Surprise in Aveyron!

Millau (Aveyron, France)

Text and photos by Michel AZEMA

The surprise...

The subject of this article was not planned at all.

In May 97, after visiting Aven-Armand and Grotte des Demoiselles, on the way back to Rodez where I had to take a plane, just after Millau I saw this hill on the left side of the road!

Instinctively, I felt that these rails had someting to see with incline railways!
Strange! The first idea is that it looks like some V1 launchpad!... Well, the WWII is finished for more than fifty years!...
Let's be serious... may be you already have guess the reason of these rails...

It is an inclined lift for paragliding and hang-gliding!!!...

This incline (remonte-pente) is owned by Evasion which is a paragliding and hang-gliding school in Millau (Aveyron).

It has been specially designed and built in 1992 by François Besse for this school!

For the moment I do not have any more informations about it, Mister François Besse seems to be someone very... incommunicado!

I only know that this inclined lift is not qualified to transport passengers and is only used to transport the equipment.

It seems to me that the design of the incline was based on the concept of the elevators for removals.

General vue of the incline.

Left: the electric engine.
Center: the gondola.

Details of the electric engine, the electronic box (open!), the winding drum for the cable and between the rails: the cable.

Note the electronic sensor head fixed on the rail to automatically stop the gondola before reaching the end of the rails.

The button "MONTEE" (climb). Details of the strange gondola designed to carry hang-gliders.

Under the gondola.

Note that the cavity of the rails is used as roller conveyor and is also used for the brake blocks.

Details of the gondola.

Note on the background, the road Rodez-Millau.


21, Avenue de la République
F-12100 MILLAU

Tél. (33)



Copyright © 1997 by Michel Azéma, Paris (France)
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