Powering the Palm Springs Ariel Tram


The Palm Springs Aerial Tramway is a California destination that is a modern engineering feat. It is ten-minute ride and 8,516-foot ascent to the Mt. San Jacinto State Park and Wilderness Area. From there, visitors can explore the rugged landscape, escape the heat of the valley floor, visit the local museum or even camp. This is a one-of-a-kind destination in the heart of Southern California that CCPS was honored to provide back up power for.

The Palm Springs Aerial Tram needed to install two new diesel generators at the very top of the tram. They are currently operating off of a 4kv feed that travels up the mountain 8000 feet by wood poles along the highest ridge of the mountainside. Because of this, they have many electrical outages due to the wind, snow, and just normal maintenance of the infrastructure. CCPS was asked to look at adding 2 new standby generators to help keep the power on during any situation. So we partnered with Cummins and designed a cost-effective system that gives the site manual redundancy which was important to them and also met their financial budget.

The greatest challenge was getting the generators up the mountain when the tram cars were the only option. Although the tram cars could hold the weight, we could not physically get them inside the cars. We decided to hang them from the bottom of the car and send them up one at a time. Once they got to the top, we rigged each unit into place and secured it to its final resting place.

The final system included 2 new Cummins 125kw Diesel generators that feed a Manual which then feeds an existing Automatic Transfer switch for a fully automatic operation. Both Cummins generators where fully load bank and commissioned and worked flawlessly even at 8500 feet of elevation. The system took 6 weeks to install and commission and will give the employees at Palm Springs Arial Tram many years of reliable power for the safety of their employees and customers.