All You Need To Know About The Portland Aerial Tram

The Aerial Tram is a type of tramway found in Portland, Oregon. It functions as a public transport system carrying people between the Oregon Health & Science University’s main campus and Portland’s South Waterfront district. This tramway is one of two aerial trams in the US and travels at a vertical distance of 150m and a horizontal distance of 1,000m. This article will provide information on the Portland Aerial Tram, so you are prepared before you ride this fascinating piece of public transport.

What Is The History Of The Portland Aerial Tram?

The Portland Aerial Tram was first considered as a solution to the commuting problem for people traveling from the South Waterfront area to the Marquam Hill neighborhood. In 2001, the Oregon Health & Science University purchased property in the then North Macadam area (now South Waterfront) with plans for extension. Unfortunately, the means of traveling were challenging, and after studying the options, it was decided that an aerial tram is developed.

In 2002, Portland Aerial Transportation, Inc. formed and one of the first public actions was a request to the Portland Bureau of Transportation regarding an aerial tramway. Portland Aerial Transportation, Inc. (PATI) requested that the Bureau of Transportation perform an analysis of the connectivity options and in mid-2002 a process proposal was accepted to do this. The assessment led to the same conclusion as the university that an aerial tramway would be the most beneficial transportation approach. In July, PATI and the transportation bureau began designing this tramway.

The construction of the tramway started in August 2005, but the bulk of the construction occurred during 2006. The installation of engines and equipment was done in 2006, and in October of that year, the two tramway cars arrived from Europe to be placed on the cables. The first run of the Portland Aerial Tram was conducted on November 6th in 2006. The testers of the tramway were four construction workers, and they tested the tram while harnessed to the roof of the car. The tram opened officially in January 2007.

What Does The Portland Aerial Tram Look Like?

The aerial tram consists of two different stations and one intermediate tower. The tram cars operate using parallel track ropes that are pulled simultaneously via a haul rope. The rope is operated automatically using an engine located at the lower terminal. The lower terminal is found beside the OHSU facility in South Waterfront, and the upper terminal is found at the main campus at Marquam Hill.

The Portland Aerial Tram route crosses over several major roads including the Oregon Route 10, the interstate 5, the Oregon Route 43, and Barbur Boulevard. Due to this configuration, the majority of the journey is significantly elevated offering riders a clear view of the east Oregon metropolis.

Final Words On The Matter

As can be seen, there are several facets to the Portland Aerial Tram that should be noted before riding the cars. Using this information you can prepare yourself to use this piece of public transportation.

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