30 Tramway Rd NE Albuquerque NM United States 87008
The Sandia Peak Tramway is an aerial tramway located adjacent to Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA. It stretches from the northeast edge of the city to the crestline of the Sandia Mountains and has the world's third longest single span. It is the longest aerial tram in the United States.HistoryBell Engineering of Lucerne, Switzerland, constructed the tramway. Entering service on May 7, 1966, the tram makes 10,500 trips per year. The tram is a type known as a "double reversible jigback aerial tramway," where "jigback" implies that when one tram car is ascending, the other is descending. Its two cars are capable of carrying 50 passengers each and have numerous safety and backup systems, such as multiple emergency braking systems and a grounding system that ensures the safety of passengers in the event of a lightning strike. New tram cars were installed in 1986, and new track cables in 2009. New tram cars were again installed in May 2016.DescriptionThe tramway ascends the steep western side of the highest portion of the Sandia Mountains, from a base elevation of 6559ft to a top elevation of 10378ft. A trip up the mountain takes fifteen minutes to ascend 3819ft, and the normal operating speed of the tram is. Approximately four "flights" leave every hour from the base and top departure stations. The view from the tram includes all of Albuquerque and roughly 11,000 square miles (28,000 square kilometers) of the New Mexico countryside. The tramway only has two support towers. The first tower, which is 232ft tall, is situated at an elevation of 7010ft above sea level and built as an inclined tower with an inclination angle of 18 degrees. The second, just 80ft tall, is situated at the end of a major spur of the mountains at an elevation of 8750ft and was built by helicopter aid.