The Aerial Tramway upgrades have been underway for two weeks and a lot of progress has been made. Here is what has happened in the first two weeks despite all the rain we received the last week of March. We received 4 spools, approximately 9 miles, of track rope and they are in place ready to be installed. The drive motor and hydraulic brake unit have been unwired. Cables from Cabin 2 were de-tensioned, and the Tram Cabins were removed from the cables. The Tram Cabin is currently resting at our Downtown Tramway Mall located at 1001 Parkway Gatlinburg, TN 37738. We have removed the diesel back-up drive motor as it will be replaced with a newer diesel motor. All electrical cabinets in our control room are being upgraded and we removed all the old electrical cabinets.
It has not been all smooth sailing though…we ran into one problem when dismantling the gear box and the drive shaft this past week. A few years ago we had an American based company rebuild the gearbox and replace the motor’s drive shaft. The company reconfigured the gearbox using imperial measurements, and our new gearbox was designed in Switzerland using the Metric System. Basically, the drive shaft was not lining up with the new gearbox. Our team quickly got in contact with a local machine shop and they are making adjustments to the drive shaft now to fit into the new metric based gearbox.
(The crane used to take the Tram Cabin off the cable)
(Removing the Carriage from the Tram Cabin)
(Track Rope Spools in place to go around the bull wheel)
The Aerial Tramway Upgrades started on March 22nd and the approximate completion date is May 28th. This major upgrade will cost roughly 4.5 million USD. During this time, we are offering a free shuttle from Downtown Gatlinburg to Ober Gatlinburg. Although the Aerial Tramway will not be in service, we will continue to operate all other attractions, retail shops, and food service locations. Please check our Instagram, Facebook, and website for updates regarding operating hours and activity schedules.