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Almost all of Washington D.C.’s Metro Escalators Running Properly

escalator

If you aren’t from Washington D.C., you might not be as excited about this news. However, if you have ever had to walk up a long staircase at the airport or mall because the escalator is down, you can empathize with the people of D.C.

Washington D.C. is home to the second busiest Metro system in the entire country. All that usage creates wear and tear on the escalator systems, causing them to constantly need maintenance. The people of Washington D.C. know D.C. Metro Escalatorall too well how often the escalators are out of order. The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority proudly announced this week that almost all of their escalators are in working order.

Earlier in the week a press release revealed that 92 percent of the city’s escalators were up and running. Later that same day, the transit authority announced that they were then up to almost 95 percent! Compare that to the second quarter of 2011, where only 83 percent of escalators were working, and you can see how drastic the improvement is.

There are currently 588 escalators in the Metro system. As of now, only 16 are not being run because of planned maintenance and 14 because of unplanned outages. The rehabilitation effort by the Metro to get more escalators running has been a success. If you live in the D.C. area, you can enjoy taking the escalator instead of the stairs more often now.

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Elevator and Escalator Sales Growing Worldwide

India Elevators

A recent survey found that the increase in commercial space and infrastructure development are major drivers for the growth of the elevator and escalator market in India. The development of more mega cities gives a strong anticipation for a need for more elevators and escalators.

India’s economy has shown a steady growth of five to six percent over the last two to three years, despite global recession. Because of this, the real estate market in India is booming. It is estimated that real estate projects will reach $265 billion in 2020, over $150 billion more than in 2010. High disposable India Escalatorsincomes, a young workforce, and a large base of middle-class households will help India’s economy and real estate market thrive.

It is expected that India will have 25 mega cities with populations of eight million or more with a GDP of $250 million. The country also expects to experience the creation of four mega regions by 2025, each with a population of over 15 million. All this growth equates to more commercial buildings. As the mega cities expand, the building will soar higher, creating a need for commercial size elevators and escalators.

Currently, elevator sales in India are between 40,000 and 45,000 units per year. This is a big leap from the 15,000 units per year that were being sold ten years ago. The market is not just in commercial elevators either, more than 50 percent of the elevator sales in India come from residential elevator purchases. More high rise apartments are being built to accommodate the growing population, causing the elevator market to grow and expected 15-17 percent in the next five to seven years.

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The History of the Escalator

Escalators

Malls, airports, and casinos are all places you have probably used an escalator. The moving staircase is an alternative to elevators and is something everyone knows how to use. Some step onto them and ride to the top or bottom, while some still walk to make the trip even faster. But where did the idea for the escalator come from?

A man from Massachusetts named Nathan Ames is credited with patenting the first escalator in 1859, despite the fact that no working model of his design was ever built. It wasn’t until 30 years later in 1889 that Leamon Souder patented his escalator-like device that used a series of steps and links jointed to each other to carry passengers between floors. However, just like Ames’ model, Souder’s was never built either. Souder would then create four more escalator-style patents, including two that were for a spiral moving staircase. Yet again, all of his detailed drawings would stay on paper and never constructed.

In 1892, Jesse Reno patented the “Endless Conveyor or Elevator,” and George Wheeler patented his ideas for a more recognizable moving staircase. Just as the inventors before Escalatorthem, neither were ever built. Three years later, Charles Seeberger began producing drawings for a form of moving staircase similar to the one Wheeler created. Seeberger’s design was much like the escalators that are used today, except they did not have the comb-style stairs for safety.

Seeberger would eventually buy out Wheeler’s patent in 1897 and incorporated his designs into his own. He would then join the Otis Elevator Company in 1899, who would build the first ever working moving staircase. The name “escalator” came from the Latin word “scala,” which means steps, and the word “elevator,” which Otis used for the name of their moving lift.

A Frenchman would invent a “step-less” escalator in 1898 that was used in London’s Harrods store. This escalator used a continuous leather belt made from many pieces linked together that traveled only in the upward direction. It was said that customers who were unnerved by the experience were revived with free smelling salts and cognac.

Otis owned the term escalator so in the first half of the twentieth century other manufacturers of similar products had to market them under different names. Other products were named “Motorstair,” “Electirc Stairway,” and “Moving Stairs.”

A Swiss company called Schindler introduced their first version of the escalator in the mid-1930s. Today, the Schindler Company is the largest maker of escalators and second largest maker of elevators in the world.

Today, there are escalators everywhere, and they are just a norm to people. Their convenience and ability to take people to other floors quickly without waiting have made them a very popular invention.

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