Austrian engineer Doppelmayr/Garaventa has completed the world’s largest aerial tramway across Ha Long Bay in north Vietnam, one of the country’s most popular tourist attractions.
The 2,165m ropeway is suspended from two concrete towers, the larger of which is nearly 190m high. Each of the double-decker cabins is built to carry 230 passengers, making them the biggest ever built.
The tramway, which is officially called the 230-ATW Ha Long Queen Cable Car, was financed by a Vietnamese developer called the Sun Group Corporation and took a little more than a year and a half to build.
The system has the world’s tallest ropeway tower (Doppelmayr)
The system should not be short of customers: around 7 million visitors a year come to the "bay where the dragon descends to the sea", a Unesco world heritage site made up of a maze of more than 1,600 limestone islands. The tramway will take visitors between a terminal in the Bai Chay district of Ha Long City up to the amusement park at the top of Ba Deo Hill.
Record-breaking cable cars are a something of a Vietnamese speciality. In February, the Fansipan Sa Pa system began taking tourists from the Muong Hoa Valley to the 3,143m high peak of Fansipan Mountain, Indochina’s highest summit.
Ha Long, best known to TV viewers as the end point of the Top Gear Vietnam special (Wikimedia Commons)
This 6,282m system is the world’s longest three-rope cable car route, and the 1,410m height difference between top and bottom is the world’s greatest.
Doppelmayr/Garaventa was founded in 1892 and began making rope-based transport systems in the Swiss Alps in 1928. It has built more than 14,700 installations for customers in 90 countries. It is based in Austria and Switzerland.