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The Wellington Cable Car is a funicular railway in Wellington, New Zealand between Lambton Quay, the main shopping street, and Kelburn, a suburb in the hills overlooking the central city, rising 120 m (394 ft) over a length of 612 m (2,008 ft). It is widely recognised as a symbol of Wellington.

Wellington Cable Car, New Zealand
Wellington Cable Car, New Zealand

The line consists of 628 metres (2,060 ft) of mostly straight 1,000 mm (3 ft 3 3/8 in) gauge single track with pine sleepers. The only curves are at the passing loop in the middle, at Talavera station. Except for the lowest part the line rises at a constant grade of 1 in 5.06 (17.86%), through three tunnels and over three bridges.

Wellington Cable Car, New Zealand
Wellington Cable Car, New Zealand

The lower terminus is in Cable Car Lane, off Lambton Quay. The upper terminus is next to the Wellington Botanic Garden at the city end of Upland Road, Kelburn's main street. There are three other equally-spaced stations-from Lambton Quay, they are Clifton, Talavera and Salamanca (also referred to as University), all named after nearby streets.

Wellington Cable Car, New Zealand
Wellington Cable Car, New Zealand

The Cable Car has two cars, which start from opposite ends of the line and pass in the middle. They are attached to each other by a 30-mm diameter cable, supported by 120 rollers, which runs round a pulley at the top of the hill. A 185-kW 550-V DC motor at the top of the hill drives the pulley.

Wellington Cable Car, New Zealand
Wellington Cable Car, New Zealand

The Cable Car is a funicular rather than a true cable car: the cars are permanently attached to the cable, which stops and starts as required, while a cable car grips and releases a continuously-moving cable. Wheels on the south side of car 1 and the north side of car 2 have double flanges, while the opposite wheels on each car have no flanges, directing the cars to the correct side of the mid-way passing loop at Talavera.

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