“An escalator is a
conveyor transport device for
transporting people, consisting
of individual, linked steps that
move up or down on tracks,
which keep the treads
As a power-driven, continuous moving
stairway designed to transport
passengers up and down short vertical
distances, escalators are used around the
world to move pedestrian traffic in places
where elevators would be impractical.
Principal areas of usage include

and public buildings. it was estimated that the United States had more than 30. and that 90 billion riders traveled on escalators each year. Benefits of escalators- •They have the capacity to move large numbers of people. shopping malls. As recently as 2004. . •They can be used to guide people toward main exits or special exhibits. airports. hotels. transit systems. •They may be weather-proofed for outdoor use. convention centers.000 escalators. •They have no waiting interval (except during very heavy traffic).department stores. •They can be placed in the same physical space as one might install a staircase.

These factors will determine the pitch of the escalator and its actual length.Design and layout considerations A number of factors affect escalator design. . safety considerations. Location is important because escalators should be situated where they can be easily seen by the general public. In department stores. customers should be able to view the merchandise easily. The ability of the building infrastructure to support the heavy components is also a critical physical concern. including physical requirements. physical factors like the vertical and horizontal distance to be spanned must be considered. and aesthetic preferences. traffic patterns. up and down escalator traffic should be physically separated and should not lead into confined spaces. location. Foremost. Furthermore.

3–0." moving walkways. the escalators only go up.there are no escalators going down. Some modern escalators have transparent side panels that reveal their gearings. Escalators are typically used in pairs with one going up and the other going down. Modern escalators have single-piece aluminum or steel steps that moves on a system of tracks in a continuous loop. however in some places . . The maximum angle of inclination of an escalator to the horizontal floor level is 30 degrees with a standard rise up to about 60 feet (18 m).especially European stores and metro stations .6 m) per second.Operation Escalators and their "cousins. are powered by constant-speed alternating current motors and move at approximately 1–2 feet (0.

smaller airports 40 in Two passengers — one may walk past another Mainstay of metro systems. in Millimeters Ve ry 400 mm sm all S m all 600 mm M edi 800 mm u m La rg 1000 mm e Width (Between Balustrade Panels). in Inches Single-step capacity Applications One passenger. train stations. uppermost levels of department stores. extremely rare today 24 in One passenger Low-volume sites. when space is limited 32 in One passenger + one package or one piece of luggage.Sizes and typical use Standard escalator step widths Siz e Width (Between Balustrade Panels). department stores. with feet together An older design. some retail usage 16 in . larger airports. Shopping malls.

but for rises not exceeding 6 m and rated speed not exceeding 0.5 mls speed 0.5 mls the angle of inclination is pennitted to be increased up to 35.75 mls for an angle of inclination up to 30° and for an escalator with an angle of inclination of more than 30° but within 35°. c) Some values calculated as per the above are: Step Width Theoretical Capacity in Persons/hour 0.6m 4500 5850 6750 0.8m 6750 8775 11125 1m 9000 11700 13 500 . The rated speed of the escalator shall not exceed 0.Essential Requirements  Angle of inclination of an escalator from the horizontal shall not exceed 30°.75 mls speed 0.65 mls speed 0.


SYM BOL DISCRIPTIO N A B C T U V W X Y Z MANUFACTURE’S DIMENSIONS MONTGOMERY OTIS WESTING HOUSE NOMINAL WIDHT 32” 48” 32” 48” 32” 48” WIDTH OF STEP 24” 40” 24” 40” 24” 40” OVERALL DECK WIDTH 4’-01/4” 5’-41/4” 4’-01/4” 5’-41/4” 4’-31/2” 5’-8” WP TO END OF LOWER TRUSS 7’-41/2” 5’-79/8” 6’-7” TOP OF HANDRAIL 2’-111/2” 3’-2” 3’-0” DEPTH OF LOWER PIT 3’-10” 3’-61/2” 3’-8” TOP OF HANDRAIL 2’-61/4” 2’-8” 2’-3” DEPTH OF TRUSS 3’-2” 3’-2” 3’-5” DEPTH OF UPPER PIT 4’-1” 4’-2” 3’-6” WP TO END OF UPPER TRUSS 7’-81/2” 9’-0” 7’-10” .

'1. .5 persons for a step width of 0.0.8 and 1. b) The theoretical capacity then is: 3600 x (rated speed in mls x k)/0.0 m. The number of persons that may be theoretically carried by the escalator in 1 h can be calculated as follows: a) For detennination of theoretical capacity it is assumed that one step with an average depth of 0. 1.Essential requirement For normal peak periods.4 m can carry 1 person for a step width of 0.0 m step widths. or 2 for 0.6.6 m.4 where k = 1.5. the recommended handling capacities for design purposes should be taken as 3 200 to 6 400 persons per hour depending upon the width of the escalator.8 m and 2 persons for a step width of 1.

Top Landing Platforms Handrail Bottom Landing Platforms .


. These teeth mesh with matching cleats on the edges of the steps. It is so named because its edge has a series of cleats that resemble the teeth of a comb. which helps prevent objects from getting caught in the gap. while the bottom holds the step return idler sprockets. These sections also anchor the ends of the escalator truss. The floor plate provides a place for the passengers to stand before they step onto the moving stairs. the platforms contain a floor plate and a comb plate. The comb plate is the piece between the stationary floor plate and the moving step.Components Top and Bottom Landing Platforms — These two platforms house the curved sections of the tracks. The top platform contains the motor assembly and the main drive gear. This plate is flush with the finished floor and is either hinged or removable to allow easy access to the machinery below. as well as the gears and motors that drive the stairs. In addition. This design is necessary to minimize the gap between the stair and the landing.


The truss carries all the straight track sections connecting the upper and lower sections.The Truss The truss is a hollow metal structure that bridges the lower and upper landings. The ends of the truss are attached to the top and bottom landing platforms via steel or concrete supports. . It is composed of two side sections joined together with cross braces across the bottom and just below the top.

This configuration forces the back of one step to be at a 90-degree angle relative to the step behind it.The Tracks The track system is built into the truss to guide the step chain. The relative positions of these tracks cause the steps to form a staircase as they move out from under the comb plate. one after another. At the top and bottom of the escalator. At this point the tracks separate and the steps once again assume a stair case configuration. so they can easily travel around the bend in the curved section of track. There are actually two tracks: one for the front wheels of the steps (called the step-wheel track) and one for the back wheels of the steps (called the trailer-wheel track). The tracks carry the steps down along the underside of the truss until they reach the bottom landing. This cycle is repeated continually as the steps are pulled from bottom to top and back to the bottom again. where they pass through another curved section of track before exiting the bottom landing. which continuously pulls the steps from the bottom platform and back to the top in an endless loop. This causes the stairs to lay in a flat sheet-like arrangement. . the two tracks converge so that the front and back wheels of the steps are almost in a straight line. This right angle bends the steps into a stair shape. Along the straight section of the truss the tracks are at their maximum distance apart.


The Steps The steps themselves are solid. and yellow demarcation lines may be added to clearly indicate their edges. The leading and trailing edges of each step are cleated with comb-like protrusions that mesh with the comb plates on the top and bottom platforms. Rubber mats may be affixed to their surface to reduce slippage. . the position of the tracks controls the orientation of the steps. die-cast aluminum or steel. The rear wheels are set further apart to fit into the back track and the front wheels have shorter axles to fit into the narrower front track. As described above. The front and back edges of the steps are each connected to two wheels. onepiece. The steps are linked by a continuous metal chain so they form a closed loop with each step able to bend in relation to its neighbors.

consists of either steel cable or flat steel tape." also known as a "glider ply. the only part that passengers actually see. known as the tension member. mechanical wear and tear.The Handrail The handrail provides a convenient handhold for passengers while they are riding the escalator. At the center of the handrail is a "slider. . It is constructed of four distinct sections. It provides the handrail with the necessary tensile strength and flexibility. the outer layer. Finally. and human vandalism. is the rubber cover. The purpose of the slider layer is to allow the handrail to move smoothly along its track. On top of tension member are the inner construction components. which are made of chemically treated rubber designed to prevent the layers from separating." which is a layer of a cotton or synthetic textile. This cover is designed to resist degradation from environmental conditions. The next layer. which is a blend of synthetic polymers and rubber.

Bellows-type handrails fell out of favor in the 1970s. Some handrail designs consisted of a rubber bellows. with rings of smooth metal cladding called "bracelets" placed between each coil. so if part of the handrail was damaged. where they are fused together. This gave the handrail a rigid yet flexible feel.The handrail is constructed by feeding rubber through a computercontrolled extrusion machine to produce layers of the required size and type in order to match specific orders. rubber. The component layers of fabric. When installed. the finished handrail is pulled along its track by a chain that is connected to the main drive gear by a series of pulleys. Each bellows section was no more than a few feet long. only the bad segment needed to be replaced. and since then most escalators so equipped have had them replaced with conventional fabric-andrubber railings . and steel are shaped by skilled workers before being fed into the presses.

adequate ventilation for the spaces that contain the motors and gears must be provided. Fire protection of an escalator floor-opening may be provided by adding automatic sprinklers or fireproof shutters to the opening. To limit the danger of overheating. .Safety Safety is also major concern in escalator design. or by installing the escalator in an enclosed fireprotected hall.


Anti-slide devices Combplate impact switches Deflector brush Emergency Stop button Extended balustrades Flat steps Handrail inlet switches Handrail speed sensors Devel step switches Missing step detectors Raised edges Safety instructions Sensor Switch Step demarcation lights .key safety features To enhance passenger safety. newer models of escalators are equipped with one or more of the following safety implementations.