Towers and cable completed on Thames cable car

11:55 26 April 2012

A tower and the cable of the Emirates Air Line which will transport passengers between the Greenwich Peninsula and the Royal Docks.

A tower and the cable of the Emirates Air Line which will transport passengers between the Greenwich Peninsula and the Royal Docks.


All three towers and the steel cable have been installed across the River Thames in a major milestone for the cable car project.

The UK’s first urban cable car, stretching between two terminals from the Royal Docks to the Greenwich Peninsula, now has three main towers allowing 34 cabins to cross the river.

Construction began in July last year on what will be known as the Emirates Air Line and the cabins will be suspended at heights of up to 90m while travelling.

The 1.1km cable is made of twisted steel comprised of nearly 300 separate strands tensioned to gain a minimum clearance of 55m about the Thames.

International consultancy and construction company Mace are leading the project.

Matt Randall, project director for Mace, said: “The pull of the cable across the Thames has been a highly complex and intricate part of the construction of this landmark project.

“We used boats to make the initial rope connection during the short night time window when the tide was at its lowest, working with the Port of London Authority to keep the river way clear, and this was eventually replaced with the cable itself.

“Now the cable has been tensioned to the correct height, the next step will be to commence the testing of the whole system.”

The 34 cabins will now undergo a rigorous testing process involving hours of running cables and cabins across the river before it is due to open for passenger service this summer.

Danny Price, TfL Emirates Air Line operations manager, said: “Work on the Emirates Air Line is really gaining momentum now. This is a major milestone for the project and helps everyone to visualise the unique and eciting travel experience soon to link the Royal Victoria Docks and Greenwich Peninsula.

“It onw’t be long before we see the rigorous testing and commissioning process starting with a cabin taking its first flight across the river.”

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