Four steel giants for Baku

The longest escalators that thyssenkrupp Elevator has ever produced in Germany have gone now into operation in Azerbaijan. The double-digit million contract includes 25 high-rise escalators for three metro stations.

The four new steel giants are narrower than any other solutions. This has enabled thyssenkrupp Elevator to install four units instead of three. This required an innovative design and the installation of the drive (motors and gears) on the floor in front of the escalator, rather than inside the escalator. As a result, more people are able to travel down to the platform or up to the concourse at the same time, increasing the capacity of the escalators in the shafts by as much as 50%.

Helmut Brandl, CEO of thyssenkrupp Elevator’s Operating Unit Russia and Eastern Europe, said: “We’re extremely proud of the iconic installation and team behind the challenging but rewarding project for Baku metro. The sheer heights of the escalators involved posed a huge logistical challenge for our team, but our engineers and technicians took this on and delivered excellent results.“

The commissioning follows the initial announcement thyssenkrupp made two years ago that it had won the public tenders of Baku Metro to supply 25 escalators within the next two years. The double-digit million contract includes eight high-rise escalators for Sahil and Khatai stations, as well as 17 escalators for a completely new metro station.

The 100-meter escalators have been a significant challenge to install as parts had to be shipped more than 3,800 kilometres from Germany’s only escalator factory in Hamburg to Azerbaijan by 36 trucks. Each steel giant had to be disassembled and transported separately to the construction site. Because of the vast heights and weight of the parts involved, workers at the Hamburg escalator factory had to use a scaffold to climb up the individual components and to adjust parts of the escalator.

Despite the speed of 0.75 meters per second, the sheer length of the escalators means that passengers in Baku will be travelling longer than, for example, someone in Germany who uses a standard escalator to get to the platform: the journey takes almost two and a half minutes. The only thyssenkrupp escalators longer than that – bridging a height of 53 meters – have been manufactured for the Moscow Metro, but they have not yet been installed.