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In Pictures: Chiatura's crumbling Soviet era cable cars

Dating to the Soviet era, Chiatura's public cable cars were built to facilitate the manganese mining industry, which formed the bedrock of the town's economy. Sixty years later 15 of Chiatura's 21 cable car routes are still running, covering a total length of over 6000 meters, and they are still the quickest and most convenient way of getting around, despite their advanced years.

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A cable car passes above apartment buildings in the town of Chiatura, some 220 km (136 miles) northwest of Tbilisi, September 25, 2013.

DAVID MDZINARISHVILI/REUTERS

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A 60-year-old cable car passes above the town of Chiatura, some 220 km (136 miles) northwest of Tbilisi, September 12, 2013.

DAVID MDZINARISHVILI/REUTERS

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Cable cars pass above an industrial area in Chiatura, some 220 km (136 miles) northwest of Tbilisi, September 25, 2013.

DAVID MDZINARISHVILI/REUTERS

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People pass a cable car station that is not running during a power cut in the town of Chiatura, some 220 km (136 miles) northwest of Tbilisi, September 12, 2013.

DAVID MDZINARISHVILI/REUTERS

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A boy stands at the door of a 60-year-old cable car in the town of Chiatura, some 220 km (136 miles) northwest of Tbilisi, September 12, 2013.

DAVID MDZINARISHVILI/REUTERS

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A commuter looks out of the window of a 60-year-old cable car in the town of Chiatura, some 220 km (136 miles) northwest of Tbilisi, September 12, 2013.

DAVID MDZINARISHVILI/REUTERS

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Lasha Ghughunishvili, 32, operates cable cars from his booth in the town of Chiatura, some 220 km (136 miles) northwest of Tbilisi, September 12, 2013.

DAVID MDZINARISHVILI/REUTERS

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Commuters travel by cable car in the town of Chiatura, some 220 km (136 miles) northwest of Tbilisi, September 25, 2013.

DAVID MDZINARISHVILI/REUTERS

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Commuters chat inside a cable car in the town of Chiatura, some 220 km (136 miles) northwest of Tbilisi, September 12, 2013.

DAVID MDZINARISHVILI/REUTERS

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A cable car passes above the town of Chiatura, some 220 km (136 miles) northwest of Tbilisi, September 12, 2013.

DAVID MDZINARISHVILI/REUTERS

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The town of Chiatura is seen from inside a cable car, some 220 km (136 miles) northwest of Tbilisi, September 12, 2013.

DAVID MDZINARISHVILI/REUTERS

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A cable car passes above the town of Chiatura, some 220 km (136 miles) northwest of Tbilisi, September 12, 2013.

DAVID MDZINARISHVILI/REUTERS

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Malkhaz Kapanadze, 36, oils and checks a cable car during maintenance work in the town of Chiatura, some 220 km (136 miles) northwest of Tbilisi, September 12, 2013.

DAVID MDZINARISHVILI/REUTERS

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A 60-year-old cable car passes above the town of Chiatura, some 220 km (136 miles) northwest of Tbilisi, September 12, 2013.

DAVID MDZINARISHVILI/REUTERS

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A cable car casts a shadow on a residential building in the town of Chiatura, some 220 km (136 miles) northwest of Tbilisi, September 12, 2013.

DAVID MDZINARISHVILI/REUTERS

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Fati Ghavtadze, 45, operates a cable car from her booth in the town of Chiatura, some 220 km (136 miles) northwest of Tbilisi, September 25, 2013.

DAVID MDZINARISHVILI/REUTERS

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Commuters get out of a 60-year-old cable car in the town of Chiatura, some 220 km (136 miles) northwest of Tbilisi, September 12, 2013.

DAVID MDZINARISHVILI/REUTERS

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