The world's shortest escalator

World’s Shortest Escalator - certified by the Guinness Book of Records [YouTube via Wired:Gadget Lab.

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29 Responses to The world's shortest escalator

  1. zuzu says:

    Listen, not a year goes by, not a year, that I don’t hear about some escalator accident involving some bastard kid which could have easily been avoided had some parent–I don’t care which one–but some parent conditioned him to fear and respect that escalator!

  2. dove says:

    i like that this is tagged with “tools”

  3. J4rH34d says:

    It seems risible, but I have knee joint issues that make descending stairs difficult at times. Ramps are a problem, too.

    OTOH, I can climb stairs with little trouble and often climb 3 flights up and take an elevator down at Powell’s.

  4. popvoid says:

    I’ve been on that escalator, and I remember thinking at the time. “Wow, that was weird.” Even more humorous than the escalator is the discussion thread on YouTube, in which several people immediately assume it is in America and start attacking the US mindset for it. I don’t foresee that happening in this thread; I think that the Boing Boing audience has a few more gray cells to rub together than that.

  5. NicoNicoNico says:

    Oddly enough, if it’s for accessibility reasons, I couldn’t use it. I have a huge limp, so it’s less a choice of which foot to use to step on it, but which foot has the lesser chance of me falling and busting my head open.

    I could never use the Wheaton Metro station in the DC suburbs after I got hurt. It’s the longest in the Western Hemisphere, and probably takes a good couple of minutes to go down. Their elevator was constantly broken, too, so it was a choice between escalator and … escalator! No steps, too.

    Those escalators remind me of the elevators at the Art Institute in Chicago. I couldn’t go up any stairs because I was in a wheelchair, so we went in the elevator instead. It took longer to close the doors (not the wait for them to close – the actual doors closing) than to ride it. It was for a small set of stairs near the front. Personally, they could have done that cheaper with a wheelchair lift.

  6. ocarolina says:

    Move this to immediately outside my front door, please.

  7. Anonymous says:

    these are human made things. why would the shortest be of any interest to Guinness? it’s like world’s shortest ladder.
    I mean the manufacturer can just put the least amount of steps that still allows the the steps to cycle.

    any body know world’s longest/tallest escalator?

  8. Anonymous says:

    Slightly off topic, but whenever I ride on an escalator, I wonder:

    Was the escalator created as something to be walked up and down like steps, or was it made to be ridden standing still?

  9. Francesco Fondi says:

    I’m pretty sure that there is a super short escalator like this in NAMBA station (OSAKA)…

  10. MrScience says:

    #2 No kidding! When I was a young’un, I was riding on my father’s shoulders in a department store. We passed an escalator, and I grabbed onto the black hand rail.

    As it dutifully carried me off his shoulders, I realized I was in trouble. One glass display case drifted below me, then another. As the display cases shrank, the ceiling above grew closer. I felt my grip weakening, but the adults were shouting “Not yet! Hold on!”

    Just before impact, I cleared the glass cases and let go, to be caught by my father (and saving my future coding hands).

    Fear and respect escalators!

  11. trueblue2 says:

    I have no video to back this up as I’m quite far from Reno right now, but my recollection is that there are 2 side-by-side escalators (one up, one down) inside Circus Circus Reno that are not much bigger than this. I always though it was odd, but I guess from an accessibility perspective (as noted in comment 4) it might have made sense as the only other option was a ramp.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Fear and respect escalators! would make an awesome T-shirt. Or band name.

  13. Anonymous says:

    V – Actually I have seen an escalator that was out of service. It was just stopped and looked fine (not taken apart or anything), but there were chains attached to posts at the top and bottom and signs that said it was out of order. This was a fairly long escalator with an up and a down one on either side, and stairs in the middle. I think this might have been in Vancouver, but I don’t really remember.


  14. pupdog says:

    Thank you Zuzu, that’s exactly was I was looking for.

    I used to work around the longest freestanding escalator in the world, it was a bit dizzying.

  15. guy_jin says:

    I don’t know why all the stairs in the picture aren’t escalators – after all, if energy use becomes a problem, they can just turn ‘em off and they become stairs.

  16. Anonymous says:

    Broken escalators don’t become stairs in today’s litigious world. Many places will have security close them off to avoid lawsuits from people slipping etc. Building codes tightly regulate the spacing/height of stairs. The steps on an escalator don’t comply.

  17. cjp says:

    From what I can glean from Wiki- the longest single span escalator is in Kiev at the Kreschatik Metro Station, with a height of 66m and a total incline length of 132.

    The escalator at Granville Station (?) in Vancouver is absolutely veritgo inducing and is not helped by the fact that the tiles on the walls have a non-horizontal pattern.

  18. SeeChao says:

    There’s one almost as short, maybe one extra step, in Banff, canada… It’s in a sporting goods store, seriously, they specialize in hiking shoes.

  19. V says:

    ““An escalator can never break: it can only become stairs. You would never see an Escalator Temporarily Out Of Order sign, just Escalator Temporarily Stairs. Sorry for the convenience.””

  20. dingoblue says:

    bottom floor harvey nichols in knightsbridge london, has one(took a photo a few years ago)looked to me to be a 3-4 stepper?? Leads into the couture mens wear dept I think from memory.

  21. wgmleslie says:


    It seems risible, but I have knee joint issues that make descending stairs difficult at times. Ramps are a problem, too.

    It’s a down-escalator, so I think the word you’re looking for is fallible.

  22. airship says:

    I want this in my house.

  23. Anonymous says:

    @20 yeah. it’s the escalator at granville station skytrain. i remember the first time i went down. whooooa. scary.

  24. Rob Beschizza says:

    I’ll admit that I thought it would be in Europe, where overbearing accessibility rules might force them to put them in even when other solutions would be more appropriate.

  25. Trent Hawkins says:

    and, of course, it’s an elevator that goes down.

  26. Anonymous says:

    I believe that the longest escalator in the Western Hemisphere is at the Wheaton Metro Station outside Washington, DC. It takes me 2 minutes and 43 seconds to ride it up every evening. I often have to dodge the tourists taking pictures.

    This one often “breaks” to become stairs, but definitely not a convenience.

  27. rAMPANTiDIOCY says:

    it’s been quite a few years since i visited the mall, but as i recall, there were two tiny escalators in the Garden State Plaza of Paramus, NJ

  28. sinewave16 says:

    The one in Reno that TRUEBLUE2 is thinking of is in the El Dorado (not Circus Circus). Its between the check-in area and the walkway to the parking garage across the street. I have a picture of it, and I counted *just one* more step than the one in the post.

  29. zuzu says:

    An escalator can never break: it can only become stairs. You would never see an Escalator Temporarily Out Of Order sign, just Escalator Temporarily Stairs. Sorry for the convenience.

    Ah, Mitch Hedberg

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