Vehicle: Elevator: Multiple
Shared Lift Shaft   (+2, -2)  [vote for, against]
More than one lift (US. Elevator) in each shaft

Very tall buildings suffer from a loss of usable space due to needing lots of lift shafts. I propose having an up shaft and a down shaft, each with a few carriages in. When the carriage gets to the top/bottom, it will move across to the other shaft. I have thought of 2 possible methods so far.

1) There is an electric rail the length of the shaft and each carriage has motors to pull it along the rail and WiFi (or a carrier signal along the rail) telling it where to go.

2) Each shaft has 10 sets of cables at the sides of the shaft. Each carriage is clipped into a set of cables at the top/bottom and released at the other end.
-- marklar, Aug 05 2007

part way there http://www.patentst...6619437-claims.html
[jhomrighaus, Aug 05 2007]

Vernons Version Multiple-Cab_20Elevator_20Loop
[jhomrighaus, Aug 05 2007]

Leicester Uni had one of these puppies...
Two shafts, one up, one down. There are also students' videos of it on youTube. [theleopard, Aug 06 2007]

[BrauBeaton] They do use them for efficiency but they are not essential. Anyway, it would be no more difficult to transfer the counter weights than it would be to transfer the carriages.
-- marklar, Aug 05 2007

German: fahrstuhl

elevators are scary enough without complicating them further. IMHO
-- dentworth, Aug 05 2007

This is an elegant idea. I'm not sure about the individual methods, but I expect it could be made to work somehow. [+]
-- pertinax, Aug 05 2007

To save space, put the elevators outside.
-- nuclear hobo, Aug 05 2007

Who is the man that would risk his neck For his brother man? SHAFT! LIFT SHAFT! Can you dig it?
-- bungston, Aug 05 2007

This exact idea was discussed on a Modern Marvels episode in the US. The Otis elevator company engineer discussed this as being the next step in elevator technology and is already used or in development.
-- jhomrighaus, Aug 05 2007

Bring back the paternoster lift.
-- MaxwellBuchanan, Aug 05 2007

I am going to be thinking about the opposite of helicopters for a long time ...
-- batou, Aug 06 2007

-- marklar, Aug 06 2007

random, halfbakery