Aerial tramway

From Academic Kids

Cable car at Zell am See in the Austrian Alps.
Cable car at Zell am See in the Austrian Alps.

An aerial tramway is a type of aerial lift, sometimes called a cable car or ropeway, and frequently incorrectly referred to as a gondola.

An aerial tramway consists of two or more loops of cable, and two passenger cabins. One of the cables is always fixed, and provides support for the cabins. The second cable is, by means of a grip, connected to the cabins. This second cable is usually driven by an electric motor, and, being connected to the cabins, moves them up or down the mountain. They differ from gondola lifts in that the latter use several smaller cabins circulating on a looped cable.

The two passenger cabins, which carry from 4 to over 100 people, are situated at opposite ends of the loops of cable. Thus, while one is coming up, the other is going down the mountain. Some aerial trams have only one cabin.

The original version was originally called telpherage, and was invented by engineer Fleeming Jenkin. Smaller telpherage systems are sometimes used to transport objects (such as tools or mail) within a building or factory.


Aerial tramways around the world


South Africa

  • Table Mountain has a rotating cable car ferrying passengers to and from the top of the mountain.



  • Chongqing An aerial tramway provides transportation across the Yangtse River. The tramway is 740 m long and operates at 8m/s. Each cabin can carry a maximum of 45 passengers, with a total design capacity of 900 passengers /hour in each direction.


  • Gangtok – A ropeway is in operation in the eastern Himalayan town of Gangtok. The ropeway ferries tourists from one part of the city to another.
  • Phelagham – in this ski resort in Jammu and Kashmir, the cable cars ferry passengers up the ski slopes.




South Korea

  • Namsan Cable Car, Seoul.



  • The Téléphérique de l'Aiguille du Midi, opened in 1955, can carry 75 passengers in the first section and 65 passengers in the second section. It starts in Chamonix at the altitude of 1030 m to Plan de l'Aiguille at 2317 m for the first section. The second section arrives at the top of the Aiguille du Midi in a station at 3777 m high. It is the highest aerial tramway in the world.Description from the Compagnie du Mont Blanc site (
  • The Vanoise Express, opened in December 2003 at a cost of 15 million, is a double decker tramway for 200 passengers in each car. It spans the Ponturin gorge at a height of 380 m (1250 feet) above the ground, linking the resorts of La Plagne and Les Arcs in four minutes to form the Paradiski ski resort. Unusually its two cars run independently of each other on separate cables. [2] (


  • The Eibsee Seilbahn, which affords visitors access to Germany's highest mountain, the Zugspitze. There is also a cog railway up the Zugspitze.
  • The Tegelbergbahn, or Tegelbahn, near Schwangau in Bavaria in beautiful Alpine scenery.
  • The Kölner Seilbahn, in Cologne, was installed in 1966 and crosses the Rhine going from the Zoo to the Rheinpark. This was the first tramway to cross a river in Europe.



  • Fjellheisen in Tromsø. [3] (
  • Krossobanen in Tinn is the oldest aerial tramway in Northern Europe. It was built in 1928.
  • Ulriksbanen on the mountain Ulriken in Bergen.




In Switzerland, many aerial tramways are in use, including:
A complete list of publicly available Swiss aerial tramways (excluding other types of aerial lifts), is available at list of aerial tramways in Switzerland.

United Kingdom

Cable car from Matlock Bath in Derbyshire to Heights of Abraham

North America


United States

South America


  • A very famous aerial tramway is located at Rio de Janeiro. It is actually composed of two separate cable car systems, one going from city level to the top of the Morro de Urca (where there was formerly a famous casino), and a second one going from the hill to the top of the Sugarloaf Mountain.


  • In Bogotá, a tramway can be used for going from the city level (2962 m above sea level) to the top of the Hill of Monserrate (3152 m). It was built in 1955, and has two cabins each for 40 passengers. The 880 m traject is traveled in 7 minutes, with a magnificent view over the downtown of the City. On the top, there is a shrine in a church, a fine dining restaurant and smaller touristic atractions.
  • In the Parque Nacional del Café in Montenegro, department of Quindío, there is a touristic tramway hovering over the park.


  • The Mérida cable car has the distinction of being the highest in the world at 4765 m (15,633 ft), as well as being the longest aerial tram (7.77 miles). It spans the magnificent national park area called the Sierra Nevada and connects the city of Mérida with the surrounding heights.
  • Ávila Cable Car, in Caracas, built in 1957 and rebuilt in the early 1990s and reinaugurated in 2000, is one of the most moderns in the word. The cable car ascends 1000 m (3280 ft) to 2100 m (6889 ft) in the Ávila Mágica Park and the Humbolt Hotel. The original cable car had a second line that connected to the city of La Guaira on the other side of Ávila Mountain; the cablecar administration is currently planning to rehabilitate that line.




New Zealand

See also

External links

fr:Téléphérique ja:索道 nl:Kabelbaan zh:索道


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