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Edmonton’s funicular ‘sluggish’ when colder than -25 C

The elevator down to the river valley was closed for maintenance Tuesday morning.
The elevator down to the river valley was closed for maintenance Tuesday morning. Global News

Edmonton’s latest river valley attraction, the funicular, has been closed “on occasion” due to cold weather since opening on Dec. 9, according to a city official.

At around -25 C, the platform doors become sluggish and can trigger an alarm that needs resetting, said Holly Budd, communications manager with the City of Edmonton’s integrated infrastructure services. In an email, Budd said snow and ice can collect in the door paths and cause them not to open or close, which triggers the alarm.

Since the funicular opened, Edmonton has recorded 12 days that were -25 C or colder, according to Jesse Beyer, Global Edmonton’s chief meteorologist.

READ MORE: Edmonton’s river valley funicular opens to public, on time and on budget

Watch below: On Dec. 9, 2017, Julia Wong filed this report about the official opening of the funicular in Edmonton’s river valley.

Click to play video 'Funicular Opens' Funicular Opens
Funicular Opens

Since opening, the funicular has also been closed for other reasons. The machine needs to undergo monthly maintenance, which takes eight hours at a time.

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The funicular has also been closed for system adjustments.

In some cases, people have been pressing the emergency stop button when there has been no emergency, Budd said. Protective covers have been installed to stop people from accidentally pushing the stop button.

In addition to the funicular, the Mechanized River Valley Access project also includes an elevator to bring people down to the river valley.

The elevator opened on Feb. 16, but has been closed for maintenance. On Tuesday morning, the elevator remained closed.