Special Elevator Designs

In an observation car, a glass-enclosed car is attached at the back to a traction lifting mechanism behind the car. The back is treated as a screen to hide the equipment. Observation cars can also be designed with hydraulic lift mechanisms and cantilevered cars. When located on an outside wall, no shaft space is used within the building, increasing usable interior space and saving costs.

Inclined elevators are cars that ride up a diagonal path on inclined rails, pulled up by a traction cable. The St. Louis Gateway Arch, for example, has a ten-passenger inclined elevator on each side.

Rack and pinion elevators ride up or down a rack. They are simple and safe, providing for an unlimited rise with low maintenance and operating costs, and they use little space. A rack and pinion system was used for a 64-meter (210-ft) rise in the 1986 renovation and rehabilitation of the Statue of Liberty in New York. The elevator is used to evacuate heart attack victims as an alternative to carrying them down 171 spiral stairs from the observation platform in the crown to the main upper landing. Rack and pinion elevators are used indoors and outdoors in industrial environments for vertical transport of passengers and materials.

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