Tram to top of St. Louis arch is back on track after accident

From Associated Press

A tram leading to the top of the Gateway Arch began moving again this weekend months after a snapped cable shut it down, leaving only one route up the 630-foot-tall monument on the banks of the Mississippi River.

Trams from each leg of the arch carry visitors back and forth.

The north leg of the tram was not affected.

“We’re absolutely confident the problem has been corrected,” said Frank Mares, acting superintendent for the National Park Service office in St. Louis, which operates the monument to westward expansion.


The accident occurred on the steamy night of July 21, when one of nine cables pulling the south tram failed, leaving tourists trapped inside for hours.

No one was hurt.

Officials said the snapped cable came into contact with an electrified rail, causing the system to blow a fuse.

Some people already at the top of the arch had to wait about three hours to get out.

Those on the tram got out after about two hours in the tiny cars that lack air conditioning.

In a typical year, about 1 million visitors make the trek to the top.

Mares said the effect of the loss of the tram on the number of visitors and revenue had not been determined.


Each tram in the arch is a train of eight connected round capsules, each of which seats five.

A motor pulls cables up as a counterweight drops down.

Though each tram system has nine cables, a single cable is strong enough to support the tram, Mares said.