In February 2003 the Directorate for Cultural Heritage in Norway protected by law an aerial transport system in Longyearbyen, Svalbard (Spitsbergen) at 78º10'N.
Almost 10 km long, this system conveyed coal from two mines to a central station and then on to the loading and shipping quay. This part of the transport system was established between 1957 and 1967 and was in use up to 1987.
Although the cables and buckets have been removed for safety reasons, 100 masts still stand across the tundra. The central station is both architecturally and technically an important symbol for Longyearbyen and the development of activities in Svalbard. It is a unique piece of the totality of high arctic cultural heritage.
(Susan Barr - March 2003)
International Polar Heritage Committee
President - Julian Bickersteth, International Conservation Services