Gondola lift

From Academic Kids

A gondola lift is a type of aerial lift, often called a cable car, which consists of a loop of steel cable that is strung between two stations, preferably over intermedate supporting towers. The cable is driven by a bullwheel in the terminal, which is connected to an engine, which is usually electric.

An example of a gondola lift at the Canyons in Park City, Utah. This lift was built by Poma with gondola cabins built by CWA.
An example of a gondola lift at the Canyons in Park City, Utah. This lift was built by Poma with gondola cabins built by CWA.

In some systems the passenger cabins, which can hold between 4 and 16 people, are connected to the cable by means of spring-loaded grips. These grips allow for the cabin to be detached from the moving cable and slowed down in the terminals, to allow passengers to board and disembark. Doors are almost always automatic and controlled by a lever on the roof or on the undercarriage that is pushed up or down. Cabins are driven through the terminals either by rotating tires, or by a chain system. To be accelerated to and decelerated from line speed, cabins are driven along by progressively faster (or slower) rotating tires until they reach terminal or line speed. These gondola lifts can have many intermediate terminals that allow for uploading and downloading on the lift. An example of a lift with three terminals instead of the standard two is the Village Gondola and the Excalibur Gondolas at Whistler, BC.

In other systems the cable is slowed down intermittently to allow passengers to disembark and embark the cabins at the stations, and to allow people in the cars along the route to take photographs. A system like this, or when a train of gondolas in a row stop at a staton is called a pulse gondola because the lift stops to load usually three cabins at a terminal and then start-up again. It stops over and over to so this.

Another type of gondola lift is the bi-cable gondola, which has one other stationary cable, besides the main haul rope, that helps support the cabins. Examples of this type of lift include the Cable Car in Singapore and the Sulphur Mountain Gondola in Banff, Canada. There are also tri-cable gondolas that have two stationary cables that support the cabins. They differ from aerial tramways in that the latter consist only of one or two usually larger cabins, moving up and down, not circulating.


Notable Gondola Lifts around the world


Hong Kong


  • The Tochal "Tele-cabin" which starts from the metropolitan Tehran and ends in the Tochal Ski Resort at 3900m. It has 7 stations and is one of the longest and most scenic in the world. A modern ski hotel hosts the skiers at the end of the lift.

New Zealand


United Kingdom

See also

External links

de:Gondelbahn fr:Télécabine zh:索道


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