The new Metrocable system of the populous community of San Agustín del Sur in Caracas began to be tested on Wednesday. Four of the system’s 52 cable cars, named love, homeland and sovereignty, passion, and equity, were used in the test.
19 months after the start of construction, test runs began in three of the five stations that make up this unconventional mass transit system. This phase will last between 25 and 30 days.
The test run undertaken by the four cable cars went through Parque Central, Hornos de Cal and La Ceiba stations. These stations comprise the first stage of Metrocable, which will be inaugurated in December.
Isidro Rondón Torres, Minister of People’s Power for Infrastructer, said that barring rain delays, the people of Caracas and residents of San Agustín will be able to use the novel system by this Christmas.
Also, Gustavo González, President of the Caracas and Los Teques Metros, noted that the testing currently being done is necessary to guarantee the safety of the hundreds of commuters that will use Metrocable as their means of transportation.
González indicated the safety tests related to distance, speed, anti-collision, alignment, balance and weight will be conducted. Furthermore, rescue and evacuation systems will be evaluated, and firms in charge of this electro-magnetic cable car will correct any imperfections they detect during this period.
“For example, each car should have a minimum of 120 meters of separation; [the car’s] speed will be five meters per second while running and between zero and two meters per second when reaching the platform. Anti-collision tests consist of 20 integrated sensors on the platform (of each station) that upon detecting the presence of cars will allow an adequate distance to be kept. If, by chance, a car were to be traveling too fast the system would shut down automatically,” he explained.
González took advantage of the opportunity to announce that, as of now, 28 operation technicians trained at the Caracas Metro Training Center will being their activities; these technicians were certified on November 14th.
Once cable lines are placed between the La Ceiba, El Manguito and San Agustín stations, it is expected that this stations will be integrated into the testing phase.
It is important to note that for the system’s inauguration in December, only the first stage will be active (Parque Central, Hornos de Cal, La Ceiba).
The San Agustín del Sur Metrocable system will be the only horseshoe-shaped cable car system in the world, which makes Venezuela, Caracas, and San Agustín del Sur in particular, an example for the world.
Both the Minister of Infrastructure and the Caracas Metro President called upon Caracas drivers to remain prudent, since they will be able to see the working cable cars from the Francisco Fajardo highway during the morning, afternoon and night.
Agencia Bolivariana de Noticias (ABN), Embassy of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela Press Office / November 19, 2008