Spectacular rescue training


Rescue plan for the famous cable car on Madeira revised


The DOPPELMAYR gondola lift on the Portuguese island of Madeira has become a real tourist attraction. The cable car, built in 2000, runs from Funchal to Monte and can transport up to 800 passengers per hour in its 8-seat gondolas. It operates 365 days a year and the frequency of its use is very high. A modern rescue plan is thus essential.

This was also the reason for Teleféricos da Madeira S.A. to modernize the cable car rescue equipment, explains Pedro Galvão, Technical Director: „After 16 years, we wanted to revise our rescue plan as we did not think the equipment we had would be optimal in case of an emergency. As soon as we learnt of the self-propelled cable rescue carriage SS1 from IMMOOS, it was immediately clear to us that we would want to develop the new rescue solution together with them.”


Due to the fact that the area beneath the cableway is inhabited with streets, vertical lowering of passengers in case of the cable car’s standstill would be complicated. Inclined descent is possible in many places but the cable car operators have identified one section where evacuation along the cable would be necessary.

Motorized Recovery

The rescue troupe with Pedro Galvão (standing 5th from left) and IMMOOS instructor Patrick Gschwind (in a red helmet).

The rescue carriage SS1 offers an optimal solution for this problematic section. When motorized, it can also tow passengers along the cable. “In cooperation with IMMOOS, we have prepared a realistic time calculation. We cooperate with several fire departments, as well as civil defense organizations, who are ready to send specialist teams should evacuation become necessary,” says Pedro Galvão. “Cooperation with all our partners works perfectly,” he adds.




“The first practice run and training we had with the new rescue equipment went really well but the specialist teams need even more training. As we have very few opportunities to practice on the cableway itself due to its busy operation, we would like to build an external training facility,” adds Galvão, providing further proof of an exemplary safety consciousness of the cableway operators. ts