Though it's a minor starship system, I think this article could have more information. It also needs some cites. - Adm. Enzo Aquarius 21:34, 27 Sep 2005 (UTC)

How's that Enzo? Anyway, there is still some info I can't put into the article. Mainly, canon references of turbolift operation from Kirk-era turbolifts, as well as canon specifications of Earth Fleet turbolifts (if there were any - Enterprise NX-01). Also, maybe canon references to Romulan, Klingon, Cardassian and Dominion turbolifsts, although I think the Klingons were tough enough to live without them. Also Shran, feel free to use the Discussion page. There is a disclaimer at the bottom of the page, and if you're so bent on leaving only cannonical information in this article, we can just revert it to the three sentences it was before. -- Madame Arsenic 19:27, 21 Dec 2005 (UTC)

E and D

The last episode of Enterprise (These Are the Voyages) is mentioned as lacking proper turbolifts... What's the difference between the D and E turbolifts that was spotted at that episode? -<unsigned>

  • For clarity, the above user is referring to the turbolift note in the background info of the article for "These Are the Voyages..."... at least, I think that's what s/he means. --From Andoria with Love 13:33, 8 November 2006 (UTC)

Necessity of turbolifts?

Is there any canonical eplanation to why some areas in a starship is wasted on turbolift shafts when they have perfectly functional, safe and faster matter transporters? If so, I think that could be added to this article.

Presumably, the power drain would be quite large and the risk unnecessary. However, this would be speculation and should not be included amongst canon works. Long term effects of transporters are detailed in the transporter article. --AnonyQ 08:10, 24 December 2008 (UTC)
Furthermore, turbolifts are usable during warp, even though transporters have been used while in warp in extreme conditions, doing so on a regular basis would probably be quite dangerous or necessitate development of teleports that can deal with being in warp at the time of transport Nik 17:37, July 26, 2013 (UTC)

Necessity/mention of hand-operated 23rd century turbolifts?

This just doesn't sit right:

"Incorporated in the design of early Starfleet turbolifts were small handles on the interior, allowing for transport without the use of voice commands. Later refits phased out any analog interfaces and featured auditory receivers allowing passengers to use voice commands to direct the turbolift"

Firstly, the turbolifts on NX-01 Enterprise were voice activated, with no handles. I'd consider this 'early starfleet'.

Secondly, in DS9: "Trials and Tribble-ations", we see O'Brien and Bashir trying to use the turbolift on the NCC-1701 Enterprise. Their first solely voice commands are unsuccessful, however (according to my recollection) when they twist the handles, they still have to say which deck they want to go to.

Should the line "allowing for transport without the use of voice commands" be amended to reflect this? --AnonyQ 08:11, 24 December 2008 (UTC)

Were the turbolifts on NX-01 operated by voice command? I don't recall them giving a destination in the turbolift. I think they had to push a button or something. I could be wrong, of course; I seem to be wrong about a lot of things lately. Did you know Xindi ships were seen in the title sequence for the "In a Mirror, Darkly" episodes? I sure didn't. :-P --From Andoria with Love 08:41, 24 December 2008 (UTC)

Hmm, good point. Now you've said it I'm pretty sure the decks were 'A,B,C...' etc and I don't remember anyone saying 'deck B'. I'll watch some episodes after christmas and check it out. However, I still don't remember them having handles. Rather, a button? --AnonyQ 13:43, 24 December 2008 (UTC)

Did we ever see turbolifts in use in TOS other than on Constitution-Class ships? I'm still thinking about the comment 'Incorporated in the design of early Starfleet turbolifts were small handles on the interior' When exactly is 'early' starfleet? --AnonyQ 07:00, 28 December 2008 (UTC)

See TOS "Mudd's Women" where all 4 passengers use handles with lights when they first go to the bridge. 02:14, October 15, 2016 (UTC)

I understand that this is very trivial, but its just been bothering me. How is it that whenever someone walks up to turbolift door, the turbolift is always there?

actually that's not always the case at all -- in "The Naked Time" (TOS) for example, Kirk orders Sulu be taken to sickbay and Spock takes him off the bridge via turbolift. Seconds later Kirk turns to use the lift and can't because he just sent Sulu down it. He stands around annoyed and even orders Uhura to "clear that tube" if I recall. 02:43, 20 February 2009 (UTC)

The Enterprise Incident

Spock appears to use the turbolift with only a voice command. Hangin10 18:12, 8 June 2009 (UTC)

Please see MA:NIT, as we don't put nitpicks in articles.--31dot 18:15, 8 June 2009 (UTC)
I'm aware of that. I saw it more of an "hey, their turbolift tech changed". I'm guessing then, that this would be considered a nitpick and that at this point in time Spock should have been using the handle? Hangin10 18:21, 8 June 2009 (UTC)

Major rework

This page needs a major rework.. it is difficult to read and seems to be an endless wall of facts. Perhaps it could be organized with new sections.Jlandeen 06:43, 2 July 2009 (UTC)

How is turbolift written?

In most of the series (which take place in the 24th Century) turbolift is one word. However, careful observation of corridor signage in The Original Series shows it to be TWO words ("turbo lift). This is especially visable in episodes like The Enemy Within and The Man Trap and a few others. So, what happened? Which is it? Also, doesn't this mean they kinda screwed up making the TOS turbo lift signs in DS9: "Trials and Tribble-ations"? -- Trekkie2063 00:56, October 3, 2009 (UTC)

In later series (and in the TOS subtitles; probably in the script this way as well), it's always been one word "turbolift". It was probably just a little error or miscommunication by the TOS set decorators. Like other errors of that magnitude, it can be safely ignored given the overwhelming evidence elsewhere that it's always written as one word; or, if you must have an in-universe explanation for it, one could say that the people who built the bridge made a boo-boo and nobody bothered to fix it since it was so minor. ;-) -Mdettweiler 02:49, October 3, 2009 (UTC)

I'm not too sure about that cuz it's two words on the signs for more than one turbo lift so I think it might be more than just miscommunication for it to happen more than once. -- Trekkie2063 17:56, October 3, 2009 (UTC)

Sorry for getting back to this a little late, but, quick question: were all the instances of it being written "turbo lift" all on the same series (TOS)? If so, then I'd guess it was probably only a few distinct turbolift doors made by the props people at around the same time, and they just kept getting reused over and over. This would be especially so since in TOS, consistency in such things was a little less tightly regulated, without an entire previous history of canon to dictate how they were supposed to be. -Mdettweiler 04:53, October 8, 2009 (UTC)
Even so, in the DS9 "Trials and Tribble-ations" you would think they would have made the same "nomenclature" on the turbo lift signs since they prided themselves on recreating the sets so exactly for nitpickersTrekkie2063 23:54, October 10, 2009 (UTC)


Just now I've made some tweaks to fix some clunky wording in this article and also removed some obvious speculation, but nonetheless much of the article isn't properly cited. I've added incites where applicable, and I'm pretty sure that most of those do *not* have a canon reference (though there could be something I missed, which is why I didn't remove them outright). I've put a pna-cite on the article for this reason. -Mdettweiler 14:41, November 2, 2009 (UTC)

Using the Turbolift twice in seconds...

In the episode Time Squared i noticed when Capt.Picard leaves the bridge with the firm intention of waking the duplicate Picard and confronting him about the Vortex,(right before the long walk of both Capitains to the cargo bay), he enters the Turbolift, then only a few seconds after Counselour Troy does the same, know i don't really know how much time it takes from the bridge to sick bay but i have to assume that it takes more then 3 seconds... It makes me wonder as was there more then one Turbolift pad available at a time, because i can easily recall Kirk complaining about a turbolift tube being used by Spock. Or was this just a timing error ??The preceding unsigned comment was added by Captain Riggs (talk • contribs).

It has been established elsewhere (though I don't recall the exact reference off the top of my head) that the turbolift system has a pool of cars that get moved around the system, queued, stored, and retrieved as needed to ensure that when somebody calls for a turbolift, one either is there or comes there as quickly as possible. Presumably the Bridge turbolifts would be considered "high priority" so that a spare car is kept right outside the door at all times; hence, you almost never have to wait for a Bridge turbolift, though elsewhere it can sometimes be a little while after pressing the button before one comes. As for Kirk's complaint about the turbolift tube being hogged up by Spock, that was likely more a joke than anything. -Mdettweiler 13:51, July 18, 2010 (UTC)
I believe the Enterprise-D Blueprints describe such a thing, though I don't know if it was mentioned elsewhere.--31dot 14:38, July 18, 2010 (UTC)
Aha, the reference I was thinking of was in DS9: "Crossfire". Worf (albeit someone faking his voice to get Odo to unlock turbolift control) called a turbolift carrying Odo, Kira, and Shakaar to report that there was a stuck turbolift on level 41 and he would have to reroute theirs. Odo accepted this as perfectly normal (in fact even routine on a station where things broke down a lot), which would seem to support the idea that multiple cars service the same routes. Granted, that was DS9, not the Enterprise-D, but if you think about it, the way turbolifts work in Star Trek, the entire ship is one big interconnected turbolift route--with few exceptions, you can step into a turbolift at any stop and have it take you to any other stop on the ship. So you'd either have to have multiple cars traveling throughout the system with routes automatically managed by the computer, or just one car for the entire ship, the latter of which is clearly not going to cut it on a ship that size. :-) -Mdettweiler 17:43, July 18, 2010 (UTC)

Turbolift incidents listing

In the section listing the TURBOLIFT INCIDENTS you can read:

In 2367, when the USS Enterprise-D was trapped in a Tyken's Rift, Captain Jean-Luc Picard hallucinated the turbolift shrinking towards him when he got up to the bridge

This being taken from the Night Terrors episode, now i wounder can this really be called a turbolift incident, because as i can recall nothing was wrong with the turbolift, but it was rather a reaction due to lack of rapid-eye movement(REM Sleep) and it's even stated that he hallucinated the turbolift shirking

So i think that should not be considered a turbolift incident and should be erased from the listing... Just asking really ? The preceding unsigned comment was added by Captain Riggs (talk • contribs).

Agreed, that belongs on the hallucination page, since it was an issue strictly within Picard's mind rather than with the turbolift. I've added the note to that page and removed it here. -Mdettweiler 03:25, July 19, 2010 (UTC)
I disagree with the removal of the info. The heading isn't "turbolift malfunctions" but "turbolift incidents". What was stated from "Night Terrors" was an incident involving a turbolift. Therefore, it is appropriate to the heading (and consequently the section). If anyone wants to discuss that the heading be renamed, that's a different matter. But at least for now, the note should be returned to the page. --Defiant (talk) 07:41, October 15, 2016 (UTC)


The following, based on page history, came from the TNG-TM:

A turbolift, otherwise known as a turbolift personnel transport system, is provided by the turboelevator system, a network of inductively powered transport tubes allowing the volume of the ship to be traversed in a high-speed manner.

Many Starfleet turbolifts are comprised of a lightweight duranium-composite framework supporting a cylindrical personnel cab constructed from "microfoamed" duranium sheeting. Mounted longitudinally along the exterior of the cab are three linear induction motors that provides the motive force. Electromagnetic conduits located along the length of each turboshaft provide power to these motors, allowing accelerations up to 10 meters per second per second. To counter such high acceleration speeds, an intertial dampener installed at the base of the cab provides for crew confirt, eliminating some (although not all) of the acceleration effects.

Incorporated in the design of early Starfleet turbolifts were small handles on the interior, allowing for transport without the voice of voice commands. Later refits featured auditory receivers allowing for crew personnel to use voice commands to direct the turbolift. Upon receipt of the voice command, the command queries the network, allowing for computation of the most optimal route to the destination. Such routes factor in the presence of other turbolifts already in operation. The auditory receivers automatically scans for voiceprint authentication, allowing for select personnel access to restricted areas.

An average of ten turbolift cars are in sevrvice at any one time in a Starfleet vessel. Some peak usage times, such as change-of-shift, can call for a doubling of the turbolift cars with only a 22% decrease in efficiency. The reason this is possible is because the turboshaft network is designed with the specific purpose to allow multi-access loops and thus permitting a flewible route for each turbolift car.

When battle stations are orderes, all turbolift cars may be subjected to deactivation pending the authorization of the commanding officer. In such cases, crew personnel are still free to move about the ship via a network of vertical laddders and Jefferies tubes.

While docked at a Starbase, the turboelevator network is connected to the network of the adjacent Starbase, allowing for easy passage without the use of an umbilical dock. This is accomplished through a connection point located at the upper terminus of Turboshaft Two, leading from the Main Bridge. When linked, turbolifts cars may travel freely between the ship and areas of the Starbase. (Star Trek: The Next Generation Technical Manual)

(This is contradictory to what is seen in TNG: 11001001. Most of the information is taken from Star Trek: The Next Generation Technical Manual and may not be canon, although a large part of this literature is considered canon. Also, there is not enough evidence throughout the series' to prove these facts as not canon.}

Also removed:

This may be a joke taken from a well-known Star Trek: The Original Series blooper which shows the turbolift opening only partially.

Which was associated with the turbolift reference from STV:TFF. Needs some sort of citation because "well-known" means something that is known to all. --Alan (talk) 22:30, November 17, 2019 (UTC)

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