Salmo River Valley Historical Mining Exhibit
AERIAL TRAMWAY site #15
The Salt Tram Bucket is called a “Carrier”. The thing that attaches the bucket to the “wheels” is called a “hanger”. The thing that allows the bucket to ride on the “track cable” is called the “truck”; the Salt Tram truck consists of 2 metal wheels attached to a triangular piece of metal that itself attaches to the hanger. The round thing in the middle of the hanger is called a “friction grip”, and it allows the bucket to be attached to the “traction rope”, which is the cable that makes the bucket move along the tram line. Aerial mining tramways were useful systems for transporting ore from a mining site to a location where it could be taken to a smelter by rail, wagon, or boat. Although it would appear that transporting the heavy ore on an overhead line would be much less practical than simply moving it over the ground, there are many advantages to overhead tramways that led them to be so common. Overhead tramways not only eliminated the worry of geographical challenges like ravines or steep grades, but also freed up space for other operations that needed it, such as the tracks for ore carts or the mine offices.