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Worlds longest outdoor escalator

Central-Mid-levels escalators

in Hong Kong is the worlds longest outdoor escalator.



From Escalator

Hong Kong Island is dominated by steep, hilly terrain, which makes it the home of some rather unusual methods of transport up and down the slopes.

Since it was officially opened to the public on 15 October 1994, it has played a very important role in transport in Hong Kong since it links Des Voeux Road in Central with Conduit Road in the Mid-levels, passing through narrow streets. Daily traffic exceeds 55,000 people, although originally forecast to transport 27,000, and using it is free of charge.

The whole system is 800 meters long with a vertical climb of 135 meters. The total travel time is twenty minutes, but most people walk while the system moves to shorten their trip. Due to its vertical climb, the same distance is equivalent to several miles of zigzagging roads if travelled by car. It consists of twenty escalators and three moving sidewalks. According to Guinness World Records, these escalators together form the longest outdoor covered escalator system.
The escalator daily runs downhill from 6:00am to 10:00am and uphill from 10:30am to midnight. Apart from serving as a method of transport it is also a tourist attraction and has restaurants, bars, and shops lining its route. There is an entrance and exit on each road it passes, often on both sides of the road.

Although smoking is prohibited in the escalator area evidenced by the "no smoking" signs throughout the route, a small number of people disregard this.
The project's conception began in November 1987, when the Government was faced with increasing vehicular traffic of mid-levels residents going to and from Central by car instead of negotiating the steep inclines on foot.

In operation since 1993, it cost HK$240 million (US$30 million) to build although it was originally approved in March 1990 with a budget of HK$100m and annual maintenance costs of $950,000. Since its conception in March 1987, its scope and its budget were considerably increased.

Bisecting streets

The escalator runs through Cochrane Street between Queen's Road Central and Lyndhurst Terrace. Then it runs along Shelley Street
The escalator bisects the following streets/roads:
• Des Voeux Road Central
• Queen's Road Central
• Stanley Street
• Wellington Street
• Gage Street
• Lyndhurst Terrace
• Hollywood Road
• Staunton Street
• Elgin Street
• Caine Road
• Mosque Street
• Mosque Junction
• Robinson Road
• Conduit Road


Since the escalator system opened, most pedestrians gather at the elevated level; previously they gathered at the street level. This has opened up large tracts of intermediate levels above ("SoHo") and below ("NoHo") Hollywood Road, to pedestrians and commerce. Many restaurants have opened around all the elevated level, in the first or second floors of buildings already present.


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Source : wikipedia

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