Classroom on demand

Welcome to Classroom on demand, your source for educational materials related to the vertical transportation industry. This site represents the knowledge and expertise of the best engineers and mechanics in the elevator industry, and will help those new to the elevator industry learn about the basic workings of elevator systems, and also will serve as a reference for people with more experience.

Escalator Layout

Escalators operate with a 30 degree incline and moving walks operate horizontally but can run at a 12 degree inclination.
The physical space where the escalator and moving walk is located is called a wellway. Similar to elevators there is a pit, and a motor room. The motor room is usually located at the upper end of the escalator and moving walk but the location will vary with manufacturers.
The installation space is prepared by a building contractor prior to the escalator or moving walk installation. The escalator / moving walk sub-contractor may consult in the construction of this area, but will not actually build the structural components. The structural support design is accomplished by the building Architect and Engineer. The structural support engineering design incorporates the loads imposed by the escalator / moving walk equipment. These loads are provided on the escalator /moving walk layout drawing.
Pit is a recess in the floor to house the lower head and the lower end of the incline section. It is located below the floor line when there is no other floor under the escalator / moving walk such as a basement. There are many important details that are involved in the pit area. These details will be covered in later courses.
The pit area must meet The Safety Code for Elevators and Escalators, ANSI A17.1 code requirements.
Rise or Travel Height
The vertical dimension from finished floor to finished floor.
The defacto width of an escalator / moving walk is determined by the width of the step/pallet. The step widths for escalators are nominally 24, 32 and 40 inches. The widths for moving walks are nominally 32, 40, 48, 56 and 64 inches.
Working Point
Used by all escalator manufacturers to determine relationship of unit to building structure as well as a reference point to assure proper erection. On the horizontal plane, these points are established on the center line of the escalator. On the vertical plane, the points occur at the intersection of the 30 degree angle formed by the step nose line and floor level at the lower end, and the intersection of the 30 degree angle and floor level at the upper end. (Illustration of escalator horizontal section showing typical layout of working points, etc.)
Head Room
The dimension from an escalator step tread to the underside of the wellway opening immediately above is called head room. It is usually a minimum of 7’-0”.
Safety Zone
The safety zone is also known as pedestrian access space. These spaces are required at both the upper and lower end of the escalator / moving walk and meant to provide passenger queuing. The word “safety” is used to emphasize the importance of allowing enough space for the passengers to safely load and offload. This space helps prevent a passenger “crush” zone.
The safety zone is a requirement that must meet the national Safety Code for Elevators and Escalators and American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) code standard. This code is also referred to as A17.1.
The speed at which the escalator steps will travel is limited by code to 100 fpm (0.5m/s). Speeds for moving walks are available at 100 fpm (0.5 m/s) or 125 fpm (0.65 m/s)

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