Escalators: CGI Animation Shows How They Work

Jared Owens uses computer-generated animation (CGI) to show how things work. Escalators are one of his latest topics, and the video he narrates is clear and informative — ideal for children and even adult professionals who want to brush up on their vertical-transportation knowledge. In the video, he provides a brief history of escalators and how the technology evolved, and describes different equipment configurations and the reasons for them. Check it out and get an inside, up-close look at components like step chains, track systems, gears, roller chains and handrails, and they all fit together like a puzzle to enhance efficiency and promote safety. More of Owens’ work can be found on his YouTube channel.

Laborer’s Daughter Inaugurates Bengaluru railway escalator

10-year-old Begumma, daughter of Chandbi, who was working at the site, inaugurated the new escalator at the Bengaluru railway station; image courtesy of Twitter.

A 10-year-old inaugurated a new escalator at the Bengaluru railway station in India on November 9.

After prohibitory orders from the city, Bengaluru Member of Parliament P. Chikkamuni Mohan, who was originally set to cut the ribbon at the ceremony, was unable to attend initially. Mohan insisted the ribbon cutting carry on, so someone else was called in for the job.

The railway invited 32-year-old Chandbi, a laborer who worked on the site, and her 10-year-old daughter Begumma to inaugurate the new escalator.

Begumma cut the ceremonial ribbon and opened the escalator at platform number four.

Cash Crunch Idles Escalators

A sign directs people away from an escalator at UN headquarters in NYC. People instead must use stairs or an elevator; photo via IPS.

The United Nations in October turned to austerity measures, including the shutdown of the escalators in its NYC headquarters building, after some of its annual member-country contributions — including from the U.S. — became past-due, leaving the intergovernmental organization strapped for cash. According to the Inter Press Service (IPS) news agency, some of these measures have put a serious crimp in the U.N.’s mission, such as cutbacks on translation and interpretation services, travel and operating hours. Officials have acknowledged, however, that the escalator shutdowns are meant more as a symbolic gesture to draw attention to the missed payments, rather than a substantial money-saving move. Complaints by diplomats resulted in restoration of escalator service to floors used by envoys, but a moving staircase used mostly by U.N. staffers and journalists remains shut down. Spokesman Stephane Dujarric said the U.N. spends about US$14,000 to operate the escalator, and repeated questions from reporters have led to the suggestion of using the recently installed Gandhi Solar Park — a US$1-million, 50-kW solar array that was a gift from the Government of India — to power the idled unit. “I’m barely a spokesman,” Dujarric said in response to the suggestion. “I don’t think I’m an electrical engineer, but I will see where that electricity goes.” A U.N. official said the austerity measures are only temporary, and that full services would be restored once cash-flow problems are resolved.