Tram Car Stalled over Canyon


A new cable transport system has been built for a local national park. With it, tourists can travel cheaply to the other side of the canyon. Unfortunately, the engineers who built it have not worked out all the kinks. The cable machinery has locked-up, and the passengers cannot get down.

What is known:

  • The cable car is symmetric about its own vertical axis, and the supports connecting it to the cable are separated by 60°.
  • The cable to the right of the joint is angled at 20°, and the cable to the left is angled at 5°, with respect to the horizon.

Angle Diagram


Using a free-body diagram, how would we represent the forces acting on the point at which the cable car supports are connected to the cable?


  • Isolate the point at which the forces are acting and draw a simple sketch of the object.
  • Then draw vector approximations of the forces acting on the point.
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