Ngong Ping 360 John Batchelor, Suresh Tank
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1. Passenger cabins on the Ngong Ping 360 cableway pass each other above Lantau Island, Hong Kong.
The Arup Journal 1/2008
2. The Airport Island angle station (AIAS), leading to Tower 2B.
Ngong Ping 360
John Batchelor Suresh Tank
Introduction Ngong Ping 360, one of Hong Kong’s most challenging and complex tourism projects, is a cableway linking Tung Chung and Ngong Ping [pronounced “nong ping”], on Lantau Island immediately south of Hong Kong International Airport. Tung Chung is a new town developed in conjunction with the airport, whilst Ngong Ping is home to the 34m tall Tian Tan Buddha, the world’s largest outdoor seated bronze figure, completed in 1993 and weighing over 250 tonnes, and the nearby Po Lin monastery. Continuing the theme nearby is Ngong Ping Village, with attractions like “Walking with Buddha”, “Monkey’s Tale Theatre”, and the Ngong Ping Tea House, as well as shops, restaurants, and live entertainment. Totalling 5.7km in length, this bi-cable, circulating, detachable, cable car system is believed to be the largest of its kind in the world. Each cabin carries 17 passengers (10 seated and seven standing), and the system has the second highest transport capacity, with 3500 passengers per hour each way. It also achieves the greatest speed yet (7m/sec) in a detachable circulating system, and has the largest diameter track rope (70mm) for a bi-cable system. The journey of 20-25 minutes from Tung Chung terminal gives panoramic views over the North Lantau Country Park, the South China Sea, Hong Kong International Airport, and surrounding areas, and culminates in a breathtaking scenic panorama as it approaches the Tian Tan Buddha and Ngong Ping. The Arup Journal 1/2008 3
3. The Tian Tan Buddha, Ngong Ping.
Hong Kong’s latest tourist attraction is the largest cable car system of its kind in the world.
Background Ngong Ping is an important Hong Kong tourist attraction. It has around 1M visitors a year, despite its poor transport connections - the bus journey takes about an hour from Tung Chung on a narrow, winding road. Studies were carried out during the 1990s on the development of a cable car link between the Tung Chung new town and Ngong Ping as part of the then Hong Kong government’s initiative to develop Lantau as a tourism destination. After a competitive bid process, in July 2002 the MTR Corporation Ltd (MTRCL) and the government of Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HK SAR) entered into a provisional agreement for the project, by then known as Tung Chung Cable Car. During this period the government enacted the Tung Chung Cable Car ordinance and the MTRCL carried out, and obtained approval of, an environmental impact assessment and a scheme design. In November 2003, the MTRCL and the HK SAR signed a project agreement for the cable car. The franchise commenced on 24 December 2003 and will last for 30 years, after which the system will be transferred free to the government for continued operation as a tourist attraction. Project management Contract and procurement With its aim a world-class but cost-effective tourism project, the MTRCL decided on a target cost contract, with pain share/gain...