NOV 1521 UP F3 - Transporter Bridge, Middlesbrough, United Kingdom

A NOV 1521 UP F3 permanent passenger elevator was designed, manufactured and supplied complete with installation performed in collaboration with GB Access on the basis of winning a bid for the prestigious Tees Transporter Bridge project in Middlesbrough, Great Britain.

Key elevator parameters:

  • Load capacity: 1500 kg (3300 lbs)
  • Mast height: 56 m (184 ft)
  • Speed: 35 m/min (115 fpm)
  • Power: 2 x 9.2 kW + 37 kW VFD (2 x 12.3 + 50 HP)
  • Car dimensions (W x D x H): 1.5 x 2.03 x 2.2 m (5’ x 6’-8” x 7’-3”)
  • Number of stops: Base station + one upper landing

In terms of basic parameters, the elevator is not an extraordinary one, but like almost every permanent elevator it also had to meet a number of special requirements which had not previously been dealt with in our permanent elevators.
Specifically, the tender required the elevator car be made from stainless steel with a fully glazed front wall and using stainless steel automatic car and landing doors made by Italian manufacturer Sematic and designated for outdoor use. No doubt you want to know more about these special requirements for a stainless steel car, glazed front wall and Sematic doors, whose standard make was supplied by our subcontractor, Výtahy Plzeň.
The elevator is anchored to the supporting structure of the most famous site of the town of Middlesbrough, Transporter Bridge, which attracts visitors from around the world. The main purpose of the elevator is to transport visitors to the upper outlook platform approx. 49 m (160 ft) high and provide them with fantastic panoramic views both on the way up and down, as well as from the outlook platform itself, in order to increase visitor numbers to the town. Transporter Bridge, which spans the mouth of the River Tees, is unique in that it is not a traditional bridge but rather a special bridge design used at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries, where transportation is provided using a moving platform suspended on ropes attached to a trolley moving along the upper beam of the special riveted bridge structure.
A few basic facts about the bridge: Total length 259 m (850 ft), span between towers 180 m (590 ft), upper beam at a height of 49 m (160 ft), the moving platform, called a gondola, is suspended on 30 ropes and carries a maximum of 9 cars and people.
The bridge was put into operation on 17 October 1911 and it is incredible to think that despite its age it is still in operation. It is an extraordinary technical achievement and the longest of three bridges of this type still standing in the UK, and one of only six such bridges in the world. 
Transporter Bridge is considered a symbol of the town, and being operated by the town, the town is the project investor.
The project as a whole included not just our elevator delivery, but also the work of other suppliers, who for example supplied the access ramp to the elevator entrance, renovated the gondola, and repainted the bridge. Our elevator, however, was the most important delivery.
Although many problems had to be overcome during the design, production, installation and trial operation of the permanent elevator, what matters is that these were overcome and we contributed to the success of this prestigious project, for which all those involved deserve thanks.

Václav Cihelka

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