It’s been about a month since they joined the cable car pylons with the necessary cables during the early hours of a Saturday morning and a couple of weeks ago they started testing with the cable car pods.
The string of little black pods – when seen from a distance – ties the white pylons together and creates the visual link across the river that had been lacking with just the cables themselves, and the constant rotative movement of the pods is slightly hypnotic to watch.
Sadly, for all the elegance that has gone into the pylons, the terminus buildings look rather disappointing. The plastic appearance of the external walls reminds me more of a cheap greenhouse from the 1970s than a modern transport service.
They really are quite a let down considering the vast budget that has been poured into the development.
One improvement on earlier potential plans though is the signage on the cable car pods themselves. The preview model had a big roundel right in the middle of the main window, which would have been most irksome had it been left there in the live version.
Fortunately, they have been removed, ensuring unobstructed views – over the shoulders of the people sitting opposite you – or you can twist around to look out behind you.
The terminus building on the north side looks less finished than its southern counterpart, but both look as if they are within a couple of weeks of completion.
The necessary protections are being added to the bottom of the pylon that sits on land – in the form of high fences to stop naughty people climbing the pylons and some landscaping.
Another area that is being prepared for the Cable Cars though is the nearby DLR station at Royal Victoria. The cable car may be officially designed to link two commercial venues – Excel and the Dome – but they presumably expect people to travel to use the service and not the local venues.
A new entrance is being built on the Western platforms and the old DLR sign has been torn down for the new roundels they seem to prefer. The platform signs have already been updated to point to the new shiny thing.
It’s a guess, but I would suspect that the Cable Car will open to the public in a little over a month once final testing is signed off and the terminus buildings are finished.
Some more photos here.