Weather monitors being installed after tram hit by lightning
Post Independent Staff Writer
GLENWOOD SPRINGS- Passengers were stranded on the Iron Mountain Tramway June 16 after lightning struck the mountaintop facility.
The lightning strike destroyed 40 of the tram’s magnetic cable sensors and shut down the tram’s electric motor, said tram designer and co-owner Chuck Peterson.
Passengers on the tramway were unloaded using the tram’s backup diesel motor. Passengers spent just under an hour on the tram while operators waited for wind and lightning to die down, said Peterson.
He said lightning struck the canopy that extends from the Exclamation Point building over the top tramway terminal, arcing to the bullwheel. Eyewitnesses also reported seeing lightning strike the tramway cable, he said.
Peterson said tram operators were attempting to empty the passenger cabins at the time of the strike. But they got short notice because the lightning storm approached from the northeast rather than the west, which is normal.
“It’s our standard to shut the lift down when we see lightning,” he said.
Many tramway safety systems are already in place. Following the strike, however, operators decided to add two weather monitoring systems.
One system will monitor lightning strikes within a 200-mile radius, said Peterson.
The other system will monitor the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration station in Grand Junction so operators can watch approaching storms, said Peterson.
Both systems should be in place by the end of the week.
Contact Ryan Graff: 945-8515, ext. 535
Support Local Journalism
Support Local Journalism
Readers around Glenwood Springs and Garfield County make the Post Independent’s work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.
Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.
Each donation will be used exclusively for the development and creation of increased news coverage.
Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.
User Legend: Moderator Trusted User
Jamestown Revival released “Young Man” – its third pandemic-recorded album – in mid-January and is on a winter tour that that includes a four-date Colorado run with stops in Denver, Telluride and Fort Collins before culminating in a sold-out Belly Up Aspen show on Sunday, Jan. 30.