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CHINA'S BAILONG ELEVATOR TAKES VISITORS UP 1,070FT IN AROUND 1 MINUTE

The Bailong Elevator, also known as the Hundred Dragons Elevator, carries tourists 1,070ft (330...


 Bailong Elevator

The Bailong Elevator, also known as the Hundred Dragons Elevator, carries tourists 1,070ft (330m) up the side of a massive sandstone column in a mountain range in China's Hunan Province.

Riding the glass lift, which carries up to 50 people at a time or 1,380 an hour, offers jaw-dropping, not to say vertiginous, views down to the bottom of the rocky mountain range in the Wulingyuan area of Zhangijiajie.

Work began on the lift, which cost 120m yuan, or around £12m, in 1999 and finished in 2002.

The project met with fierce criticism from environmentalists who were angry that it was sited in the middle of a World Heritage Site.

Lift shafts and tunnels had to be dug into the quartz sandstone column chosen from thousands in the area, and earthquake detectors installed so that the lifts (there are three of them) could be evacuated quickly in case of disaster.

Those in favour of the project said that the elevators, which are said to boast the biggest passenger capacity in the world, saved the mountain trails from excess traffic.

But protestors said the area, which attracts 5m visitors each year, was already saturated with tourists and did not need another attraction to boost that number further.

After it was built, the lift was said to be the world's tallest full-exposure outdoor lift, tallest double-deck sightseeing elevator, and the fastest passenger elevator with the biggest capacity, according to Industrytap.com

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