When we go by our days we often do not realize perks that technology has brought to the society. Most people do not have to walk miles to go to school or work every day, they simply ride the public transportation or drive their own car. Others can instantly message their beloved ones without having to wait long days for their letter to get to their post mail. Escalators can too bring relief and help people to move between floors, where elevators would be impractical.
An escalator is a moving staircase, which consists of a motor-driven chain of individual, linked steps that move up or down on tracks, allowing the step treads to remain horizontal. Escalators are used around the world to move pedestrian traffic in places, including department stores, shopping malls, airports, transit systems, convention centers, hotels, arenas, stadiums and public buildings.
Escalators have the capacity to move large numbers of people, and they can be placed in the same physical space as one might install a staircase. They have no waiting interval (except during very heavy traffic), they can be used to guide people toward main exits or special exhibits, and they may be weatherproofed for outdoor use. A non-functioning escalator can function as a normal staircase, whereas many other conveyances become useless when they break down.
Modern escalators have single-piece aluminum or stainless steel steps that move on a system of tracks in a continuous loop. The steps themselves are solid, one piece, die-cast aluminum or steel. Landing platforms, handrails and truss (hollow metal structure that bridges the lower and upper landings) are also the components of an escalator.
The longest escalators in the world are installed in deep underground stations of the Saint Petersburg Metro. Three stations have escalators up to 137 m (449 ft) long and 68.5 m (225 ft) high: Ploshchad Lenina, Chernyshevskaya, and Admiralteyskaya. The longest escalators in Western Europe are in the Stockholm Metro, at Västra skogen with a length of 220 feet (67 m) and in Helsinki Metro, at Kamppi station with a length of 210 feet (64 m). While the world’s longest outdoor escalator system (not a single escalator span), at a total length of 2,600 feet (790 m) can be found in Hong Kong. It goes only one way at a time; the direction reverses depending on rush hour traffic direction.
One of the oldest escalators still in use can be found in Macy’s Herald Square store in New York City. It is an Otis L-type unit with distinctive wood treads and replacement metal treads put in place in the 1990s, and has operated in the store since 1927.
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Source and photo credit: Wikipedia
Camilla G.//SMC Editor
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