Duncan Chairlift – Mechanical History

A lot has been said over the past couple of years about the Duncan chairlift. Main artery of the North Side, this high speed quad chair is the very exposed to the elements on the mountain not allowing it to be constantly used to its full capacity.

The most recent problems with the Duncan began in November 2010, when a fire at the top of the chair destroyed the control station, forcing the lift’s closure for over a month. The cause of the fire was never determined.

In the fall of 2011, the manufacturer installed a new control system at the base of the lift to align it to the new electronic controls at the top. Adapting the new system to the first generation mechanics was a challenge and problems arose fairly quickly. The ultra-sensitive control computer triggered frequent unnecessary stops. At that time, and along the 2011-2012 season, these stops were mostly caused by the system monitoring the distance between each chair in the terminals at the bottom and top (collision avoidance system). Other systems, including the towers’ pulley trains, stopped the lift while everything seemed in order.

In March 2012, after failure of the electric motor and overheating of an auxiliary motor, we decided to close the lift for the remainder of the season. A lot of negative comments arose from this sequence of events through our Customer Services and our social networks.

This summer, we completely reviewed all electrical safety systems and mechanics. The electrical motor was refurbished and manufacturer Doppelmayr Austria changed the PLC control and conducted a series of tests on the lift.

With the investments and efforts put into the Duncan, we are hopeful that system failures are things of the past. We still cannot guarantee that the lift will run without ever stopping, as 98% of stops are due to users having difficulties when getting on and off the lifts.

During the ski season, a total of 26 highly skilled mechanics, technicians, electricians, operators and managers follow strict prevention measures at Station Mont Tremblant. They will be hands on all season long to minimize obstacles caused by normal wear and tear of mechanical systems.

The Duncan Express lift is welcoming you for a fresh start for the 2012-2013 season!

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