Feb 2015

South Korea Funicular Railway System Completed by Yorkshire Engineering Company Qualter Hall & Co Ltd


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A specialist engineering team from Qualter Hall has recently returned from South Korea following the successful installation and commissioning of a major new Funicular Railway System.

It was POSCO Engineering, a major South Korean civil company, who awarded Qualter Hall the prestigious contract to carry out the design and manufacture in Barnsley, then to deliver, install and commission the Funicular Railway System at the ChooChoo Park, High 1 Resort, located in Gangwon Province.

The resort, which provides skiing, scenic mountain views, nature trails, golf, hotels, a revolving restaurant and other leisure facilities, has been significantly extended by the new trains which are an exciting new attraction, travelling between stations at the top and bottom of the mountain.

The contract was secured against international competition and it follows on from Qualter Hall's special expertise in transport systems for personnel incorporating rope management and winders. In this case with the additional unique and special requirement of family rail bikes, which are hauled up the mountain by the trains.

Each bike is a four wheel arrangement running on the rail track, each carrying up to four people, used for travelling down the mountain on a meandering, scenic and separate dedicated rail line. One of the functions of the train system is that on its ascent, it at- taches and pulls the family rail bikes from the bottom loading station to the station at the top of the mountain. Passengers for the family rail bikes ride inside the train on the ascent along with the other passengers.

The Funicular Railway System provides a loop type simultaneous operation of two trains (two carriages per train), one going up the gradient and one descending, connected through a continuous rope arrangement using a 400kW balanced friction winder. The trains run on a single track with a central pass-by to enable the two trains to pass each other.

The trains have automated doors, built-in communication systems and each is equipped with an automatic brake system capable of stopping a fully loaded train safely in an emergency situation. In the event of electric power failure, a diesel generator system will power the winder to enable the trains and bikes to be returned to the station safely.

The Funicular Railway System provided by Qualter Hall includes:-

2 trains (4 carriages) each carriage fitted with Qualter Hall bogie mounted safety braking systems

  • 400kW balanced friction winder system
  • Continuous rope
  • Rope tensioning equipment
  • Rope management equipment
  • All related specialist control and safety equipment

The system provides transport for passengers and family rail bikes over the 1000m long rail track, with a gradient of 15.6 degrees, including:-

  • 70 passengers per train
  • 20 family rail bikes per train – ascent only
  • Operating speed 5 m/s
  • Daily capacity of 2100 passengers and 600 family rail bikes

Qualter Hall has previous experience of working in Korea on a number of projects including

  • Han Bo Coal – two manriding trains for coalmine, one 4 car, 84 seat capacity and one 5 car, 96 seat capacity.
  • Kyung Dong – two manriding trains for coalmine, both 7 car, 160 seat capacity.
  • Jinro Construction – several diesel locomotives.

Qualter Hall also previously supplied Legoland's Windsor Park Hill Train in the UK, which is a similar Funicular Railway System to the one supplied to Korea, except with- out the family rail bikes.