Date: March 16th
Cost: $4 to $10
Please come join us at the tram lower station while the Shamrock Run is underway. We’ll have a range of fun activities for the whole family: face painter, balloon maker, $10 tram T-shirts for coloring, puzzles, crafts and tram tours from 10 am to 2 pm. All children under 6 years of age ride for free.
The tram hours are 7:30 am to 5 pm, March 16th, 2014.
Spring Break Tram Tours
March 25th to 27th
April 8th to 10th
April 15th to 17th
Time: 2 pm to 4 pm
$4 price of one roundtrip ticket includes a tour of the control and motor rooms. Remember, kids six and under ride for free with a paying adult.
Children’s Day at the Tram!
March 29th, 2014, 12 pm to 3 pm
Cost: $4 to $10
Bring the kids for some fun at the tram with the following activities: facer painter, balloon maker, photo booth and tram T-shirt coloring. T-shirts are $10. All children 17 and under ride for free with a paying adult. We will also offer tram tours from 12 pm to 3 pm, included with a one $4 round trip ticket purchase.
Next time you are up in one of the tram cabins, take a look just north of lower station. You will see what looks like a building with its west end open to the elements. What you are looking at is the largest barge Zidell has ever put a torch to. Sure, it is big but once you see the specs below, its true size becomes even more impressive. By way of comparison, one tram cabin weighs a mere 13,195 pounds.
Thank you to Hilary Alter for providing the information to The Portland Aerial Tram.
- 27’ high (to the top of the deck)
- 422’ 3” long
- 76’ 8” wide
- 6 million pounds of steel used to build the barge – that’s enough steel to build about 2,000 cars
- The construction of the barge will take about 18 months (summer 2014 completion)
- Roughly 75 welders, fitters, foremen, crane operators and designers needed for the construction process
- The barge will gold 83,000 barrels of cargo (equivalent to 3,486,000 gallons – that is enough to fill 5.25 Olympic size swimming pools)
- To carry this amount of cargo on land you would need about 415 semi-trucks or 116 rail cars
- The piping system above and below deck contains 1,260 feet of pipe (the length of 3.2 football fields)
- The empty barge weighs 3,000 tons and it has room to store up to 12,000 tons of diesel oil and gasoline
- Loaded to maximum capacity it will weigh about 15,000 tons
Happy birthday, President Washington and Lincoln.
Portland Aerial Tram reaches new height:
10 Million riders and counting!
On Wednesday, January 8th, 2014 at 10:30 am, Angie Egan, accompanied by her three children, became the 10 millionth person to ride the tram. To celebrate the historic ride, Angie received an invitation for an exclusive private dinner party aboard the Portland Aerial Tram for her and up to three additional adults. The dinner takes place on a tram cabin as it glides slowly above the city lights.
The Portland Aerial Tram attracts tourists from all over the world since it began operations in 2007. It is also a vital connection between South Waterfront and Oregon Health & Science University’s hillside campus.
A few other noteworthy facts about the tram:
Martin Luther King Day is a day of service, a day of community.
Find out more here.
far-reaching, to include its physical footprint. This video explains the
happy accident that resulted in a complex of buildings spilling
down the hill to south waterfront. If not for that first
ill-advised railroad land purchase, the Portland
Aerial Tram may not be here.
Early closure, 24 December 2013, at 8 pm.
Closed, 25 December, 2013
Early closure, 31 December, 2013, at 8 pm.
Closed, 01 January, 2014.
Cabin 2 has a new carriage. The swap took place over Thanksgiving weekend, the only time for tram maintenance of such scale. The key to success starts with the logistics. The to-do list was pretty basic; clean and refurbish the former cabin 1 carriage over the course of several months, order all the parts needed for the process, once the swap date neared, remove the entire GoByBike valet service, to include the fencing, ship a 1/2 ton metal box full of tools from Salt Lake City, stage the new carriage for installation, reserve and stage a 100-ton crane, gather all the lumber needed for the operation, install platform legs onto the cabin so it could safely rest on the ground during the swap, and finally and most importantly, pick up coffee and donuts on the way in each morning.
The operation went flawlessly. It is hard to describe the pace required to get everything done safely, properly and on time. Once the crane arrived, the meter started running on an expensive piece of machinery, which added incentive to focus on the tasks at hand when the boom was raised. With all the heavy lifting done by early afternoon on Saturday, the crane operator raised and stowed the outriggers and turned the meter off as he pulled onto Moody. After the Tram front courtyard was emptied of all necessary gear, it was scrubbed clean, all fencing and bike racks returned to their proper place, all tools cleaned and stowed.
The remainder of Saturday and Sunday was dedicated to routing all the wiring on the carriage. Once this was done the tram was tested and made ready for Monday morning traffic. The entry below includes some photos of the process.
Take part in the Holiday Tram Week!
Friday, 13 December from 6 pm to 9:30 pm, enjoy complimentary food and drink from Quartet.
Saturday, 14 December from 4 pm to 7 pm, let the kids take part in a range of fun activities. The Christmas ship lights will also glow brightly along the Willamette River. See you there.
Come ride the Portland Aerial Tram with your family and enjoy free food and drinks from local restaurants and businesses from 6:00pm – 9:30pm 12/10 – 12/11 and 12/13. On 12/14 from 4:00pm – 7:00pm. There will also be fun-filled activities for the entire family.
12/10 – Join The Emery and Lovejoy Bakers for an evening filled with warmth and sweetness. They’ll provide mulled cider
and pastries for the evening.
12/11 – After your tram ride, try some Moonstruck hot cocoa and desserts made by Aquariva’s chef. They will also be handing out coupons to use at their restaurant!
12/13 – Enjoy your evening with the restaurant Quartet! They will have food and drink for the evening as well as coupons to use at their restaurants – these coupons are good for complimentary appetizers with the purchase of a drink.
12/14 – Finally, bring the whole family out for a full night of entertainment! Take a ride on the tram, color a Portland Aerial Tram T–shirt and make some ornaments. Starting at 5:00pm, you will have a chance to view the Christmas Ship Lights from the 16th level of the Center for Health and Healing. To end the evening right, don’t forget to enjoy some cookies and hot cocoa.
Thursday, 28 November
Friday, 29 November
Saturday, 30 November
We will reopen on Monday, 2 December and regret any inconvenience this closure may cause. Cabin # 2 (Jean) carriage will be replaced and requires a few days of down time. We invite you to check back for more information and photos of the process. Happy Holidays.
The Portland Tram is called many things. One more common title is “Gondola,” which is often used instead of “tram” to refer to any number of cable-propelled aerial lifts. A web search for tram and gondola definitions does little to fully clarify the true meaning of each term. But if you scratch a bit harder, distinctions surface.
The official difference between a gondola and tram lies in what each does and more specifically, how the cabins are attached to the haul rope (middle cable which propels, slows and stops the cabins). The following definitions were paraphrased from Wikipedia. A tram is the most straight forward of the two:
TRAM = An aerial lift using one or two stationary support ropes (also known as track cable. The Portland Tram has two for each cabin) and a single haul rope for propulsion. The important technical distinction is this; the grip which attaches the cabin to the haul rope is fixed during operation of the tram. It only decouples or detaches during maintenance procedures. A tram is a fixed grip conveyance that simply moves between two terminals. Think fancy clothesline and the general concept moves into better focus.
A gondola is a more slippery and variable term.
GONDOLA = May also be referred to as a cable car, this type of aerial lift is also supported and moved by cables above the cabins or cars. Gondola systems are often called continuous systems because the haul rope is always moving, unlike the tram with a haul rope that ceases moving when the cabins reach the end stop. Here is where it gets a bit sticky. A gondola can have either a fixed or detachable grip. The key is that the haul rope is always moving.
Although we may be sticklers for safety, efficiency and cleanliness at the Portland Aerial Tram, how passengers refer to the facility is open to suggestion and creativity. We don’t split hairs at nearly 200 feet above I-5. The view is too exceptional for that kind of distraction.
Children often come up with the most memorable and creative names for the Portland Aerial Tram. Here are some we’ve heard over the years:
airplane with a cable . a train with the wheels on top . a floating room . air taxi . flying bus . escalating elevator . space pod . Tic TacTM . horizontal elevator . George Jetson’s carpool . levitating lozenge . Jelly Bean . Bubble . silver bullet
Each is as correct as the next, the true meaning a singular testament to what each rider sees as they step aboard the Portland Aerial Tram.
The new carriage is nearly finished. The 16 wheels that run on the track ropes have all been reconditioned, which involves replacing 32 bearings, 192 various nut/bolt combinations and 16 dense rubber liners.
The liners are shaved with a special tool. This machining process evens out the radius of the liner surface and improves the contact with the track rope, or more officially, improves concentric run. Unofficially, the ride smooths out.
The carriage arm above inserts through the cabin hanger and into the carriage. It is the pivot point which keeps the cabin level, except for that swing over the tower. We will document and post the carriage swap process so stay tuned.
Walt and Jean are equal. They share the responsibility of pacing up and down the hill, realiably and predictably. Even so, sometimes choices are made about who gets what first. Walt received a completely new carriage several months ago. Jean is still waiting. The carriage main frame sits patiently under its tent. It has been cleaned, lubed and sprayed with new paint. All the parts are in and tram technicians are getting the carriage closer to done. Jean’s turn is coming in a few short weeks, over the Thanksgiving holiday. She will be taken completely off the track ropes with a crane and set onto the ground on threaded feet. The carriage will then be swapped out. Simple and straightforward.
Please note the Tram will be closed from Thursday, November 28th, to reopen on Monday, December 2nd.
We will have further updates on the carriage project as it moves toward completion.