Table Mountain Aerial Cableway

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Table Mountain Aerial Cableway
Tablemountain kabelkar.jpg
City Cape Town
Country South Africa
Operated by
Type bi-cable aerial tramway
Vertical distance 765 metres (2,510 ft)
Horizontal distance
Duration of one-way trip 4 to 5 minutes [1]
Maximum speed
Number of cars 2
Passenger capacity 65 [2]
Daily round trips (passengers)
Began service 4 October 1928[3]
Tramway manufacturer
Official website

The Table Mountain Aerial Cableway is a cableway to the top of Table Mountain in Cape Town, South Africa. It is one of Cape Town's most popular tourist attractions with approximately 800,000 people a year using the cableway.[4] On the 29 December 2004 the cableway passed its 16 millionth visitor.

The lower cable station is at an elevation of 302 metres (991 ft) on Tafelberg Road near Kloof Nek. The upper cable station in on the westernmost end of the Table Mountain plateau, at an elevation of 1,067 metres (3,501 ft). The upper cable station offers views over Cape Town, Table Bay and Robben Island to the north, and the Atlantic seaboard to the west and south.


The old Cableway on Table Mountain in 1929

By the 1870s, Capetonians had proposed a railway to the top of Table Mountain, but plans were halted by the Anglo-Boer War. The City Council began investigating the options again in 1912, but this was in turn halted by the First World War. Despite initial cost estimates of GB£100,000[5] (equivalent to £38,800,000 in 2011 pounds[6]) to build the cableway the city's population was supportive of the project and in a referendum overwhelmingly voted in support of the project.

A Norwegian engineer, Trygve Stromsoe, presented plans for a cableway in 1926, and construction began soon after with the formation of the Table Mountain Aerial Cableway Company (TMACC). Construction of was completed in 1929 at a cost of GB£60,000[5] (equivalent to £11,400,000 in 2011 pounds[6]) and the cableway was opened on October 4, 1929, by the Mayor of Cape Town AJS Lewis. The cableway has been upgraded three times since then. Sir David Graaff, a leading industrialist, former mayor of Cape Town and government minister, also invested heavily in the project.

In 1993, the son of one of the founders sold the TMACC and the new owners took charge of upgrading the cableway. In 1997, the cableway was reopened after extensive renovations, and new cars were introduced.


The "Rotair" cars installed in 1997 carry 65 passengers (increased from 25 on the old cars), and run on a double cable, making them much more stable in high wind, and giving a faster journey of 4–5 minutes to the summit. The floors of the cars rotate through 360 degrees during the ascent or descent, giving passengers a panoramic view.



  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^ Fiona McIntosh, Shaen Adey (2004). "Looking Back". Table Mountain activity guide. Struik. p. 29. ISBN 1-86872-979-6. 
  4. ^ "About: Table Mountain Aerial Cableway Company". Table Mountain Aerial Cableway Company. Retrieved 19 April 2011. 
  5. ^ a b "History of Table Mountain Aerial Cableway". Table Mountain Aerial Cableway Company. Retrieved 19 April 2011. 
  6. ^ a b Measuring Worth, Relative Value of a UK Pound Amount - average earnings, retrieved on the 19/04/2011

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 33°57′11.89″S 18°24′11.7″E / 33.9533028°S 18.403250°E / -33.9533028; 18.403250