Roosevelt Island Tramway

The Roosevelt Iceland Tramway is an aerial tramway in New York City (USA) and connects Roosevelt Iceland with Manhattan. It is the oldest of originally three (now two remaining ) urban cable cars in North America, serving the public transport. Was built the cable car in 1976 by the Swiss company Von Roll. In 2010 she was replaced by a Pomagalski of built entirely new cable car system.


Originally housed Welfare Iceland criminal and hospitals that were laid in the course of time. To tap served an elevator system of the Queensboro Bridge down to the island, which in 1955 replaced by a lift bridge between the island and Long Iceland City in Queens. In 1968 it was decided to transform the island into a virtually traffic-free residential area; From 1969, established a construction boom. The elevator system was dismantled in 1970; In 1973, the island was renamed Roosevelt Iceland.

The construction of the promised subway line under the East River through over which the New York Subway should open up the island, is delayed while the first residential building neared completion. In order to develop Roosevelt Iceland also from Manhattan, it was decided due to the short construction time for a cable car as a temporary transportation solution.

The first residential complex on Roosevelt Iceland was opened in 1975, and in 1976 was followed by another three residential buildings; In the same year, finally, the aerial cableway north parallel to the Queensboro Bridge created was opened. When the construction of the subway ever delayed, was " The Tram " to a fixed base. When finally opened the subway on October 29, 1989, the cable car was way too popular to them to shut down, so that it was maintained - mainly as a tourist attraction.


The terminal in Manhattan is located at the intersection of 2nd Avenue / E 60th Street and is directly upstream of the Queensboro Bridge Plaza; The nearest metro station is Lexington Avenue - 59st Street. It is a single-storey tower, as the cabins have to cross the road immediately. On Roosevelt Iceland the terminal is virtually at ground level on Main Street, at the southern end of the island, just north of the Queensboro Bridge ( 40 ° 45 ' 27 " N, 73 ° 57' 20" W40.75745 - 73.95545 ), which the East River and the island spans; access to the only subway station deep under the island is a little further north on Main Street.

The cable car is 945 meters long and has three up to 76 m high cable car supports that bring them to the required height to cross the ship traffic on the East River and the traffic on an exit ramp of the Queensboro Bridge. Since the terminal in Manhattan, near the E 60th St. is located, but the cable car must use the airspace over this road, they can not be parallel, but only at a very acute angle to the Queensboro Bridge. Because of the tight space occupies the first post in Manhattan a piece of a lane of E 60th St., the center post is with an asymmetrical design on this street.

The cable car is since 1984 by the state RIOC - Roosevelt operated Iceland Operating Corporation.

Since its inception, the cable car has carried over 30 million passengers. Although it is not part of the Metropolitan Transit Authority, the journey can be paid with the so-called MetroCard. A single ticket costs U.S. $ 2.50 (as of October 2011) and thus the same as a ride on the subway.

Original aerial tramway

The original 1976 was put into operation cable car was a classic aerial tramway with two cabins, each 125 people (plus 1 cabin attendant ), who drove on two track ropes and a traction cable with a maximum speed of 8.33 m / s ( 30 km / h) were between the terminals moved back and forth. A trip took about four and a half minutes, the maximum capacity was 1,600 people per hour. About the support and traction cables still ran another cable in which the service or rescue baskets could be hooked to evacuate passengers in an emergency.

Due to power outages on Tuesday, 2 September 2005 on a longer and on 18 April 2006 at an hours -long impasse; the passengers were taken to safety by rescue baskets. Thereafter, the operation was suspended until September 1, 2006, to overhaul the electrical system on the cable car.

On 1 March 2010, the operation of the original aerial tramway was finally stopped after more than 33 years to install a new building.

New broad gauge railway

The new complex, built by Poma and opened on 30 November 2010 cable car is an atypical combination of two trains running independently, parallel, single-track tramway systems, each with a cabin based on the model of Funifor and the Vanoise Express. The two cabins for 110 ( 1) persons are 7.60 m long, 3.82 m wide and hang between two supporting cables, which have a distance of 4.20 m from each other. The cabins can drive in high winds and, since they hardly vary, enter a relatively high speed in the stations, therefore, also. On the second day of the new cable car was its stability at wind speeds of 20 m / s ( 80 km / h) to prove. Each cabin has its own pull cord, which is returned to the upper cable car and driven by its own motor. Each cabin crew cab controls its own and regardless of whether the other car is ready to run or was shut down due to lack of passengers or for maintenance. The well-known from the classical aerial tramways Dispatchers at the base station there for here no longer, the remaining control center is usually empty. Although the new cabins are smaller than the old, the capacity has increased significantly in practice. The cabins have two seats for a total of 16 people, lighting and video surveillance, obtain the current from batteries that are automatically charged for a stay in the stations.

The 56 mm thick supporting cables and the 48 mm thick tension cables were supplied by the Swiss company Fatzer. The carrying cables have a glass fiber core for data transmission. They are firmly anchored on both sides. The fixtures for the tension cables and the drives are on the Roosevelt Iceland. In addition to the drive motors there are a number of auxiliary and emergency diesel generators and Notmotoren

During construction of the new cable car building and the supports could be reused. The supports had to be only slightly strengthened and given new heads for the wide tracks. In Terminal in Manhattan lift was installed so that the cable car can be disabled also used with wheelchairs. For 2011 it is planned to make the terminals architecturally appealing.

In the first five years, the cable car from Leitner - Poma of America is operated for the RIOC.

Media presence

The cable car had several appearances in movies:

  • Nighthawks (1981 ) with Sylvester Stallone
  • In City Slickers - The city of heroes (1991 ) the main character Mitch Robbins goes ( Billy Crystal) with her to work.
  • Mathilda, played by Natalie Portman, is traveling in the movie Léon (1994 ) by cable car.
  • Spider- Man (2002 )
  • Om horror film Dark Water - Dark Water ( 2005).

NY murder in the cabin: Also, in an episode of the television series CSI happened. In an episode of the TV series White Collar co-star performs a daring jump from a gondola on the roof of the oncoming car while driving. In the video game Grand Theft Auto IV, a replica of the cable car can be seen. The gondolas can be accessed in the game and the player can ride.