Transport for London (TfL) claims its Emirates Air Line cable car connecting Excel London to The O2 is on track to open this summer after undergoing its latest testing phase.
All 34 cabins of the new cable car service have now undergone rigorous safety testing, after taking off for their inaugural run on 15 May. The tests came a month after the Air Line’s three towers were completed.
Emirates was announced as the title sponsor of the cable car last year and has agreed to foot two-thirds of the cost (£36m) under a 10-year deal.
The £50.5m service is due to open this summer and will carry 2,500 passengers per hour across the Thames between Excel London and The O2. It operators across 1.1km of cable and sits 90m above the Thames.
Officials at TfL have yet to confirm whether the service will be up and running in time for the 2012 London Olympics. The latest trial was conducted by design, build and operating contractor Mace and cable car specialist Doppelmayr.
“The speed with which we have gone from designs to safety testing of the Emirates Air Line is a clear demonstration of London’s ability to deliver world-class projects and attract major investment,” Mayor of London Boris Johnson said.
“This new transport link is set to support my plans to transform east London into a vibrant new metropolitan quarter boasting new jobs, homes and enterprise.”
The Emirates Air Line is based on three towers, each weighing several hundred tonnes. The largest, the south tower, is made up of 6,500 steel pieces weighing about 750 tonnes. Two terminals will connect the service between Greenwich Peninsula and Royal Victoria Docks.
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