of the same size, admitting of tensions such as to make the path of 
the carriers more nearly along a direct line between the terminals 
than is practicable with other lines using ordinary cables. 

7. The carriers, if necessary, can be run around angles without 
requiring the services of an attendant. (See page 38.) 

8. The carriers can also be run about either terminal, where no 
loading or discharge of the receptacles occurs, zvithout requiring 
the services of an attendant. 

9. Low cost of operation and maintenance. The economy of 
a Bleichert tramway is apparent in the longer life of the track 
cables, and the less wear and tear of the operating parts, due to 
the fact that the workmanship is first-class in every respect. Only 
the best materials are used in the construction of the various parts, 
which are made to standard gauges, so that renewals or repairs 
can be made promptly and cheaply. 


THE following extracts from testimonial letters will best con- 
vey some idea of what it costs to operate and maintain a 
Bleichert tramway : 

From The Solvay Process Co., Syracuse, N. Y. : 

"With reference to the statement of the cost of operating as determined 
from actual records, we have to say that with greater traffic, we are enabled 
to considerably reduce the expense, and while we have not kept the accounts 
separate for the main line, we can say that the cost, including general 
expenses and taxes for the main line (three and one-quarter miles long), 
and the quarry lines (aggregating one and one-quarter miles in length), at 
which we can transport the stone, is approximately the following: 

No. of buckets per month 1 10,000 

Gross tons per month 55,ooo 

Cost per bucket, holding one-half ton $0.04 

Cost per gross ton $0.09 

Cost per net ton $0.08 

Cost per ton — mile $0.02 

"The cost of transportation over the short branch lines is less than 3 cents 
per bucket, which, however, is more than 2 cents per mile because the main 
expense is at the terminals. In the main line costs, about one-quarter has 
to be transferred from the pockets to the line. These expenses do not include 
the cost of transferring the buckets from the cars to the rails, but includes 
only the cost of despatching and receiving the buckets." 

From The Eureka Slate Co., Slatington, Gal. : 

"The tramway is operated directly by water power, requiring a maximum 
of about 20 H. P, The cost of transportation when the tramway is 
run to full capacity is about five cents per square (about 700 lbs.). The 
tramway has been in constant operation for a little more than four years. 
It has never been out of commission, has cost not to exceed $25 per year for 
maintenance, and I am pleased to advise you that it is one of the most 
satisfactory pieces of machinery that it has ever been my pleasure to install." 

The length of this line is 13,300 feet, and the capacity 300 squares 

of slate in nine hours. 

From The Colorado Fuel & Iron Co., Denver, Col. : 

"Replying to yours of the 28th in regard to the operation of the tramway at 
Sopris, the amount of material handled on this line is approximately 100 
tons per day, and the cost of operation and maintenance for the past year 
has been between three and four cents per ton of material handled. For the 


past two years it has cost little or nothing for repairs and has been very 
satisfactory in operation." 

This line is 2,370 feet long, and is used for disposing of waste 
from a. coal washery. Self-dumping buckets are used, and the 
capacity is 20 tons per hour. 

From The Cia. Manufacturera de Ladrillos Areniscos, Coah, 

Mexico : 

"The overhead tram has given excellent results, handling 500 tons of sand 
every nine hours with the greatest facility, at a cost of four cents U. S. cur- 
rency per ton, and considering the difficult manual labor in filling the cars 
from the river bottom, I think that the cost is very reasonable." 

This line is 1,950 feet long, and has a capacity of 22 J4 tons hourly. 

From The Mond Nickel Co., Ltd., Victoria Mines, Ontario, Canada : 

"Regarding the tramway built by you which we have operated, would say 
that it is satisfactory in every way and the repairs have been very light. The 
ropes are still in good condition and show very little sign of wear. The cost 
of operation has been about six cents per ton mile on a basis of 150 tons per 
day, including loading and unloading." 

This line is 11,400 feet long, and is used for transporting ore. The 
capacity is 25 tons per hour. 

From The Curwensville Fire Brick Co., Bolivar, Pa. : 

"We are pleased to state that the tramway you erected at our plant in 1903 
has been in successful operation for two and a half years without interruption, 
and we have experienced no trouble whatever with it, but have found it 
entirely satisfactory in every respect. The only expense that has been neces- 
sary in maintaining it is the price of the oil that we have used on the cables, 
and the only cost of operation is the expense of a man at each terminal. 

"We may add that we are transporting at the present time about fifty tons 
of clay per day at an actual cost of $3.50 to $4 per day, while previously we 
were obliged to haul our clay on wagons at a cost of 45 cents per ton, which 
would represent $22.50 for the quantity we are now using, or a saving to us 
at the present rate of operation of $15 to $20 per day. Of course, during a 
good part of the time that we have had this in operation we have only han- 
dled about one-half the material we are now transporting." 

This line is 2,337 ^^^^ long, and the capacity 20 tons per hour. 

From The Catskill Cement Co., Smith's Landing, N. Y. : 

"Replying to your favor of March i6th, we beg to say that our experience 
with your tramway has been very satisfactory. It has proved to be a very 
efficient and economical means of transportation, and cost of repairs has been 
comparatively small taking all things into consideration. This tramway has 


been in operation now nearly six years, the last four years of which it has 
been carrying about 300 tons of stone per day of ten hours." 

This line is 4,170 feet long, and capacity 20 tons hourly of stone. 

From The Cayuga Lake Cement Co., Ithaca, N. Y. : 

"Replying to your chief engineer's request regarding the success which we 
are having with the tramway which you installed for us in 1901, would state* 
that the best evidence we can give possibly is to give you the expense for re- 
pairs during the past year, owing to the fact that we keep an account of each 
department in our works for all repairs made during the year, and we find 
that the tramway in question has carried on an average about 350 tons daily 
and the total cost for repairs on the tramway has been $34.57 for the past year. 

"We wish to further state that the tramway is a perfect success, and we 
think it is the finest system of any in use." 

This line is 1,340 feet long, and capacity 20 tons hourly of stone. 

From The Vermont Marble Co., Proctor, Vt. : 

"In reply to your letter of recent date, will say that in 1894 we installed the 
first tramway furnished by your people, which was about 1,600 feet in length. 
We operated this tramway continuously for about eight hours a day until 
1900, then we extended the line for about two miles, using all of the ropes 
and apparatus that we installed originally in 1894. Since installing the longer 
line, we have been operating it continuously for ten hours a day, and about 
half the time have been running it half the night. This makes more than 
twelve years of continuous day service, and it was not until last year that we 
began to replace the standing ropes. During this time we have put in one 
new transmission (traction) rope. We now have in operation a large part 
of the apparatus that was originally installed in 1894. It seems impossible 
that any machine could do better work or give better satisfaction than this 
has done." 

This line is 11,000 feet long, and capacity 15 tons hourly of sand. 

From The Kittanning Coal & Coke Co., Kittanning, Pa. : 

"We have gotten from you all the supplies necessary to keep this tramway 
in order, and I think your books will scarcely show more than $50 or $60 
expenses on the entire system since we first installed it. 

"There is no question in our mind whatsoever that your tramway will take 
all the coal we can dump into the loading bunk. We have moved over 400 
tons of coal a day and we average likely 300 tons daily, and I am certain 
that the system is not in operation more than 50 per cent, of the time. 

"As a means of transportation, we consider it perfect. It costs us about 
$15 daily to run it, and, of course, the cost of the coal per ton depends entirely 
upon the amount of coal moved. It has averaged, I presume, five cents per 
ton, which seems high compared with loading directly from the mines onto 
the cars, but as we transport our coal almost a mile, we consider the cost 
very reasonable." 

This line is 4,140 feet long. 


LINES of comparatively short length or of light capacity are 
often operated most advantageously by reversing the motion 
of the traction rope at each trip of the carriers, and are known as 
reversible aerial tramways. We offer these where a cheap equip- 
ment is desired, and where the conditions are adapted to such a line, 
it may be operated quite as satisfactorily as a Bleichert tramway. 
Lines of this kind are built with a pair of carriers, one on each of 
two parallel track cables, or with one carrier on a single track cable, 
and are designated respectively as double-cable and single-cable 
reversible tramways. 

The carriers are usually provided with self -dumping receptacles, 
and loads are carried up to a ton in weight. Hand-dumping recep- 
tacles, however, are sometimes used, especially in cases where the 
carriers have to be detached from the traction rope at either or both 
of the terminal stations, and are conveyed to the points of loading 
and discharge by means of shunt rails. A sufficient number of car- 
riers are provided with such lines, so that some may be loading or 
discharging while others are in transit. Since the lines are stopped 
at each trip of the carriers, the average speed may be considerably 
beyond what is practicable with a Bleichert tramway. The usual 
speed is about 600 feet per minute, but in cases where there are no 
intervening supports, speeds are attained as high as 1,000 feet per 
minute. Where lines are run at these very high speeds, however, 
the wear of the track cables and carriage wheels is proportionately 
greater, and these cannot, therefore, be expected to last as long 
as those in lines running at more moderate speeds. 

The capacity of a reversible aerial tramway, either of the double- 
cable or single-cable type, is directly proportional to the load and 
inversely proportional to the distance, and will rarely exceed 25 
tons per hour. Such a line is generally designed at the outset for its 
maximum capacity, and is not, therefore, recommended in cases 
where a subsequent increase in the capacity is contemplated. 




Double-Cable Reversible Tramways. — Reversible aerial tram- 
ways with two parallel track cables, as ordinarily constructed are 
equipped with two carriers, one loaded and one empty, which travel 
alternately in opposite directions, and are sometimes known as 
"two-bucket" or "twin-cable" tramways. 

These lines may be operated by power or by gravity, according to 
the relative elevations of the terminal stations. Lines operated by 
gravity are commonly known throughout the western states as 
"jig-back" tramways. 

On the opposite page is illustrated in detail the general features 
of such a line equipped with self-dumping and self-righting buckets. 
(See Fig. 21, page 22,) The two carriages each travel on parallel 
steel track cables of the patent locked-coil or smooth-coil construc- 
tions, and are attached to a light traction rope, usually j4-inch 
diameter, the movement of which is controlled by brakes at the upper 
terminal station. 

A view is shown on page 56 of the discharge terminal of such a 
line, built for The Ross Mining and Milling Co., Silverton, Col. The 
line is 1,400 feet long, with a fall of 524 feet, and has a capacity of 
IQ tons per hour. The track cables are ij4-inch diameter, of the 
patent locked-coil construction (see Fig. i, page 7), and the traction 
rope is ^-inch diameter. The buckets are self-dumping, but not 
self-righting like those illustrated in Figs. 13 and 14, page 20. 

A similar line of 5 tons hourly capacity built for the Old Hundred 
Mining Co., Howardsville, Col., is 1,850 feet long with a fall of 1,050 
feet, and another line operated in conjunction with this is 760 feet 
long with a fall of 515 feet; these two lines serving as feeders to a 
Bleichert tramway of 25 tons hourly capacity, 1,610 feet in length. 

Many other lines have been built, among which may be mentioned 
one for the Pulaski Iron Co., near Buchanan, Va., which is 960 feet 
long with a fall of 494 feet. 

A line built for Thomas & Spillane, San Louis Potosi, Mexico, 
825 feet long and 425 feet fall, is equipped with self-dumping and 
self-righting receptacles specially designed for transporting railroad 


A line operated by power, built for the Victor Fuel Co., Hastings, 
Col., is used for disposing of refuse rock from a coal washery. The 

Length of line, 1,400 feet. Hourly capacity, 10 tons. 

Double-Cable Reversible Tramway of The Ross Mining and 
Milling Co., Silverton, Col. View of Discharge Terminal. 

line is 1,850 feet long with a rise of 57 feet, and has a capacity of 15 
tons per hour. 

Single-Cable Reversible Tramways. — Reversible tramways 
with a single-track cable are applicable generally to lines operated by 



power, in which one carrier traveling back and forth, is sufficient to 
carry the desired capacity. 

The receptacles are designed to suit the material to be carried, and 
may be self-dumping or not, according to the conditions of loading 
and discharge. 

The carriers may also be detached at either terminal if desired, in 
order to reach points of loading or discharge not directly accessible 
by the cable line. The requisite number of carriers are provided in 
such cases, so that as one is in transit the others may be loading or 
dumping. The carriers are conveyed to the points of loading or 
discharge, as the case may be, by means of shunt rails as in other 
aerial tramways, and switches are provided so that the carrier coming 
in may pass the one going out. 

The receptacles or buckets may also be transferred to and from 
surface cars if desired, where it is not practicable to reach the 
points of loading or discharge by means of shunt rails, on account 
of the supporting structures which would be cumbersome, or liable 
to injury from blasts, as, for instance, in quarry work. 

On page 58 is illustrated in detail a line of this kind built many 
years ago for the St. Bernard Coal Co., at Earlington, Ky., for 
carrying refuse from their coal washer, which is still in operation. 

A single bucket holding half a ton, suspended from a carriage 
running on a ij4-inch track cable of the smooth-coil construction 
(see Fig. 4, page 9), is moved by a 7-16-inch endless traction rope 
driven by a small reversing engine. Trippers clamped to the track 
cable at the dumping points disengage a latch on the bucket hanger, 
releasing the bucket, which is so balanced as to discharge auto- 
matically. The construction of the latch in this particular case is 
such that the loaded bucket passes the trippers going out without 
lifting the latch. In coming back, however, the latch is disengaged 
and the bucket dumps, thus permitting of the use of a number of 
trippers, and the discharge of the bucket at various points without 
having to shift any of the trippers. One man operates the line. 

The carrier is permanently attached to the traction rope, and the 
bucket after dumping, returns to the loading terminal upside down, 





which gives it. a chance to thoroughly clear itself of the refuse 
material before reloading. 

The line at Earlington is about 600 feet long and has a capacity 
of 10 tons per hour. The ground immediately under the line having 
been filled in, the buckets are now discharged into side-dump cars, 
and the material in this way is conveyed by means of portable 
tracks to the dump banks on either side of the cable line, and a 
large area of ground is thus covered. 

Materials may be transported by such lines in either direction, 
and where the power can be taken from some convenient shaft, 
the traction rope may be operated from either end by double- friction 
clutch pulleys, driven by straight and crossed belts. 

The view on page 60 shows a line of this kind built for the 
Philadelphia & Reading Coal & Iron Co. for conveying ashes 
from the boiler house at the West Shenandoah Colliery to the dump, 
and affords a good illustration of what can be done with such a 
line — the pile of ashes in the picture representing the accumulation 
of four years. 

This line is 1,485 feet long, and has a capacity of 7 tons per 
hour. The carriers, three in number, are provided with overhead 
grips, and the buckets, 35 cubic feet capacity, hold each 1,400 
pounds of ashes. A single line of shunt rail connects the boiler 
house with the terminal station, where the carriers pass each other 
by means of an automatic switch. The carriers are illustrated in 
Figs. 13 and 14, page 20, the former showing a loaded carrier 
about to be attached to the traction rope, and the latter showing an 
empty carrier passing a support on the return trip. In Fig. 13 
is also shown the mechanism for closing the jaws of the grip on 
the traction rope in dispatching a carrier, and also the inclined plate 
for releasing the grip when the empty carrier returns, known re- 
spectively as the attacher and detacher, which are placed close 

Among other lines of this description may be mentioned one 600 
feet long built for the Megargee Paper Mills, Modena, Pa., which 






serves to carry paper and the various materials used in its 

A line 800 feet long, built for the Peart, Nields & McCormick Co., 
of Belfield, Va., is used for carrying sawmill refuse. 

A line 1,060 feet long, of yYz tons hourly capacity, built for 
B. Laughon, of Pulaski, Va., is used for conveying sand from an 
island in a river to railroad cars. 

A line 800 feet long, built for the New York Juvenile Asylum, 
Chauncey, N. Y., is used for conveying coal; and a line 135 feet 
long, built for the Hamilton Manufacturing Co., of Lowell, Mass., 
is used for conveying rolls of cloth. 

Mechanism for transferring Buckets to and from Surface Cars at Loading 

Terminal of line built for The Farnam-Cheshire Lime Co., 

Cheshire, Mass. 


CONDITIONS sometimes occur when an aerial tramway can be 
used to advantage for conveying materials to and from points 
in a triangular, quadrilateral, or irregular shaped circuit. This 
can readily be done by means of angle stations and other struc- 
tures specially designed to meet the conditions of loading and 

Length of line, 1,500 feet in circuit. 

Hourly capacity, 70 tons. 

Tramway, with Self-Dumping Buckets, used for Stocking Warehouse, 
Keystone Plaster Co., Chester, Pa. 

In a line at Chester, Pa., built for the Keystone Plaster Co., for 
stocking gypsum, illustrated on this page, the track cables diverge 
at an angle from the loading terminal on the dock, spanning 
a basin between this and the warehouse, close under the roof 
of which, the carriers, equipped with self-dumping buckets, move 


continuously in four parallel lines above the stock piles, and can be 
discharged automatically at any desired point. The carriages in 
the warehouse travel on rails suspended from the roof bents, pass- 
ing around seven angles without detaching from the traction rope. 
The sheaves at the angles about which the traction rope runs are 12 
feet in diameter, and the total length of the circuit, including the 
cable lines, is about 1,500 feet. Overhead grips are used as in other 
lines with angle stations. 

The following letter was received in response to an inquiry as 
to the service rendered by this line: 

"In reply to your favor of the i6th, would say that the Bleichert tramway 
you installed for us is highly satisfactory. We handled 65,000 tons of rock 
over it last season with practically no cost for repairs. As it does not require 
more than 6 H. P. to handle from 60 to 70 tons per hour, its operation is very 
economical. It is a great labor saver, and situated as we are, we could not do 
business without it." 

Suspended Rail Tramways are used with economy for trans- 
porting materials in factories, warehouses and other locations, 
where a perfectly straight track is desired. These are so named 
from the fact that the entire track is composed of suspended rails, 
along which the carriers are moved as in other lines by means of 
a light endless traction rope to which they are gripped. 

A lirie of this kind, 5,700 feet in circuit, having a capacity of 100 
tons hourly, with 4 angle stations, was used at Aspinwall, Pa., for 
transporting materials in the construction of the filter beds there, 
from which the water supply of Pittsburg is drawn. 

Short lines of this kind without angles, are operated very satis- 
factorily for moving materials in the manufacture of explosives 
at powder works — one at Ashburn, Mo., built for the Du Pont 
Company being used for carrying "dope." 

■ • ■ • CONTENTS 


Bleichert System of Aerial Tramways 5 

Adaptations of the Bleichert System 6 

Track Cables 7 

Advantages of stationary track cables 11 

Couplings for track cables 9 

Locked-coil track cable 7 

Oiler for track cables 9 

Smooth-coil track cable 9 

Transporting track cables over mountain trails 13 

Traction Rope 14 

Traction rope coating device 15 

Transporting traction rope over mountain trails 16 

Rolling Stock 17 

Buckets 19, 20, 22 

Carriages 17 

Grips 17 

Receptacles 24 

Supports 25 

Guard nets and bridges 33 

Long spans 28 

Rail stations 27 

Tension stations 31 

Trestles 26 

Stations 35 

Angle stations ^y 

Automatic loaders 41 

Counters 48 

Dock hoists 46 

Elevators 48 

Scales 48 

Shunt rails, switches, etc 35 

Speed controllers 39 

Terminals and intermediate stations 35 

Transfer of buckets to and from surface cars 43 

Advantages of the Bleichert System 49 

Cost of Operation and Maintenance 50 

Reversible Aerial Tramways 53 

Double cable reversible tramways 55 

Single cable reversible tramways 56 

Aerial Tramways of Special Design 62 

Suspended rail tramways 63