A novel scaled model is developed to simulate the linear lateral dynamics of a hoist cable with variable length in a high rise, high speed elevator. The dimensionless groups used to formulate the scaling laws are derived through dimensional analysis. The model parameters are selected based on the scaling laws subject to space and hardware constraints. It is demonstrated that while it is almost impossible to obtain a fully scaled model unless the model is extremely tall, a reasonably sized model can be constructed with sufficient accuracy. The scaling laws that are not satisfied can be rendered to have a minimal effect on the scaling between the model and prototype. In conjunction with the model design, an analysis of model tension in a closed cable loop is developed. A new movement profile, which ensures a continuous jerk function during the entire period of motion, is derived. Practical considerations that occur in the design of the model are addressed. The methodology can be used to investigate the vibration of a very long cable in other applications.