The Cable Car

During the current social distancing conditions it is a legal requirement that you wear a face covering on public transport, and this includes the cable cars.

When the grounds to the Heights of Abraham were first opened to visitors in the 1780s, modern technology was nothing but a dream. The first guests had no choice but to scale the steep slopes of Masson Hill to take in all that the estate had to offer. In 1984 the current owners took inspiration from Switzerland, and had a cable car installed.

MJPL6724.jpgWe have seen millions of visitors safely go up and come back down again over the years, and we can assure you the cable car is extremely safe. However if this isn’t enough to convince you to give it a try, we have put together some frequently asked cable car questions to put your mind to rest.

How do the cable cars work?

Each of the 12 cars are permanently attached to the cable by huge metal bolts. The cable is one long loop and is kept in tension on giant rollers.

How long is the cable?

The cable itself is 1,136 metres long (or, around 2/3 of a mile). From the base station to the hill top, you only travel around 1/3 of a mile. The cable is 40.2mm in diameter, which doesn’t sound like a lot, but it can hold up to 120 metric tonnes.

What makes the cable cars move?

A 360 horse power, very sturdy, electric motor that’s located at the Base Station.

Why do they slow down or stop half way?

The cable cars slow down to let people on at the bottom. When they stop completely, it’s just to let people with pushchairs and wheelchairs on. This is a great opportunity to take some stunning photos of the Derwent Valley and Masson Hill. 

How high do you travel?

From bottom to top, you travel 169 metres (or 554ft) upwards. It’s not a straight up ride like a roller coaster, you pass over 5 towers that ease the gradient. The highest tower is 23.5m (77ft) tall.

How high is Masson Hill above sea level?

The summit of the hill is around 339 meters (1,111ft) above sea level.


Use the interactive image below to see what taking a flight up in the cable cars is like before you visit. Use your pointing device to click through the image and reveal more scenes.