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spiral escalator is a special design type of escalator in the form of a spiral/helical with curved steps. This escalator can curves to the left or right. Mitsubishi Electric, from Japan, is the company only and exclusively manufacture spiral escalator since 1985.


Before practical spiral escalator was officially launched and made in the mid 1980s, there were a few early designs and patents of spiral escalators made in the early 1900s. One of the earliest and well known design of spiral escalator was experimented by Jesse Reno in 1906, at the Holloway Road tube station in London, England. However, it was never brought to public use and was forgotten for decades. Later, a few more helical escalator design was patented by different people. For example, a two helical design was patented by Souder in 1905, and later by Wheeler. Another similar design was patented by Seeberger between 1906 and 1911 in London, England.

In 1985, Mitsubishi Electric successfully developed a spiral/helical escalator, and has been sold exclusively since then not only in Japan, but also to other countries. In the same year, the first spiral escalator was installed at the International Exhibition Center in Osaka, Japan. In 1988, Mitsubishi installed the first spiral escalator in the United States, at the San Fransisco Center in California. Today, Mitsubishi remains the only manufacturer of spiral escalators in the world.


This section requires expansion.

A spiral escalator made by Mitsubishi adopts the so-called "centralized motion method", in which the central point moves in stages based on the angle of incline. This is because the movement in the horizontal direction slows the extent that there is vertical movement in the inclined section.

Unlike a conventional straight/linear escalator where it is assembled in the factory and delivered straight to the project site, a spiral escalator is delivered in several custom-shaped parts, usually up to 6000 parts. Once the parts are delivered to the site, they will be assembled by specialized installers. And of course it is spiral.


  • 1005 mm step width.
  • 3500-6600 mm rise.
  • 25 m/min speed.
  • 30 degrees of inclination angle.
  • 1200 mm of effective distance between balustrades.
  • 6300 person/hour of carrying capacity.
  • Curve direction can be left or right.

Notable installations


  • Shanghai New World Daimaru, Shanghai (2015)
  • Shanghai New World Market, Shanghai (1996)
  • Yang Chen World World Trade Center, Guangzhou (1997)
  • Times Square, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong (1993)
  • The Venetian Macau, Macau (2006, casino guests only)


  • International Exhibition Center, Osaka (1985, the first spiral escalator installed)
  • Aq'a Hiroshima Center City, Hiroshima (1986)
  • Yokkaichi Star Island, Yokkaichi (1988)
  • IMS Building, Fukuoka (1989)
  • Best Denki, Naha (1989)
  • Yamako Department Store, Kofu (1989)
  • Mitsubishi Electric Inazawa Works, Inazawa (1990)
    • Solaé Place (2016)
  • Shinsaibashi Building, Osaka (1993)
  • Tokyu Susukino, Yokohama (1991)
  • Yokohama Landmark Tower, Yokohama (1993)
  • Yamagataya Monzen-Nakamachi Building, Tokyo (1995)
  • Brillia Tower, Tokyo (2006)

United States

  • San Fransisco Center, San Fransisco, CA (1988, the first spiral escalator in the U.S.)
  • The Forum Shops at Caesars, Las Vegas, NV (2003)
  • Wynn Las Vegas, Las Vegas, NV (2004)
  • Starbucks Reserve Roastery, Chicago, IL (2019)

Other countries

  • Wheelock Place, Singapore (1994)
  • WTC Mangga Dua, Jakarta, Indonesia (2003)
  • Hilton Hotel Jeddah, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia (1999)
  • Amiri Terminal Building, Kuwait City, Kuwait (2010)
  • River Rock Casino, Vancouver, BC, Canada (2010)
  • Gulf City Mall, Tobago, Trinidad and Tobago (2010)
  • Liverpool, Santa Fe, Mexico (1993)

Former installations

These are some of spiral escalator installations that have been removed.

  • Central City Bangna, Bangkok, Thailand (1994)[1][2]


  • The largest order of spiral escalator in the world was the Shanghai New World Daimaru in Shanghai, China. A total of 12 units were installed in 2015.
  • The current model of spiral escalator made by Mitsubishi is 1200.



Mitsubishi Spiral Escalators @Caesars Palace Forum Shops, Las Vegas


Mitsubishi Spiral Escalators at Wheelock Place, Singapore

1994 Mitsubishi spiral escalators at Wheelock Place, Singapore.

Notes and references

  1. Now known as CentralPlaza Bangna
  2. Mitsubishi Elevator Thailand milestone.

External links

Escalator and Moving Walkway 

Concept: Escalator control systemEscalator machinery • Spiral escalator • Escalator maintenanceEscalator modernizationMajor alterations

Escalator equipments: Escalator truss and balustradeEscalator steps and step chainsEscalator handrails • Escalator skirt brushesEmergency stop buttonEnergy-saving mode

See also: List of elevator and escalator companiesEscalator landing plate guideFloor numbering (Unlucky floor numbers) • Escalator incidents and accidents