THE CABLE CAR
The remains of the cable car that was operating between 1949 and 1954 is a good example of the industrial engineering in Coaña and is now being restored as a tourist attraction due to its magnificence.
It was used in the 50s to carry the building materials from the harbour of El Espin (council of Coaña) to Salime (council of Grandas de Salime) for the construction of the Dam of Grandas.
Although the dam works had started before that date and the materials had been carried by road, the advantages of using the cable car are obvious if we take into account that the distance by road was 76 km and the length of the cable car was 35.5 km. with a transport capacity of 35 tons/hour.
In our council it is possible to find the remains of some of the stations and some intermediate towers between the cargo station located in El Espin and the final station in Grandas, near the dam.
Inside the council the cable car goes up more than 700 metres in about 11 km of journey, from the cargo station in El Espin to the boundary with Boal, the bordering council to the south, where the anchorage and tension device number 4 was located.
In the cargo station of El Espin, situated north of the main road bridge, the following installations were found: a pier for ships up to 150 tons., two cranes with a shovel to unload (with a capacity of 90 and 30 tons/hour respectively), conveyor belts, storage silos for 3.500 tons and buckets to load the open railway trucks by gravity.
Between the cargo station and the first propelling station (located in La Ronda – Coaña), the cable car was 6.850 m. long, and had thirty towers and two anchorage and tension devices, one in Las Cruces and the other one in Busnovo. The first section follows the course of the river Meiro, where it is still possible to see the bases of some towers made of concrete and on which the structure is built, made mostly of pine wood and the upper piece of oak wood given that it had to be more resistant.
From the bank of the river Meiro, the cable car line followed until As Cruces device (number 1), whose remains are visible today on the right edge of the road AS-12 from El Espin to Grandas and in good conditions. From Las Cruces on, the slope was very small up to device number 2, lifted in Busnovo where both the iron superestructure, the tension well and the anchorage are visible.
In this first part of the journey, it was necessary to use additional systems consisting of nets to prevent the falling of materials from the railway trucks on the road. From Busnovo, the cables had to overcome a high incline up to A Ronda station, whose structure was partly made of wood.
The highest stretch of the cable car in Coaña crossed the communal lands of Cordal, going up from La Ronda to Penagorda.