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$B 33 311
REVERSIBLE AERIAL TRAMWAYS
Aerial Tramways of Special Design
By WILLIAM HEWITT, M.E.
THE TRENTON IRON COMPANY
Trenton, New Jersey, U. S. A.
Manufacturers and Sole Licensees in America under the Bleichert Patents
1 9 9 ; '
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
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
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
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-
TRACK CABLES 9
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
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
TRACK CABLES II
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
TRACK CABLES 13
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
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
"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.
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.
l8 ROLLING STOCK
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
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-
Fig. 9. Carrier, with Webber Patent
Compression Grip, showing Patent
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
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
24 ROLLING STOCK
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
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.,
Fig. 25. Support 90 feet high on line
of The Yampa Smelting Co.,
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.,
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.
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-
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,
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
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
ADVANTAGES OF THE BLEICHERT SYSTEM
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.
COST OF OPERATION AND MAINTENANCE
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
COST OF OPERATION 51
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,
"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
52 COST OF OPERATION
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
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
This line is 4,140 feet long.
REVERSIBLE AERIAL TRAMWAYS
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
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.
REVERSIBLE TRAMWAYS 55
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
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
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
56 REVERSIBLE TRAMWAYS
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
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.,
AERIAL TRAMWAYS OF SPECIAL DESIGN
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
TRAMWAYS OF SPECIAL' D"E*siGN •* *' ^^
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
Guard nets and bridges 33
Long spans 28
Rail stations 27
Tension stations 31
Angle stations ^y
Automatic loaders 41
Dock hoists 46
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