FUNIMAG, the magazine of the funiculars

The drawbridges of the funicolare San Antonio - Passo Mendola
(Standseilbahn St. Anton - Mendelpass)

Text and photos by Michel Azéma

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How the drawbridges were working

St. Anton Station

The bottom station (San Antonio - St. Anton).

What is interesting in this photo?
Well, on the right, a small yellow crane used to carry heavy weights on a small platform which can be hooked to the cabin. The small platform is also on the photo, on the right of the crane.

But the most interesting thing is on the left of the photo... it is this kind of small fenced with wire cage!
This cage is in fact a pit covered with a roof made of metal sheets. What is inside this pit ?


The interior of the pit.

Well, I think you already guessed...
In this pit are the two manual commands of the two drawbridges.
Each command is a handle which commands a winch where is winded a double cable.
The cables (still there today) go along the track and exit the pit through the hole in the concrete on the right.


Another view of the two handles with the two double cables.

Beside the track the cables which command the two drawbridges (beside the bottom station and the drawbridge A).


a reducer

Each double cable and therefore each drawbridge is connected to this kind of strange device which is not made to regulate the tension of the cable but its function is to reduce the energy necessary to operate the handle in the pit.
Note that the two cables, on the right, are connected to the two big pulleys. Each pulley is fixed on a small trolley which is suspended on a small rail with two small wheels with groove.

reducer and drawbridge A
Between drawbridge A and drawbridge B, on the left of the track the system which reduces the energy necessary to command the cables of the drawbridge B.

Menu | Introduction | The drawbridges | How the drawbridges were working | The funicular

Michel Azéma, Paris (France)
Photo Copyright © by Digimarc