15 April 2015

Wellington Cable Car's engineering heritage celebrated


A plaque celebrating the engineering heritage of Wellington’s Cable Car was unveiled today by Mayor, Celia Wade-Brown.

Speakers at the Institution of Professional Engineers New Zealand (IPENZ) event held in the Cable Car’s Kelburn Terminus included Simon Fleisher, Wellington Cable Car Limited’s Chief Executive Officer, who explained the Cable Car’s current installation has been running for about 36 years. Future plans to replace some of the machinery are in the pipeline, he said.

Opened in 1902 as a combined cable tramway and funicular, the Cable Car is one of the best-known works of prominent New Zealand engineer James Fulton. Although extensively modernised, the Cable Car still uses the original tunnels and formation. Residents and Victoria University of Wellington students use it daily and it is a popular tourist attraction – especially for cruise ship passengers.

Roy Sharp, IPENZ’s Wellington Heritage Chapter Chair, said the IPENZ plaque recognises the Cable Car as “one of New Zealand's engineering achievements of outstanding heritage significance.”

Wellingtonians know it is a special feature of their city, but today’s plaque unveiling was a way of formally acknowledging and celebrating the Cable Car’s importance.