Time for Wasting Time: Fascinating Niche Escalator Podcast

We have our own podcast, sure, but it’s just us reading the daily news, newscaster style — a simple way for vertical-transportation buffs to keep up with the latest news by simply logging on to our site and plugging in their earphones. Apparently, there are other vertical-transportation-specific podcasts out there that get a little more jiggy with it. Your author found out about one such such podcast through The Guardian, in a piece titled, “A show about escalators, a show about cows: what’s your favourite extremely niche podcast?” Guardian writers described Australia’s Lindsey Green’s “People Movers” podcast about escalators as an “absolute joy,” with a “well-defined sense of sound design and humor throughout.” Your author visited Green’s podcast website, and was very impressed by the segment titles and photos, such as this one of Green at the Central–Mid-Levels escalator and walkway system in Hong Kong — the longest outdoor covered escalator system in the world — which has been featured in ELEVATOR WORLD. We are looking forward to actually listening to Green’s podcast, but fear it will be a tremendous — but fun and informative — time waster.

Green’s joy from riding Hong Kong’s Central-Mid-Levels escalator system in Hong Kong — the longest in the world — is apparent.

“Heathrobots” Join COVID-19 Fight at London’s Heathrow

Robots delivering food and supplies to quarantined COVID-19 patients in Chinese hotels, while indisputably strange and sci-fi, makes perfect sense. Now robots, outfitted with virus-killing ultraviolet (UV) light systems, have been enlisted at London Heathrow airport in the fight against the spread of COVID-19, the BBC reports. Here, the short, rounded robots — which bring to mind R2D2 — cruise the terminals and enter areas like restrooms (when unoccupied, of course) to disinfect them with powerful UV light (which is also harmful to human skin, hence the provision restrooms be unoccupied.) In the video below, the host describes the airport’s other virus-fighting measures, including retrofitting escalators with UV-light sanitation systems and placing anti-viral coatings on high-touch areas such as escalator handrails and lift buttons.

Looking Back at a Megaproject


Structural bracing near the portal just north of WMATA’s Grosvenor station; image courtesy of GWU Archives via Greater Greater Washington

Subways and commuter rail systems are important transportation options in most of the large cities in the U.S. They help reduce roadway congestion and the pollution produced by automobiles and, because they are either underground or elevated, they provide quick and efficient travel throughout metro areas. And, as we all know, thanks to the Americans With Disabilities Act, their stations and platforms are equipped with vertical transportation: large-capacity elevators and heavy-duty escalators that keep people on the move. In a nostalgic look back at the genesis of one of the nation’s best-known metro systems, website Greater Greater Washington has posted photographs documenting the construction of the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) Metrorail system serving the Washington, D.C., area, the first segment of which opened in 1976. The digitized photographs were released by the George Washington University (GWU) Archives, and include a rendering of the Wheaton Station escalators, the longest single-span escalators in the Western Hemisphere. If you’re into construction photographs, these will give you a fascinating look behind the scenes at the work involved in creating the nation’s second-busiest metro system.