New bicable gondola lift is tourist attraction in South Korea

LEITNER ropeways offers breathtaking views in Sacheon

Picturesque landscapes, limpid waters and the natural wonders of the Hallyeohaesang National Park – the region around the South Korean seaport of Sacheon is not short of attractions. The seaport in the south east of the country now has one more attraction: The new bicable gondola lift by LEITNER ropeways runs via a midway station on the mainland to the mountain of Gaksan, which is highly popular with visitors, and to the island of Choyang. The route guarantees breathtaking views and makes the installation a new attraction in the popular tourism region.

The first ropeway equipped with LEITNER DirectDrive in Korea

The first ropeway equipped with LEITNER DirectDrive in Korea

April 13 2018 marked the start of a ropeway project in a particularly fascinating landscape, one that is also the first system of its kind equipped with LEITNER DirectDrive in Korea. The bicable gondola lift runs from a midway station on the mainland to the popular viewing platform on Gaksan mountain, and over the water to the island of Choyang. Due to the long spans and the fact that the route is exposed to the wind, the city management decided to implement the project in the form of a bicable gondola lift. This technology ensures the necessary wind resistance and is also the ideal solution for the 823 meter-long span over the sea. The version with “smaller” cabins, like 3S cabins, was another reason to implement a bicable gondola lift. “In this regard, the system of a bicable ropeway remains the best technology to ensure maximum operating safety and performance,” says Martin Leitner, Member of the Board of Directors of the LEITNER group of companies. “Compared with a 3S gondola lift, the system is less expensive and can be implemented economically with smaller gondolas.” Leitner is certain that “bicable ropeways will therefore remain popular products in future.”

Some cabins with glass floors

Some cabins with glass floors

The ropeway in Sacheon climbs 340 meters at a speed of six meters per second, carrying 1,300 persons per hour. A total of five support towers were built for the 2,370 meter route, with the highest reaching no less than 71 meters. One third of the 47 gondolas were equipped with glass floors to make the ascent to the mountain and the ride across the water even more fascinating. The midway station on the mainland is at the heart of the system, and also houses the magazine for the cabins. The LEITNER DirectDrive drive system was installed in the station building on Choyang island.

Highlight for international tourists

The ropeway is intended exclusively as a tourist attraction. That makes it all the more important for the city administration to offer their visitors a particularly attractive transportation experience. The design of a bicable gondola lift with 10-person cabins contributes to this, as every passenger can enjoy the view over the sea as clearly as possible from their seat. Another major requirement by the public operator was to find a particularly environmentally friendly solution for expanding the tourist infrastructure. As a result, the system is the first in Korea equipped with LEITNER DirectDrive. The city is positioning the new ropeway as a sustainable tourist attraction and also strives to increase the visitor figures significantly. An overall figure of roughly 760,000 visitors per year is assumed, whereby potential visitors from Japan and China are to be targeted in particular. After two weeks of operation of the system, the visitor figures have already exceeded the operator’s expectations: The interest was particularly high at weekends, with roughly 8,800 tickets sold every day.