- Bi-State Development Agency
- The Harlan Company, Aschinger Electric
- St. Louis, Missouri
- Our Role
- Instrumentation and Control
- 63-story tram system
- Construction Cost
- $5.5 Million
- 14 months
- Updated infrastructure provides more reliable tram operation
- New motors and programming enable improved speed control
- Programmable logic controller offers real-time view of system performance
- Digital controls are expected to create more consistent ride times year round.
Soaring 630 feet above the Mississippi River, the Gateway Arch in St. Louis, Missouri, is the country’s tallest man-made national monument. Every day, inside the arch, a tram system transports up to 6,000 visitors to the top for a birds-eye view of the city. The system consists of two independent trams, each with eight circular pods that travel up 63 stories along a curving route, while rotating 155 degrees to keep passengers upright. The North Tram was completed in 1967, the South Tram in 1968. Like any aging system, the Arch tram was becoming harder to maintain; operators wanted a system that was more reliable and easier to operate.
To renew the ride for the 21st century, the Bi-State Development Agency, which operates the tram, launched an effort to modernize the iconic monument’s transportation system, while preserving the original ride experience. To accomplish this goal, they turned to a team of experts that included systems engineers from the Gannett Fleming Power Group, who worked closely with National Park Service Arch tram mechanics on the project.
When it comes to managing a complex transportation system, having up-to-date information about equipment performance is vital. Sensors now continually monitor the temperature of tram motors, the pressure of the oil pumps, and other key aspects of system function. All of the data is integrated by the PLC, giving maintenance personnel a real-time view of system performance so they can take preventative measures before problems occur. With the new infrastructure in place, the iconic ride is set to run smoothly and efficiently for decades to come.
LDP Group, Inc., prior to becoming a Gannett Fleming company, completed this project.
- Upgraded programmable logic controller moves system from analog to digital, giving operators more system control
- Variable frequency drive/AC motors manage speed for a consistent, smooth ride
- System sensors provide operational data for maintenance personnel
- All safety systems have a backup to assure a safe and enjoyable experience for up to 6,000 people a day.