Aerial Ropeways - Glossary

(To be read in conjunction with UK Gazetteer)

Aerial Ropeway : Refers to an installation for transporting materials (and passengers) in carriers hung on or fixed to a moving cable, or pulled along a stationary one, (suspended above grade), by various means.

Monocable technology
The term "monocable" means that one single rope supports (first function) and hauls (second function) the load that is hung or fastened on to it. (Where only the supporting stantions remain, this type may be identfied by having pulleys mounted on the supports.)

Bicable technology
The term "bicable" means that the two functions of supporting and hauling, are filled by separate ropes. (Where only the supporting stantions remain, this type may be identfied by having only rope guides mounted on the supports.)

Angle Station : Without these, a ropeway can only run in a straight line (when viewed in plan) between its end points.

Carriers : These 'carry' the load being transported and may take the form of hooks, or buckets, which themselves may be fixed (with opening bottoms) or self tipping, and also easily removable.

Catch Gear : On tipping buckets, or ones with doors. The mechanism which keeps the bucket upright/door closed while traveling, but releases it so that its contents is emptied at the unloading point/station.

Clips : The wedge shaped part of the hanger which contacts the driving rope, and imparts driving force by friction (and supporting force, in the case of a monocable system), to the bucket/load./

Couplings :

Grips : The friction or fixed device which imparts driving force to the load on bicale ropeways. These can be permanent, or automatically/manually operated when the load is initially sent onto the moving cable, and at angle and unloading stations.

Hanger : The ironwork which connects the load to the rope.

Hodgsons System :

Loading Station :

'Otto' System :

Post - see Pylon

Pylon : These are cable support structures located between the loading, unloading and (if installed) angle stations. Their location and height ensure that the carriers avoid contact with grade or other structures/obstacles, after the 'sag' in the support cable has been accounted for. They have been made from a variety of materials : timber (both sawn and unsawn), steel (typically lattice design), stone or of reinforced concrete.
Pylon design is inherently different for those used on a monocable ropeway compared to one used on a bicable type.

Return wheel/station :

'Roe' System - The Roe System - a monocable ropeway, as originally patented and promoted by John Pearce Roe

Stanchion - see Pylon

Standard - see Pylon

Telepherage : As described in Encyclopedia Brittanica 1911

Tensioning : All cables, particularly the supporting cables need a tensioning system. These are usually 'live', i.e. provide a fixed load, and move to accomodate changes in load. They usually consist of weights (sometimes as elaborate as rocks loaded into a cage !) hung vertically, directly on the cable (sometimes via a pulley) which is being tensioned.

Trestle - see Pylon

Unloading Station :


Mike Munro
This page last updated on 7th March 2010