The Eiffel Tower is renovating the North pillar elevator
Thursday 18 April 2019
Modified the 04/05/21
Essential elements of the Eiffel Tower experience, the elevators are the focus of great daily attention. In addition to daily maintenance and regular maintenance operations, the Société d'Exploitation de la Tour Eiffel (SETE) is committed to modernizing its facilities and bringing them into compliance with all applicable regulations. After the historic West pillar elevator, which was completed in 2014, it is now the turn of the North pillar’s elevator to be completely modernized. This unique electric elevator was built in 1964. It must undergo a complete renovation: from the pulleys to the rails and tracks, via the counterweight or the double cabin. The installation is being completely renewed based on the same principles as the existing one.
A fully renovated elevator
The work, mainly carried out by the companies
Baudin-Châteauneuf and Eiffage Métal, will make it
possible to provide visitors with a reliable, safe and
efficient elevator. For SETE technicians in
charge of the operation and maintenance of this
elevator, it is a guarantee that their work will be
made easier thanks to the installation of modern
workstations and new control-command systems.
The scale of the work involved the installation of a
temporary building on the Esplanade to accommodate
SETE staff whose offices were located in the North pillar.
An elevator is also being built between the ground and
the upper platform of the North elevator counterweight
for replacement. The counterweight weighs about 50 tons,
so these are complex operations for a monument unique
in the world!
Elevators that are unique in the world
However, the renovation of the North elevator will not disrupt our visitors' access to the Eiffel Tower, since the elevators on the East and West pillars - serving the first two floors - remain operational.
An exceptional tower demands exceptional means of ascent: the pillar elevators that connect the ground to the 2nd floor are not really elevators in the traditional sense of the term, nor funiculars or cable cars. Specifically adapted to the structure of the Tower, they allow you to climb an inclined track at 54 degrees to the 1st floor and then at 74 degrees to the 2nd floor!
64,000 miles (103,000 km)
That is the distance the Eiffel Tower’s elevators travel each year combined – equal to two and half times around the world!
This is the number of technicians of all trades (mechanics, hydraulics, automation and electricians) who maintain the Tower's elevators.
Did you know?
Two historic elevators, dating from 1899, are still in operation at the Eiffel Tower. Located in the East and West pillars, they are hydraulic elevators, designed by the Fives Lille company. Completely modernized and transformed since then, they still maintain the same basic mechanical principle with a passenger cabin carried by a cab located underground, powered by pistons, themselves set in motion by hydraulic high-pressure oil motors. Thanks to the hauling (winding) technique of the cables, the cab, which runs 52.5 feet (16 meters), allows the cabin to rise and travel 420 feet (128 meters). At the North and South pillars, Otis hydraulic elevators were installed when the Eiffel Tower opened in 1889 until 1910. The North Pillar Electric Elevator project was launched in the early 1960s and was commissioned in 1965. At the South pillar, two Otis elevators are now in operation: one for customers of the Jules Verne restaurant and the other for the staff who operate the Eiffel Tower.