Aerial tramway
Overview
 
An aerial tramway cable car (British English
British English
British English, or English , is the broad term used to distinguish the forms of the English language used in the United Kingdom from forms used elsewhere...

), ropeway (Japanese
Japanese language
is a language spoken by over 130 million people in Japan and in Japanese emigrant communities. It is a member of the Japonic language family, which has a number of proposed relationships with other languages, none of which has gained wide acceptance among historical linguists .Japanese is an...

) or aerial tram is a type of aerial lift
Aerial lift
An aerial lift is a means of transportation in which cabins, cars, gondolas or open chairs are hauled above the ground by means of one or more cables.Types of aerial lifts include:...

 which uses one or two stationary ropes for support while a third moving rope provides propulsion. The grip of an aerial tramway is fixed onto the propulsion rope and cannot be decoupled from it during operations.

Because of the proliferation of such systems in the Alpine
Alps
The Alps is one of the great mountain range systems of Europe, stretching from Austria and Slovenia in the east through Italy, Switzerland, Liechtenstein and Germany to France in the west....

 regions of Europe
Europe
Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...

, the French
French language
French is a Romance language spoken as a first language in France, the Romandy region in Switzerland, Wallonia and Brussels in Belgium, Monaco, the regions of Quebec and Acadia in Canada, and by various communities elsewhere. Second-language speakers of French are distributed throughout many parts...

 and German language
German language
German is a West Germanic language, related to and classified alongside English and Dutch. With an estimated 90 – 98 million native speakers, German is one of the world's major languages and is the most widely-spoken first language in the European Union....

 names of téléphérique and Seilbahn, respectively, are often also used in an English language
English language
English is a West Germanic language that arose in the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms of England and spread into what was to become south-east Scotland under the influence of the Anglian medieval kingdom of Northumbria...

 context.
Encyclopedia
An aerial tramway cable car (British English
British English
British English, or English , is the broad term used to distinguish the forms of the English language used in the United Kingdom from forms used elsewhere...

), ropeway (Japanese
Japanese language
is a language spoken by over 130 million people in Japan and in Japanese emigrant communities. It is a member of the Japonic language family, which has a number of proposed relationships with other languages, none of which has gained wide acceptance among historical linguists .Japanese is an...

) or aerial tram is a type of aerial lift
Aerial lift
An aerial lift is a means of transportation in which cabins, cars, gondolas or open chairs are hauled above the ground by means of one or more cables.Types of aerial lifts include:...

 which uses one or two stationary ropes for support while a third moving rope provides propulsion. The grip of an aerial tramway is fixed onto the propulsion rope and cannot be decoupled from it during operations.

Because of the proliferation of such systems in the Alpine
Alps
The Alps is one of the great mountain range systems of Europe, stretching from Austria and Slovenia in the east through Italy, Switzerland, Liechtenstein and Germany to France in the west....

 regions of Europe
Europe
Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...

, the French
French language
French is a Romance language spoken as a first language in France, the Romandy region in Switzerland, Wallonia and Brussels in Belgium, Monaco, the regions of Quebec and Acadia in Canada, and by various communities elsewhere. Second-language speakers of French are distributed throughout many parts...

 and German language
German language
German is a West Germanic language, related to and classified alongside English and Dutch. With an estimated 90 – 98 million native speakers, German is one of the world's major languages and is the most widely-spoken first language in the European Union....

 names of téléphérique and Seilbahn, respectively, are often also used in an English language
English language
English is a West Germanic language that arose in the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms of England and spread into what was to become south-east Scotland under the influence of the Anglian medieval kingdom of Northumbria...

 context. "Cable car" is the usual term in British English, as in British English the word "tramway" generally refers to a railed street tramway while in American English, "cable car" is most often associated with a type of cable-pulled street tramway with detachable vehicles, e.g. San Francisco's cable cars
San Francisco cable car system
The San Francisco cable car system is the world's last permanently operational manually operated cable car system, in the US sense of a tramway whose cars are pulled along by cables embedded in the street. It is an icon of San Francisco, California...

. As such, careful phrasing is necessary to prevent confusion. It is also sometimes called a ropeway or even incorrectly referred to as a gondola lift
Gondola lift
A gondola lift is a type of aerial lift, normally called a cable car, which is supported and propelled by cables from above. It consists of a loop of steel cable that is strung between two stations, sometimes over intermediate supporting towers. The cable is driven by a bullwheel in a terminal,...

. A gondola lift has cabins suspended from a continuously circulating cable whereas aerial trams simply shuttle back and forth on cables. In Japan, the two are considered as a same vehicle and called "ropeway," while the term "cable car" means Cable car (railway)
Cable car (railway)
A cable car or cable railway is a mass transit system using rail cars that are hauled by a continuously moving cable running at a constant speed. Individual cars stop and start by releasing and gripping this cable as required...

 and funicular
Funicular
A funicular, also known as an inclined plane or cliff railway, is a cable railway in which a cable attached to a pair of tram-like vehicles on rails moves them up and down a steep slope; the ascending and descending vehicles counterbalance each other.-Operation:The basic principle of funicular...

.

Overview

An aerial tramway consists of one or two fixed cables
Wire rope
thumb|Steel wire rope Wire rope is a type of rope which consists of several strands of metal wire laid into a helix. Initially wrought iron wires were used, but today steel is the main material used for wire ropes....

 (called "track cables"), one loop of cable (called a "haulage rope"), and two passenger
Passenger
A passenger is a term broadly used to describe any person who travels in a vehicle, but bears little or no responsibility for the tasks required for that vehicle to arrive at its destination....

 cabins. The fixed cables provide support for the cabins while the haulage rope, by means of a grip, is solidly connected to the truck (the wheel set that rolls on the track cables). An electric motor
Electric motor
An electric motor converts electrical energy into mechanical energy.Most electric motors operate through the interaction of magnetic fields and current-carrying conductors to generate force...

 drives the haulage rope which provides propulsion. Aerial tramways are constructed as reversible systems – vehicles shuttling back and forth between two end terminals and propelled by a cable loop which stops and reverses direction when the cabins arrive at the end stations.

Aerial tramways differ from gondola lift
Gondola lift
A gondola lift is a type of aerial lift, normally called a cable car, which is supported and propelled by cables from above. It consists of a loop of steel cable that is strung between two stations, sometimes over intermediate supporting towers. The cable is driven by a bullwheel in a terminal,...

s in that gondola lifts are considered continuous systems (cabins attached onto a circulating haul rope that moves continuously).

Two-car tramways use a jig-back system: A large electric motor
Electric motor
An electric motor converts electrical energy into mechanical energy.Most electric motors operate through the interaction of magnetic fields and current-carrying conductors to generate force...

 is located at the bottom of the tramway so that it effectively pulls one cabin down, using that cabin's weight to help pull the other cabin up. A similar system of cables is used in a funicular
Funicular
A funicular, also known as an inclined plane or cliff railway, is a cable railway in which a cable attached to a pair of tram-like vehicles on rails moves them up and down a steep slope; the ascending and descending vehicles counterbalance each other.-Operation:The basic principle of funicular...

 railway. The two passenger cabins, which carry from 4 to over 150 people, are situated at opposite ends of the loops of cable. Thus, while one is coming up, the other is going down the mountain, and they pass each other midway on the cable span
Span (architecture)
Span is the distance between two intermediate supports for a structure, e.g. a beam or a bridge.A span can be closed by a solid beam or of a rope...

.

Some aerial trams have only one cabin, which lends itself better for systems with small elevation changes along the cable run.

History

The first aerial tram was built in 1644 by Adam Wiebe. It was used to move soil to build defences. Other mining systems were
developed in the 1860s by Hodgson, and Andrew Smith Hallidie
Andrew Smith Hallidie
Andrew Smith Hallidie was the promoter of the Clay Street Hill Railroad in San Francisco, USA. This was the world's first practical cable car system, and Hallidie is often therefore regarded as the inventor of the cable car and father of the present day San Francisco cable car system, although...

. Hallidie went on to perfect a line of mining and people tramways after
1867 in California and Nevada. See Hallidie ropeway
Hallidie ropeway
In mining history, a Hallidie ropeway is a cable system used to haul ore from a mine.-History:Andrew Smith Hallidie was a Scot who came to America to seek his fortune, with his father, in the goldfieldsof California...


In mining

Tramways are sometimes used in mountainous regions to carry ore
Ore
An ore is a type of rock that contains minerals with important elements including metals. The ores are extracted through mining; these are then refined to extract the valuable element....

 from a mine located high on the mountain to an ore mill located at a lower elevation. Ore tramways were common in the early 20th century at the mines in North and South America. One can still be seen in the San Juan Mountains
San Juan Mountains
The San Juan Mountains are a high and rugged mountain range in the Rocky Mountains in southwestern Colorado. The area is highly mineralized and figured in the gold and silver mining industry of early Colorado. Major towns, all old mining camps, include Creede, Lake City, Silverton, Ouray, and...

 of the US state of Colorado
Colorado
Colorado is a U.S. state that encompasses much of the Rocky Mountains as well as the northeastern portion of the Colorado Plateau and the western edge of the Great Plains...

.
Over one thousand mining tramways were built around the world—Spitsbergen, Russia, Alaska, Argentina, New Zealand and Gabon. This experience
was replicated with the use of tramways in the First World War particularly on the Isonzo Front in Italy. The German firm of Bleichert
Bleichert
Adolf Bleichert & Co. was a famous German engineering firm.It was founded in 1874 by Adolf Bleichert and began to build bicable aerial tramwaysfor mining in the Ruhr. With important patents, and dozens of working systems in Europe, Bleichert...

 built hundreds of freight and military tramways. Strangely, Bleichert even built the first tourist tramway at Bolzano/Bozen, in then Tyrolian Austria in 1913.

Other firms entered the mining tramway business- Otto, Leschen, BRECO, Ceretti and Tanfani, and Riblet for instance. The perfection of the aerial tramway through mining lead to its application in other fields including logging, sugar fields, beet farming, tea plantations, coffee beans and guano mining. A resource on the history of aerial tramways in the mining industry is "Riding the High Wire, Aerial Tramways in the West", by Robert A. Trennert, University Press of Colorado, 2001.

Moving people

In the 1920s the rise of the middle class and the leisure industry allowed for investment in sight seeing machines. The cable car to the top of high peaks in the Alps of Austria, Germany and Switzerland resulted. They were much cheaper to build than the earlier rack railway. One of the first trams was at Chamonix
Chamonix
Chamonix-Mont-Blanc or, more commonly, Chamonix is a commune in the Haute-Savoie département in the Rhône-Alpes region in south-eastern France. It was the site of the 1924 Winter Olympics, the first Winter Olympics...

, while others in Switzerland and Garmisch soon followed. From this, it was a natural transposition to build ski lifts and chairlifts. The first cable car in America was at Franconia, New Hampshire
Franconia, New Hampshire
Franconia is a town in Grafton County, New Hampshire, United States. The population was 1,104 at the 2010 census. Set in the White Mountains, Franconia is home to the northern half of Franconia Notch State Park. Parts of the White Mountain National Forest are in the eastern and southern portions...

 in 1938. After the Second World War installations proliferated in Europe, America, Japan, Canada and South Africa. Many hundreds of installations have emerged in mountainous and seascape areas.

The aerial tram evolves again in latter decades—one tram in Costa Rica
Costa Rica
Costa Rica , officially the Republic of Costa Rica is a multilingual, multiethnic and multicultural country in Central America, bordered by Nicaragua to the north, Panama to the southeast, the Pacific Ocean to the west and the Caribbean Sea to the east....

 was built to move tourists above a rainforest, while one in Portland, Oregon
Portland, Oregon
Portland is a city located in the Pacific Northwest, near the confluence of the Willamette and Columbia rivers in the U.S. state of Oregon. As of the 2010 Census, it had a population of 583,776, making it the 29th most populous city in the United States...

, was built to move commuters. Presently, the mining role of tramways has lessened, though some still work, and moving people remains a starring role for the device.

Many aerial tramways were built by Von Roll Ltd. of Switzerland, which has since been acquired by Austrian lift manufacturer Doppelmayr
Doppelmayr
The Doppelmayr Garaventa Group is an Austrian-Swiss company that manufactures chairlifts, cable cars, gondolas, surface tows for ski and amusement parks as well as urban people movers and material handling systems. To date, Doppelmayr and Garaventa have produced over 13,700 installations in 78...

. Other German, Swiss and Austrian firms played an important role in the cable car business — Pohlig, PHB, Garaventa, and Mueller. Now there are three groups dominating the world market: Doppelmayr Garaventa Group, Leitner Group
Leitner Group
Leitner Group is an Italian conglomerate, based in the province of South Tyrol, that owns and runs several industrial and equipment companies....

 and Poma
Poma
Poma, also known as Pomagalski S.A. is a French company, specialising in construction of cable-driven lift systems, including fixed and detachable chairlifts, gondola lifts, funiculars, aerial tramways, people movers, and surface lifts. Poma has installed more than 7800 devices on five continents,...

, the latter two being owned by one person.

An escape aerial tramway is a special form of the aerial tramway that allows a fast escape from a dangerous location. They are used on rocket
Rocket
A rocket is a missile, spacecraft, aircraft or other vehicle which obtains thrust from a rocket engine. In all rockets, the exhaust is formed entirely from propellants carried within the rocket before use. Rocket engines work by action and reaction...

 launching sites to offer the launch staff or astronauts a fast retreat. The tramway consists of a rope which runs from the launch tower downward to a protection shelter. On the launch supply tower
Tower
A tower is a tall structure, usually taller than it is wide, often by a significant margin. Towers are distinguished from masts by their lack of guy-wires....

 several small cabs can be occupied by the launch staff or the astronaut
Astronaut
An astronaut or cosmonaut is a person trained by a human spaceflight program to command, pilot, or serve as a crew member of a spacecraft....

s. After a barrier is loosened these roll downward to the protection shelter. An escape aerial tramway exists on launch pad
Launch pad
A launch pad is the area and facilities where rockets or spacecraft lift off. A spaceport can contain one or many launch pads. A typical launch pad consists of the service and umbilical structures. The service structure provides an access platform to inspect the launch vehicle prior to launch....

s 39A and 39B at Cape Canaveral
Cape Canaveral
Cape Canaveral, from the Spanish Cabo Cañaveral, is a headland in Brevard County, Florida, United States, near the center of the state's Atlantic coast. Known as Cape Kennedy from 1963 to 1973, it lies east of Merritt Island, separated from it by the Banana River.It is part of a region known as the...

.

Some aerial tramways have their own propulsion
Vehicle propulsion
Vehicle propulsion refers to the act of moving an artificial carrier of people or goods over any distance. The power plant used to drive the vehicles can vary widely. Originally, humans or animals would have provided the propulsion system, later being supplemented by wind power...

, such as the Lasso Mule or the Josef Mountain Aerial Tramway
Josef Mountain Aerial Tramway
Josef Mountain Aerial Tramway is an aerial tramway near Meran in Northern Italy. It was built in 1979 and it belongs to the few aerial tramways for person transportation at which the cabin, built by the company Hans Trojer, has its own engine....

 near Merano, Italy
Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

.

Urban transport

While typically used for ski resorts, aerial tramways have been ported over for usage in the urban environment in recent times. The Roosevelt Island Tramway
Roosevelt Island Tramway
The Roosevelt Island Tramway is an aerial tramway in New York City that spans the East River and connects Roosevelt Island to Manhattan. Prior to the completion of the Mississippi Aerial River Transit in May 1984 and the Portland Aerial Tram in December 2006, it was the only commuter aerial tramway...

 in New York City and the Portland Aerial Tram
Portland Aerial Tram
The Portland Aerial Tram is an aerial tramway in Portland, Oregon, carrying commuters between the city's South Waterfront district and the main Oregon Health & Science University campus, located in the Marquam Hill neighborhood. It is the second commuter aerial tramway in the United States...

 are examples where this technology has been successfully adapted for public transport
Public transport
Public transport is a shared passenger transportation service which is available for use by the general public, as distinct from modes such as taxicab, car pooling or hired buses which are not shared by strangers without private arrangement.Public transport modes include buses, trolleybuses, trams...

 purposes. In comparison to gondola lift
Gondola lift
A gondola lift is a type of aerial lift, normally called a cable car, which is supported and propelled by cables from above. It consists of a loop of steel cable that is strung between two stations, sometimes over intermediate supporting towers. The cable is driven by a bullwheel in a terminal,...

s, aerial tramways provide lower line capacities, higher wait times and are unable to turn corners.

Telpherage

One interesting offshoot of the aerial tram was the telpher system. This was an overhead railway, which was electrically powered. The carrier basket had a motor
and two contacts on two rails. They were primarily used in English railway and postal stations. The original version was called telpherage. Smaller telpherage systems are sometimes used to transport objects such as tools or mail within a building or factory
Factory
A factory or manufacturing plant is an industrial building where laborers manufacture goods or supervise machines processing one product into another. Most modern factories have large warehouses or warehouse-like facilities that contain heavy equipment used for assembly line production...

.

The telpherage concept was first publicised in 1883 and several experimental lines were constructed. It was not designed to compete with railways, but with horses and carts.

The first commercial telpherage line was in Glynde
Glynde
Glynde is a village in the Lewes District of East Sussex, United Kingdom. It is located two miles east of Lewes.-Estate:The estate at Glynde has belonged to four interlinked families: the Waleys , Morleys, Trevors, and Brands...

, which is in Sussex, England. It was built to connect a newly-opened clay pit to the local railway station and opened in 1885.

Double deckers

There are aerial tramways with double deck cabins. The Vanoise Express
Vanoise Express
The Vanoise Express is a double-decker cable car that links La Plagne with Les Arcs ski resorts in the Alps, acting as a vital link in the Paradiski area....

 cable car carries 200 people in each cabin at a height of 380 m (1,246.7 ft) over the Ponturin gorge in France. The Shinhotaka Ropeway
Shinhotaka Ropeway
The is an aerial lift system in Takayama, Gifu Prefecture, Japan, and is operated by . The Meitetsu Group company also operates hotels in the area. Opened in 1970, the line climbs to the hillside of the Hida Mountains' Mount Hotaka, the third tallest mountain in Japan.-Basic data:The Shinhotaka...

 carries 121 people in each cabin at Mount Hotaka
Mount Hotaka
, also known as Mount Hotakadake, is one of the 100 Famous Japanese Mountains, reaching a height of . It is situated in Japan's Hida Mountains and all its major peaks besides Mount Maehotaka, lie on the border between the cities of Matsumoto, Nagano Prefecture, and Takayama, Gifu Prefecture...

 in Japan.

Records

  • Longest (at time of building) and years operated:
35 km (21.3 mi) 1906–1927 Chilecito – Mina La Mejicana, Argentina (34.3 km+0.86 km branch)
39 km (24 mi) 1925–1950 Dúrcal – Motril, Spain (33.4 km+5.5 km branch)
75 km (46.5 mi) 1937–1941 Asmara – Massawa
Asmara-Massawa Cableway
The Asmara-Massawa Cableway was built by the Italians in 1938 in Eritrea, with the work done by the Ceretti and Tanfani Italian engineering firm. It connected the port of Massawa with the city of Asmara and ran a distance of some 75 kilometres. It moved food, supplies and war materials for the...

, Eritrea (71.8 km+3 km branch), technically a Funifor
Funifor
A funifor is a type of aerial lift or aerial tramway patented by Doppelmayr Garaventa Group which consists of two guide ropes and a haul rope loop per cabin....

96 km (60 mi) 1943–1987 Kristineberg-Boliden
Boliden
Boliden is a locality situated in Skellefteå Municipality, Västerbotten County, Sweden with 1,515 inhabitants in 2005. It lies 28,5 kilometers from Skellefteå City....

, Sweden. 13.2 km still working as Norsjö aerial ropeway
Norsjö aerial tramway
Norsjö aerial tramway is a 13.2 kilometre long aerial tramway between Örträsk and Mensträsk in the Norsjö Municipality in Sweden.Norsjö aerial tramway went in service for passenger traffic in 1989 as a tourist attraction...

second longest: 76 km (47.2 mi) 1959–1986 Moanda – Mbinda
COMILOG Cableway
The COMILOG Cableway was one of the longest cableways in the world, until its closure in 1986. The ropeway conveyor ran for 76 km from Moanda in the Haut-Ogooué Province of south eastern Gabon to Mbinda in the Republic of Congo....

, Gabon – Republic of Congo
  • Over water:
1.0 km (0.6 miles) 1906–19?? Thio
Thio, New Caledonia
Thio is a commune in the South Province of New Caledonia, an overseas territory of France in the Pacific Ocean.A novel Aerial tramway existed here at the start of the 20th century to facilitate loading ore ships offshore...

, New Caledonia. ship loading
2.4 km (1.5 mi) 1941–present (decommissioned in 1997, still operational) Forsby-Köping limestone cableway
Forsby-Köping limestone cableway
The Forsby-Köping limestone cableway, commonly referred to in swedish as Kalklinbanan, is a 42 km aerial tramway running from Forsby in Vingåker municipality to industrial town Köping in central Sweden. Its final destination is the factory at the port of Köping, where cement was manufactured until...

, Sweden. crossing of Hjälmaren strait. 42 km system

  • Longest currently operational
42 km (26.1 miles) (decommissioned in 1997, still operational) Forsby-Köping limestone cableway
Forsby-Köping limestone cableway
The Forsby-Köping limestone cableway, commonly referred to in swedish as Kalklinbanan, is a 42 km aerial tramway running from Forsby in Vingåker municipality to industrial town Köping in central Sweden. Its final destination is the factory at the port of Köping, where cement was manufactured until...

13.2 km (8.2 mi) Norsjö aerial tramway
Norsjö aerial tramway
Norsjö aerial tramway is a 13.2 kilometre long aerial tramway between Örträsk and Mensträsk in the Norsjö Municipality in Sweden.Norsjö aerial tramway went in service for passenger traffic in 1989 as a tourist attraction...

 Mensträsk-Bjurfors in Norsjö
Norsjö
Norsjö is a locality and the seat of Norsjö Municipality in Västerbotten County, Sweden with 2,102 inhabitants in 2005. It is the birthplace of Swedish writer Torgny Lindgren and American author Charlotte Agell, who currently resides in Maine....

, Sweden. The world's longest passenger tramway, a section of the former 96 km Kristineberg-Boliden industrial ropeway.
5.7 kilometres (3.5 mi) Wings of Tatev
Wings of Tatev
Wings of Tatev is a cableway between Halidzor and the Tatev monastery in Armenia. It is the longest reversible aerial tramway built in one section only...

, Armenia
Armenia
Armenia , officially the Republic of Armenia , is a landlocked mountainous country in the Caucasus region of Eurasia...

 world's longest reversible cable car line of one section.
4.94km (3.1mi) Medeu-Shimbulak tramway near Almaty, Kazakhstan
4.35km (2.7mi) Sandia Peak Tramway
Sandia Peak Tramway
The Sandia Peak Tramway is located adjacent to Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA. It stretches from the northeast edge of the city to the crestline of the Sandia Mountains and has the world's third longest single span.-History:...

, reversible tramway in Albuquerque, New Mexico
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Albuquerque is the largest city in the state of New Mexico, United States. It is the county seat of Bernalillo County and is situated in the central part of the state, straddling the Rio Grande. The city population was 545,852 as of the 2010 Census and ranks as the 32nd-largest city in the U.S. As...


  • Highest lift: 3374 m (11,070 ft) from 1074m to 4448 m at Chilecito – Mina La Mejicana, Argentina (drops back to 4404 m at upper terminal)
  • Highest station:
past 5874 m (19,271 ft) 1935-19?? Aucanquilcha
Aucanquilcha
Aucanquilcha is a massive stratovolcano located in Antofagasta Region of northern Chile, just west of the border with Bolivia. It comprises a number of overlapping cones along a 10 km  long ridge that forms the summit. There is weak, episodic fumarolic activity and voluminous sulfur...

, Chile
  • Lowest station: 257 m (843 ft) below sea level Masada cableway
    Masada cableway
    The Masada cableway is an aerial tramway at the ancient fortress of Masada, Israel. Its bottom station is 257 m below and its summit station is 33 metres above sea level, thereby making it the lowest aerial tramway in the world....

    , Israel
  • Tallest support tower: 113.6 m (372.7 ft) Gletscherbahn Kaprun
    Glacial Aerial Tramway Kaprun III
    The Glacial Aerial Tramway Kaprun III is the third section of the aerial tramway on the Kitzsteinhorn mountain at Kaprun, Austria. It was placed in service on 26 November 1966....

    , Austria
  • As mass transit: The Roosevelt Island Tramway
    Roosevelt Island Tramway
    The Roosevelt Island Tramway is an aerial tramway in New York City that spans the East River and connects Roosevelt Island to Manhattan. Prior to the completion of the Mississippi Aerial River Transit in May 1984 and the Portland Aerial Tram in December 2006, it was the only commuter aerial tramway...

     in New York City
    New York City
    New York is the most populous city in the United States and the center of the New York Metropolitan Area, one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world. New York exerts a significant impact upon global commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and...

     was the first aerial tramway in North America
    North America
    North America is a continent wholly within the Northern Hemisphere and almost wholly within the Western Hemisphere. It is also considered a northern subcontinent of the Americas...

     used by commuters as a mode of mass transit  (See Transportation in New York City
    Transportation in New York City
    The transportation system of New York City is a cooperation of complex systems of infrastructure. New York City, being the largest city in the United States, has a transportation system which includes the largest subway system in the world, measured by track mileage; the world's first mechanically...

    ). Passengers pay with the same farecard
    MetroCard
    The MetroCard is the payment method for the New York City Subway rapid transit system; New York City Transit buses, including routes operated by Atlantic Express under contract to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority ; MTA Bus, and MTA Long Island Bus systems; the PATH subway system; the...

     used for the New York City Subway
    New York City Subway
    The New York City Subway is a rapid transit system owned by the City of New York and leased to the New York City Transit Authority, a subsidiary agency of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority and also known as MTA New York City Transit...

    .
    The Portland Aerial Tram
    Portland Aerial Tram
    The Portland Aerial Tram is an aerial tramway in Portland, Oregon, carrying commuters between the city's South Waterfront district and the main Oregon Health & Science University campus, located in the Marquam Hill neighborhood. It is the second commuter aerial tramway in the United States...

     in Portland, Oregon
    Portland, Oregon
    Portland is a city located in the Pacific Northwest, near the confluence of the Willamette and Columbia rivers in the U.S. state of Oregon. As of the 2010 Census, it had a population of 583,776, making it the 29th most populous city in the United States...

     was opened in January 2007 and became the second public transportation aerial tramway in North America.
    In Medellin, Colombia, both the Metro
    Metro de Medellín
    The Medellín Metro is an urban train that crosses the Metropolitan Area of Medellín from North to South and from Centre to West. As one of the first experiences of modern mass transportation in Colombia and the only metro system in the country, the Medellín Metro is a product of the urban planning...

     and the recent Metrocable aerial tramway addition can be used while paying a single fare.
  • Palm Springs Aerial Tramway
    Palm Springs Aerial Tramway
    The Palm Springs Aerial Tramway in Palm Springs, California is the largest rotating aerial tramway in the world. It was opened in September 1963 as a way of getting from the floor of the Coachella Valley to near the top of San Jacinto Peak and was constructed in rugged Chino Canyon...

     in Palm Springs, California
    Palm Springs, California
    Palm Springs is a desert city in Riverside County, California, within the Coachella Valley. It is located approximately 37 miles east of San Bernardino, 111 miles east of Los Angeles and 136 miles northeast of San Diego...

     has the world's largest rotating tramcars.

List of accidents

Despite the introduction of various safety measures (back-up power generators, evacuation plans, etc.) there have been several serious incidents on aerial tramways, some of which were fatal.
  • August 29, 1961: A military plane splits the hauling cable of the Vallee Blanche Aerial Tramway
    Vallee Blanche Aerial Tramway
    The Vallée Blanche Aerial Tramway or Funivia dei Ghiacciai or Télécabine Panoramic Mont-Blanc, is a passenger aerial tramway between Courmayeur and Chamonix by passing over the Mont Blanc Massif, in the Alps. The project was by Vittorio Zignoli of Polytechnic University of Turin...

     on the Aiguille du Midi
    Aiguille du Midi
    The Aiguille du Midi is a mountain in the Mont Blanc massif in the French Alps.The cable car to the summit, the Téléphérique de l'Aiguille du Midi, was built in 1955 and held the title of the world's highest cable car for about two decades. It still holds the record as the highest vertical ascent...

     in the Mont Blanc
    Mont Blanc
    Mont Blanc or Monte Bianco , meaning "White Mountain", is the highest mountain in the Alps, Western Europe and the European Union. It rises above sea level and is ranked 11th in the world in topographic prominence...

     massif: six people killed.
  • March 9, 1976: In the Italian Dolomites at Cavalese
    Cavalese
    Cavalese is a comune of 3,665 inhabitants in Trentino, northern Italy, a ski resort and the main center in the Val di Fiemme.The cable car from Cavalese to the nearby mountain Cermis has been the site of two major cable-car accidents, one in 1976 and one in 1998 Cavalese is a comune of 3,665...

    , a cab falls after a rope break, killing 42. (See Cavalese cable car disaster (1976))
  • April 15, 1978: In a storm, two carrying ropes of the Squaw Valley Aerial Tramway
    Squaw Valley Aerial Tramway
    Squaw Valley Aerial Tramway is a long aerial tramway at Squaw Valley Ski Resort in Olympic Valley, California. It was inaugurated in 1968. On April 15, 1978 a disaster occurred when one of the cables of the aerial tramway fell down, one of which partly destroyed the cabin. There were 4 deaths and...

     in California fall from the aerial tramway support tower. One of the ropes partly destroys the cabin. four killed, 32 injured.
  • February 3, 1998: U.S. military aircraft severs the cable of an aerial ropeway in Cavalese, Italy, killing 20 people. (See Cavalese cable car disaster (1998))
  • October 19, 2003: Four were killed and 11 injured when three cars slipped off the cable of the Darjeeling Ropeway
    Darjeeling Ropeway
    Darjeeling Ropeway was a ropeway in the town of Darjeeling in the Indian state of West Bengal. The ropeway used to be a popular tourist destination in the town. It consisted of sixteen cars and plied between the "North Point" in the town of Darjeeling and Singla on the banks of the Ramman river...

    .
  • October 9, 2004: Crash of a cabin of the Grünberg
    Grünberg
    Grünberg is a town in the district of Gießen, in Hesse, Germany.- Neighbouring communities :To the north Grünberg borders the municipality Rabenau and the town Homberg , to the east the municipality Mücke , to the south the town Laubach and to the west the municipality Reiskirchen.- Constituent...

     aerial tramway in Gmunden
    Gmunden
    Gmunden is a town in Upper Austria, Austria in the district of Gmunden. It has 13,202 inhabitants . It is much frequented as a health and summer resort, and has a variety of goat, lake, brine, vegetable and pine-cone baths, a hydropathic establishment, inhalation chambers, whey cure, etc...

    , Austria. Many hurt.
  • April 18, 2006: New York's Roosevelt Island Tramway
    Roosevelt Island Tramway
    The Roosevelt Island Tramway is an aerial tramway in New York City that spans the East River and connects Roosevelt Island to Manhattan. Prior to the completion of the Mississippi Aerial River Transit in May 1984 and the Portland Aerial Tram in December 2006, it was the only commuter aerial tramway...

     experiences a power failure, leaving 69 passengers in two trams stranded over the East River
    East River
    The East River is a tidal strait in New York City. It connects Upper New York Bay on its south end to Long Island Sound on its north end. It separates Long Island from the island of Manhattan and the Bronx on the North American mainland...

     for approximately seven hours, just eight months after a similar incident in which trams were stranded for 90 minutes. No injuries or fatalities occurred in either incident.

Gallery




Cableways in fiction

  • Where Eagles Dare
    Where Eagles Dare
    Where Eagles Dare is a 1968 World War II action-adventure spy film starring Richard Burton, Clint Eastwood and Mary Ure. It was directed by Brian G. Hutton and shot on location in Upper Austria and Bavaria....

  • On Her Majesty's Secret Service (film)
    On Her Majesty's Secret Service (film)
    On Her Majesty's Secret Service is the sixth spy film in the James Bond series, based on the 1963 novel of the same name by Ian Fleming. Following the decision of Sean Connery to retire from the role after You Only Live Twice, Eon Productions selected an unknown actor and model, George Lazenby...

  • Moonraker (film)
    Moonraker (film)
    Moonraker is the eleventh spy film in the James Bond series, and the fourth to star Roger Moore as the fictional MI6 agent James Bond. The third and final film in the series to be directed by Lewis Gilbert, it co-stars Lois Chiles, Michael Lonsdale, Corinne Clery, and Richard Kiel...

  • "Ascension
    Ascension (The X-Files)
    "Ascension" is the sixth episode of the second season of the science fiction television series The X-Files. "Ascension" concerns Mulder's pursuit of Scully, who has been kidnapped by alien abductee Duane Barry.- Plot :...

    "
  • Hoodwinked!

See also

  • Aerial lift pylon
  • Blondin (quarry equipment)
    Blondin (quarry equipment)
    Blondins were a type of aerial ropeway employed in open pits in the slate quarries in Wales to transport wagons loads of rock between locations. They were named after the famous tightrope walker Charles Blondin.- History :...

  • Cable car (disambiguation)
  • Cable ferry
    Cable ferry
    A cable ferry is guided and in many cases propelled across a river or other larger body of water by cables connected to both shores. They are also called chain ferries, floating bridges, or punts....

  • Cable transport
    Cable transport
    Cable transport refers to the broad class of transport modes that rely on vehicles pulled by cables, rather than having an internal power source...

  • Chairlift
    Chairlift
    An elevated passenger ropeway, or chairlift, is a type of aerial lift, which consists of a continuously circulating steel cable loop strung between two end terminals and usually over intermediate towers, carrying a series of chairs...

  • COMILOG Cableway
    COMILOG Cableway
    The COMILOG Cableway was one of the longest cableways in the world, until its closure in 1986. The ropeway conveyor ran for 76 km from Moanda in the Haut-Ogooué Province of south eastern Gabon to Mbinda in the Republic of Congo....

     in Moanda
    Moanda
    Moanda is one of the largest towns in Gabon, lying on the N3 road in Haut Ogooué. It is also one of the most important manganese mining towns in the world, under the auspices of the Compagnie Minière de l'Ogooué , which began mining in 1957...

  • Funitel
    Funitel
    A funitel is a type of aerial lift, generally used to transport skiers. The name funitel is a portmanteau between the French words funiculaire and telepherique. Funitels have not only been used as a means to transport skiers; there is one used to transport finished cars between different areas of...


  • Funicular
    Funicular
    A funicular, also known as an inclined plane or cliff railway, is a cable railway in which a cable attached to a pair of tram-like vehicles on rails moves them up and down a steep slope; the ascending and descending vehicles counterbalance each other.-Operation:The basic principle of funicular...

  • Hallidie ropeway
    Hallidie ropeway
    In mining history, a Hallidie ropeway is a cable system used to haul ore from a mine.-History:Andrew Smith Hallidie was a Scot who came to America to seek his fortune, with his father, in the goldfieldsof California...

  • List of aerial tramways
  • List of aerial lift manufacturers
  • List of spans
  • Riblet Tramway Company

  • Roosevelt Island Tramway
    Roosevelt Island Tramway
    The Roosevelt Island Tramway is an aerial tramway in New York City that spans the East River and connects Roosevelt Island to Manhattan. Prior to the completion of the Mississippi Aerial River Transit in May 1984 and the Portland Aerial Tram in December 2006, it was the only commuter aerial tramway...

  • Ropeway
    Ropeway
    A ropeway is a form of naval lifting device used to transport light stores and equipment across rivers or ravines. It comprises a jackstay, slung between two sheers or gyns, one at either end, from which is suspended a block and tackle, that is free to travel along the rope and hauled back and...

  • Skiing and Skiing Topics
    Skiing
    Skiing is a recreational activity using skis as equipment for traveling over snow. Skis are used in conjunction with boots that connect to the ski with use of a binding....

  • Transport
    Transport
    Transport or transportation is the movement of people, cattle, animals and goods from one location to another. Modes of transport include air, rail, road, water, cable, pipeline, and space. The field can be divided into infrastructure, vehicles, and operations...

  • Transporter bridge
    Transporter bridge
    A transporter bridge is a type of movable bridge that carries a segment of roadway across a river. The gondola is slung from a tall span by wires or a metal frame. The design has been used to cross navigable rivers or other bodies of water, where there is a requirement for ship traffic to be...

  • Tuin
    Tuin
    Tuin an aerial tramway traditional to the Himalaya usually powered by gravity and handpower.-Source:*Aerial Ropeways in Nepal - a technical brief by Practical Action, published on Appropedia.-External links:*...

     primitive aerial tramway


External links

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