Willy-Wonka style elevators proposed for London

Elevators that transport Londoners out of the subway up to their office blocks using upward, downward and sideways movement.

The London Underground, the world’s oldest underground transport network, is bursting at the seams. With each rush-hour, workers pack into the subway to reach their destinations. According to thought-leaders from Transport for London (TfL), the number of people who make the daily commute has risen by 33 per cent, meaning 1.34 billion people use the Underground every year. To ease the congestion, thyssenkrupp Elevators created a Willy-Wonka inspired ropeless elevator system that would transport commuters horizontally and vertically.

Called MULTI, the system would change London’s transport network if applied. By breaking tradition the system opens  up new directions of travel in underground transport hubs. It’s been designed to increase passenger capacity by 50 per cent. It does this by enabling multiple cabins to travel safely up one shaft and down another in a single continuous loop, much like a circular shuttle. The only visible difference to passengers is that the doors can open every 15 to 30 seconds.

According to Andreas Schierenbeck, CEO at technology leader thyssenkrupp Elevator, MULTI’s concept makes it a prime solution to the challenges of metro stations. “Yet it also offers a practical solution that could ease congestion in dozens of underground networks across the world too; a thought that makes you realize its potential to be one of the most revolutionary new developments of our time.”

MULTI is currently being installed to initiate the testing stage at ThyssenKrupp's purpose-built Test Tower. The first working installation is expected in 2017.