How does an Escalator work?

How does an Escalator work?


– [Jared] As you ride up an escalator, you’ve seen this view plenty of times. But have you seen this view? or this view? In today’s video, I’d like to show you
how an escalator works. (upbeat music) It’s hard to imagine the modern
world without the escalator. It was initially called
the revolving stairs. The first idea can be traced back to 1859. But it was a few more decades until we had our first working escalator. Since then society has come to heavily depend on these machines. The escalator is most useful in places where there are large
amounts of people to move such as airports, shopping
malls and subway systems. Elevators can only move so many people even if there are several of them. But if the same space
is used for escalators, we can move a lot more people through. Of course there’s usually
an elevator nearby, for those that can’t use the escalator. You’ll usually find at
least two escalators alongside each other. One going up and the other going down. They can extend from multiple levels. Sometimes to save space, they’ll be arranged in
a crisscross pattern. But the layout will change depending on the needs of the place. Some escalators might need to be longer or shorter depending on the
height of the next floor. Maybe they’ll need to be
wider to fit more people, or several escalators might need to be right next to each other. Sometimes stairs are in the middle for those that want to walk. And on some occasions, the escalators will all be
pointed in the same direction. This helps when you want to direct the flow of traffic towards the exit. Let’s not forget the variations such as the moving sidewalks or even the spiral escalators. Yes, they really do have these. But for this video,
let’s take a look inside of a regular escalator. (upbeat music) There’s a series of individual steps that make up the moving stairs. They have ridges on the top and are sometimes made out of rubber so that they have better grip. The steps are painted
yellow around the edge to encourage passengers not to
stand too close to the edge. These steps stay flat while they’re on top and it’s a good thing to. Each step has two wheels on the bottom to guide it as it moves along. Then we have what’s called the step chain. This attaches to the top of each step. Now all we need is a track
system to guide these wheels. The step chain rolls along the top here and the bottom wheels
roll along this track. The positioning of these tracks is what keeps the steps level. Let’s just focus on one of
the steps as it comes down. You can see what would
happened at this bottom wheel was just a little bit higher, the step would no longer be flat. Once we get to the end, the steps flip over and
come around the other side. The same thing happens once
we get back to the top here. The escalator motor is
usually up at the top, it has to move this axle and two big gears that
pull the step chain. Now we just connect it with
more gears and a roller chain. (upbeat music) Now comes a few more gears. These are connected by another
small chain underneath. This is what moves the handrail. It’s really important that the handrail move at the exact same speed as the steps. All of these parts are placed
inside a strong metal frame which is called the truss. At the top and bottom of the escalator is what we call the comb plate. The steps go right underneath as their ridges fit close together. If the ridges weren’t there, it would be much easier
for something to get stuck. But either way, just remember
that it’s never a good idea to play around an escalator. My name is Jared and I love 3D animation. Hit that subscribe button if
you want to see more videos just like this one. (upbeat music)

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100 Replies to “How does an Escalator work?”

  1. Follow me to see updates as I work on future animations. Thanks for your support!
    http://instagram.com/JaredOwenAnimations
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  2. I'm just in love with your videos
    But as an engineer i miss some details in your explanation but your videos are for the large public i guess

  3. Please cover the Indian president's residence like you've covered other historic buildings. You can even make a video on the Taj mahal.

  4. Can't imagine a Hong Kong without the Central-Mid-Levels escalator. Reminds me of when Mr Bean was shopping and riding the escalator but he didn't realize he was at the top of the escalator

  5. I once saw a pair of escalator with transparent sides each, that's the time I thought an escalator works just like a tank track.

  6. Honestly, i always wondered how the stairs go flat and smooth and then raise up at a point. I thought they might be collapsing or something, but i was wrong. This is some awesome info and video!

  7. Bro you put way too much effort for the amount of views you get. We don't deserve you, get sponsored by Discovery channel or something already!

  8. I might or not have once heard that the hand rail in fact doesn't move at the exact same speed as the stairs, but slightly faster, in order to drag you into a forward leaning position, so you will almost automatically be inclined to walk forwards at the end of the elevator.

  9. My best memory of an escalator was when I was around 9 years old. I was riding down the escalator and nearly got to the bottom when an old lady fell backwards onto me… I fell backwards onto my mum… and this carried on all the way up the stairs. We all ended up in a big pile at the bottom squashed together, but I was terrified that we were going to get eaten by the escalator… you can imagine the screams 🤣

  10. Dude. You've read my mind from over 1000's of kilometers away. The inner workings of escalators have actually been in my mind this year but I never got to find out myself how they work. And now Youtube recommends me your video, awesome! Thanks for the video 🙂

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