Findings and developments following the Schilthorn Incident
A dramatic incident at the Schilthorn [1, 2], a renowned aerial tramway, almost ended in disaster. The sudden loss of more than 50% of the metallic cross-section (Figure 1) of a locked coil track rope due to a deterioration mechanism (Hydrogen Induced Stress Corrosion Cracking (HISCC)) unknown within rope and ropeway professional circles in the context of a locked coil rope, roused the whole ropeway community! (see Figures 2 and 3). Figure 4 shows a sectional view of the tramway’s upper terminal. The damage to the rope was caused by the jerky stick-slip movement of the rope over the deflection saddle during the first track rope relocation 26 years earlier. Visual inspections subsequently carried out on aerial tramways of similar build, brought to light the existence of surface damages in an unexpectedly high number of track ropes.
Author(s): Longatti, B.