Alimak lift provides access inside the bridge pylon

Rama VIII Bridge, Bangkok, Thailand

Accessing bridge pylons for service and maintenance presents one of the trickiest challenges for lift and access companies. Alimak rack and pinion lifts adapt to inclinations and curves, tight spaces and windy conditions and climb to the very top of the highest structures.

In 2002, a specially-built Alimak SE 500 passenger lift was commissioned to provide access to one of the best panoramic views of Thailand’s capital. The lift is installed inside the inverted-Y concrete pylon of the prestigious Rama VIII cabled-stay bridge, which crosses the Chao Phraya River in Bangkok. Measuring 0.9 m x 1.3 m, it travels up one of the pylon’s legs at a rate of 1 m/sec. At around 75 m, the lift slows to 0.2 m/sec to adjust for the vertical climb, and then resumes full speed for the remainder of the journey to the observation platform at the top of the 161 m-high pylon. The lift’s U-600 guide rail is curved with an inclination of 13° in the lower section and vertical on the upper section. Alimak Hek achieved this by dividing the main frame into five pieces.

The Rama VIII Bridge is named after Thailand’s former King Rama VIII, and was officially opened in September 2002, the same year that Bangkok celebrated its 220 anniversary. It features a 300 m main span, and has two lanes in each direction for traffic, plus a bicycle and walkway lane.

Other bridge projects

Other examples of bridge projects around the world where Alimak industrial lifts or construction hoists have been installed include:

  • Viaduc de Millau, France
  • Chung Sin, Taiwan
  • Pont de Normandie, France
  • Sunshine Skyway Bridge, USA
  • Second Severn Crossing Bridge, UK
  • Honshu Shikoku Bridges, Japan
  • Tsing Ma/Ting Kau/Kap Shui Mun Bridges, Hong Kong
  • Great Belt Bridge, Denmark
  • Øresund Bridge, Sweden-Denmark
  • Megyeri Bridge, Budapest, Hungary

Elevator details

Rama VIII Bridge, Bangkok, Thailand
Installation year
Bridge pylon
Lift type
Rack & Pinion
Lift model
500 kg
Lift car size
0.91 m x 1.3 m (W x L)
1.0/0.2 m/s
Lifting height
151.4 m
No. of landings
Rama VIII Bridge

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