Stalin's Rope Roads
August 26, 2013 11:17 AM   Subscribe

The decaying cable car network of Chiatura, Georgia.
posted by Artw (56 comments total) 35 users marked this as a favorite

 
Super-neat post.

First of all, could that thing look more utilitarian and Soviet? Wow.

Then, as a person who's afraid of heights, I have to say, "Holy FUCK, who would trust their life to that thing?"

Then I have to appreciate the art in it. The stations and platforms must once have been beautiful. Even the sardine can appearance of the tram-cars is cool in a 'streamlined' kind of way.

Damn, I've got to find a way to get to the motherland one of these days.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 11:25 AM on August 26, 2013


NOPE
posted by saladin at 11:29 AM on August 26, 2013 [7 favorites]


The stations and platforms must once have been beautiful.

Definitely - the Deco-ish railing and Jet Age stairway shown make me want to see more. For a tyrannical state, Stalin's Russia does seem to have nurtured some talented designers.
posted by ryanshepard at 11:29 AM on August 26, 2013 [3 favorites]


NOPE 2: THE NOPENING
posted by kmz at 11:30 AM on August 26, 2013 [2 favorites]


saladin: "NOPE"

But it's free to ride.
posted by octothorpe at 11:30 AM on August 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


NOPE

NOPE 2: THE NOPENING


NOPE 3: THE NOPOCALYPSE
posted by yoink at 11:32 AM on August 26, 2013 [3 favorites]


2 NOPE 2 ROPE
posted by hellojed at 11:34 AM on August 26, 2013 [4 favorites]


Wow, even in the vintage photos from when they were new(-ish) the car bodies look like they were hammered out of scrap by a disgruntled tyro using hammer from The Flintstones.
posted by George_Spiggott at 11:34 AM on August 26, 2013


As I'm prone to comment from time to time, that looks like something Terry Pratchett would write about in a discworld novel.
posted by Annika Cicada at 11:37 AM on August 26, 2013 [3 favorites]


I'll see your Pratchett and raise you Miéville
posted by George_Spiggott at 11:39 AM on August 26, 2013 [6 favorites]


Sterling or Stross.
posted by Artw at 11:40 AM on August 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


The phone on the left is the most beautiful object I've seen in I don't know how long. WANT
posted by George_Spiggott at 11:42 AM on August 26, 2013 [4 favorites]


The phone on the left is the most beautiful object I've seen in I don't know how long. WANT

I especially like the way someone has put some wheat in there to make it prettier.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 11:43 AM on August 26, 2013 [3 favorites]


WANT

On second thought, leave it there. Like the Elgin marbles, It'd be a desecration to remove it from its setting.
posted by George_Spiggott at 11:46 AM on August 26, 2013


The phone on the left is the most beautiful object I've seen in I don't know how long. WANT

It's functional, too. In the event of a disaster on the cable car (a.k.a. "Tuesday") you pick up the handset and pound it repeatedly against the metal sheet to which the phone is affixed and you can be heard for miles. Then, when it comes time to repair the cable car, it doubles as a hammer.
posted by yoink at 11:47 AM on August 26, 2013 [16 favorites]


I would have to drink so much booze to get in one of those things.

Perhaps that's part of the problem they have out there.
posted by colie at 11:49 AM on August 26, 2013 [2 favorites]


One thing I don't really want to see if I'm about to trust my life to something is copious amounts of rust
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 11:52 AM on August 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


OK, but in all seriousness, they could have a pretty awesome tourist industry if they modernized those things. The views were pretty great.
posted by aramaic at 11:53 AM on August 26, 2013


You couldn't pay me enough to get into one of these things, but it's at least better than the makeshift ziplines in Bolivia.
posted by Sys Rq at 11:53 AM on August 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


*ring ring*
Hello?
hi this is a plant calling
Hi plant how are you?
Cool. As in freezing... Were in the USSR! lol jk. Anyway, ttyl
posted by Potomac Avenue at 11:54 AM on August 26, 2013 [2 favorites]


One thing I don't really want to see if I'm about to trust my life to something is copious amounts of rust
posted by fearfulsymmetry


Oh, c'mon, molybdenum pop-rivets in a sheet metal roof form an indestructible bond! Also, eponysortof.
posted by George_Spiggott at 11:54 AM on August 26, 2013



Spending money on infrastructure is communism and now that they don't have communism they have crumbling infrastructure.

That area sort of reminds me of Telluride, and interestingly enough - a system of trams is how you get around much of that town, too.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 11:54 AM on August 26, 2013


I was stunned by how beautiful some of those shots of the town from above were; I don't know how beautiful it ever really was on the ground, and I imagine it's even less so today than in its heyday, but wow.
posted by Ickster at 11:55 AM on August 26, 2013


I'd think that the worst part of the ride is that at the end you have to work eight hours in a Soviet-era manganese mine. Dying in gondola crash doesn't seem that bad in comparison.
posted by octothorpe at 11:59 AM on August 26, 2013 [6 favorites]


I had the opportunity to ride in something horrifyingly similar to this in China (somewhere between Jinshanling and Simatai) and I declined with very great enthusiasm, much to the vast amusement of the elderly Mongolian operator and his nephew.
posted by elizardbits at 11:59 AM on August 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


NOPE

NOPE 2: THE NOPENING

NOPE 3: THE NOPOCALYPSE


NOPE 4: THE PLANET OF THE NOPES

NOPE 5: CITIZEN NOPE

NOPE 6: 12 ANGRY NOPES

I'll limit myself to three...
posted by tykky at 12:09 PM on August 26, 2013


Nope Season 1: Parks and Recreation
posted by Potomac Avenue at 12:11 PM on August 26, 2013


Surely the list is one off. It should be:

NOPE
NOPE 2: THE NOPENING
NOP3
NOPE 4: THE NOPOCALY...
posted by jsturgill at 12:12 PM on August 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


DIAL M FOR NOPE
posted by Sys Rq at 12:15 PM on August 26, 2013 [3 favorites]


NOPE NORIGINS: THE PREQUEL
posted by emmtee at 12:18 PM on August 26, 2013


ИOPE SPRINGS.
posted by yoink at 12:19 PM on August 26, 2013 [4 favorites]


I'll, uh, take the stairs, thanks.
posted by wenestvedt at 12:27 PM on August 26, 2013


APOCALYPSE NOPE!
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 12:29 PM on August 26, 2013


Toronto's Scarborough Rapid Transit is going to be in one of these photo-essays in 50 years' time, isn't it?
posted by randomination at 12:33 PM on August 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


Hunh. These photos are by the same dude (Amos Chapple) who took those photos of Georgia's Pilar Monk featured on the blue several weeks ago.

Guess we know where Amos has been spending his summer.

More on buckets and aerial tramways from Low Tech Magazine (also noted recently on the blue).*

----------------
*Guess we know where notyou's been spending his summer.
posted by notyou at 12:50 PM on August 26, 2013 [3 favorites]


I cannot believe nobody's said "Nope on a Rope".


Or was that the subtext of all the above and I'm just the self-elected Captain Obvious?
posted by George_Spiggott at 12:50 PM on August 26, 2013 [2 favorites]


The guy in the last picture looks like he's praying, which would be an understandable reaction.
posted by tavella at 12:52 PM on August 26, 2013


The guy in the last picture looks like he's praying...

No, according the caption he's just thinking:
A local lost in thought as a cabin of Tramway 25 docks.
Thinking of the terrifying plunge...
posted by 445supermag at 12:55 PM on August 26, 2013


This looks like it belongs in a videogame, something like a cross between Myst and Bioshock.
posted by the painkiller at 12:56 PM on August 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


THE UNBEARABLE LIGHTNESS OF NOPE
posted by jquinby at 1:02 PM on August 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


> Scarborough Rapid Transit is going to be in one of these photo-essays in 50 years' time, isn't it?

Given the city's ability to bicker over replacement, I'm sure they'll just occasionally hammer the wheels out of octagonal and send it on its way. Still, it's kind of cool how they park trains on the roof of Kennedy station sometimes; we see that out of our kitchen window.
posted by scruss at 1:53 PM on August 26, 2013


> For a tyrannical state, Stalin's Russia does seem to have nurtured some talented designers.

Stalin's Russia inherited some talented designers, some of whom were tolerated for a while before being eliminated. The '20s in Russia were an extraordinary age of creativity in many fields, which is just one reason the '30s-'40s are so depressing to study.
posted by languagehat at 1:56 PM on August 26, 2013 [3 favorites]


(My point is a general one, obviously; I realize these cable cars were created well after the '30s.)
posted by languagehat at 1:58 PM on August 26, 2013


"Rust bucket tram is bad news for moose and squirrel." - B. Badenov
posted by mosk at 2:19 PM on August 26, 2013 [3 favorites]


In Soviet Russia, bucket kick you!
posted by gottabefunky at 2:21 PM on August 26, 2013


Now out in paperback, The Audacity of Nope
posted by Potomac Avenue at 2:21 PM on August 26, 2013 [3 favorites]


That is so fucking cool.
posted by brundlefly at 2:40 PM on August 26, 2013


Nope and pray.
Nope springs eternal.
Nope for the best.
...I'll get my coat.

Seriously though, great view into an area of the world far removed from most peoples consciousness. It has always intrigued me this question of when something reaches the end of its working life and who makes the call on that. For example airworthiness - there are still quite a few old USSR planes flying around Africa!
posted by numberstation at 3:15 PM on August 26, 2013


Land of Nope and Sorry?
posted by George_Spiggott at 3:21 PM on August 26, 2013


SON OF NOPE
NOPE GOES TO HAWAII
GOOD GRIEF, MORE NOPE
THE NOPE AND THE FURIOUS
NOPE HARD
SHARKNOPE
NOPE VS. SUPERMAN (with Ben Affleck)

Anyway, remember the old trope (since disproven) that "at least Mussolini made the trains run on time"? It appears Stalin made the cable cars run on... well... cables.
posted by oneswellfoop at 3:53 PM on August 26, 2013


SO NOPE -- RADIO
posted by dhartung at 5:05 PM on August 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


STAR WARS IV - A NEW NOPE
posted by George_Spiggott at 5:19 PM on August 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


Rope-a-Nope
posted by kirkaracha at 5:33 PM on August 26, 2013


Annika Cicada: "As I'm prone to comment from time to time, that looks like something Terry Pratchett would write about in a discworld novel."

It looks more like source material for the next Bioshock.
posted by pwnguin at 5:51 PM on August 26, 2013


This looks like it belongs in a videogame, something like a cross between Myst and Bioshock.

Not Machinarium?
posted by sneebler at 6:18 PM on August 26, 2013



It's so...Steampunk!
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 9:24 AM on August 27, 2013


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