Going up? It’ll take seconds in this liftComment on this story
London - Going to the top of a skyscraper in a lift would normally leave enough time for polite small talk with your fellow passengers.
Taking the elevator at one of China’s newest buildings would barely give you a chance for a curt hello.
The CTF Finance Centre in the city of Guangzhou is to get the world’s fastest lift – capable of travelling at a stomach-churning 45mph (about 72kmph).
Covering 95 floors in a dizzying 43 seconds, the express elevators are a key part of the 1 738ft building, which is scheduled to open in 2016.
It beats the current lift record holder in Taiwan’s Taipei 101 building, which can reach 38mph. And it makes the 13.5mph lifts at London’s 87-storey Shard look positively sluggish.
Technology giant Hitachi is behind the super-fast elevators in China. But their 4 000ft-a-minute speed means they need safety measures including advanced braking systems and emergency stop devices that kick in when excessive speeds are detected.
Guide rollers in four corners of the elevator car maintain a smooth ride, while air pressure can be controlled to prevent the discomfort of passengers’ ears popping with quick ascents and descents.
Lift technology expert Dr Gina Barney told the BBC: “When you’re travelling that distance, you’re going to get pressures on your ears changing. That’s probably the most significant problem with high-speed travel in buildings – people suffer some pain.”
The two lifts, each with a 1 443ft shaft, will work alongside 93 others operating at less breathtaking speeds. Some 28 double-decker lifts will also be installed in the towering building. - Daily Mail