Aerial tramway

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An aerial tramway (U.S. English) or cable car (British English) is a type of aerial lift in which a cabin or other conveyance is suspended from a fixed cable and is pulled by another cable.

Because of the proliferation of such systems in the Alpine regions of Europe, the French and German language names of téléphérique and Seilbahn are often also used in an English language context. "Cable car" is the usual term in British English, as in British English the word "tramway" generally refers to a railed street tramway. 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, so careful phrasing is necessary to prevent confusion. It is also sometimes called a ropeway or even incorrectly referred to as a gondola lift (a gondola lift has the cabin suspended from a moving cable, and is not to be confused with a gondola).



An aerial tramway consists of one or two fixed cables (called "track cables"), one loop of cable (called a "haulage rope"), and two passenger cabins. The fixed cables provide support for the cabins. The haulage rope, by means of a grip, is solidly connected to the truck (the wheel set that rolls on the track cables). The haulage rope is usually driven by an electric motor and being connected to the cabins, moves them up or down the mountain.

Aerial tramways differ from gondola lifts in that the latter use several smaller cabins suspended from a circulating looped cable.[citation needed]

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