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(mechanical engineering)
A transporting system consisting of a cable extended between two or more points on which cars are propelled to transport bulk materials for construction operations.
(mining engineering)
A cable system of material handling in which carriers are supported by a cable and not detached from the operating span.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



a structure for transporting freight and passengers in which a cable stretched between supports is used to move gondolas or chairs. Cableways are usually built in mountainous or broken country or in other locations where surface travel is difficult, in locations where the shortest possible crossing of a highway, railroad, river, or lake must be provided, and in cities with well-developed surface transportation. A distinction is made among freight, passenger, and combined cableways and, according to design, between two-cable and single-cable cable-ways, with loop or shuttle movement of the cars.

Freight cableways are usually built with a two-cable loop design. The carriage of a gondola rolls on a stationary supporting cable. The gondolas are moved by a traction cable. The length of such cableways is virtually unlimited, since they are composed of consecutively connected independent sections (6-12 km). Some freight cableways in Switzerland are 200 km long, with an angle of elevation of up to 30°. A loop cableway is capable of transporting 30-500 tons (in a few cases, up to 1,000 tons) of freight per hour at car speeds of 1.5-3.3 m/sec. For shorter distances, two-cable shuttle cableways are built; they have one or two gondolas that carry up to 150 tons of freight per hour at a speed of up to 10 m/sec. The length of such a cableway is up to 3 km; the maximum angle of elevation is 45°. In single-cable cableways the cars are connected to and move with the cable at speeds of 1 to 2.5 m/sec. The cars usually move on a loop route. The capacity of single-cable cableways is 10-150 tons per hr, and the maximum angle of elevation is 25°. Freight cableways are used in many chemical industries and in ore mining.

Passenger cableways are usually of a two-cable design. Cable-ways built as a shuttle usually have one or two cars, each designed for 12 to 100 passengers. Cableways built as a loop usually have cars designed for four passengers. In passenger cableways the safety of operation is provided by a braking cable, a double traction cable, or the use of a braking device, which engages the supporting cable if the traction cable breaks. Passenger cable-ways can be up to 12 km long; lifting is possible up to a height of 3 km; and car speed is from 1.5 to 11 m/sec. There are also single-cable (usually loop-type) cableways with rigidly mounted one- or two-passenger seats, which the passengers can occupy or leave while the cableway is in motion. Such cableways are built mainly in mountainous resort areas (Austria, Switzerland, Italy, France, and Japan). In the USSR cableways are operated in the Crimea and the Caucasus (for example, in Priel’ brus’e, Kabarda-Balkar ASSR), and in Iuzhno-Sakhalinsk. They transport 200-1,000 passengers per hour at speeds of 1 to 2.5 m/sec, over distances from 0.6 to 2 km and through level differences of 0.5 km. Single-cable ski tows are widely used. The skier is moved at a speed of 1.5 m/sec, while standing on skis and supported by a spring suspension attached to the traction cable. During the summer some ski tows are coverted to chair lifts. Cableways may be used for simultaneous transportation of freight and passengers. Such combined cableways are particularly efficient in logging and mining operations. In addition to suspension-type cableways, land cableways (cable hoists) are being introduced (1970). Such installations make possible, for example, the movement of loaded vehicles on steep inclines or the passage of ships through dams (instead of the usual method, through locks).


Baramidze, K. M., and I. Ia. Kogan. Passazhirskie podvesnye kanatnye dorogi. Moscow, 1962.
Belaia, N. M., and A. G. Prokhorenko. Kanatnye lesotransportnye ustanovki. Moscow, 1964.
Dukel’skii, A. I. Podvesnye kanatnye dorogi i kabeVnye krany, 4th ed. Moscow-Leningrad, 1966.
Mashiny nepreryvnogo transporta. Edited by V. I. Plavinskii. Moscow, 1969.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


An apparatus for moving material, sometimes used at construction sites; usually a wire rope which is suspended between two points, from which buckets, or the like, are hung and pulled along.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Architecture and Construction. Copyright © 2003 by McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
References in periodicals archive ?
The time schedule was for a political decision to be made in the latter part of 2019 and that a cableway could be in place for the 400th anniversary in 2021, but as the procurement was delayed the schedule may need to be adjusted.
The auxiliary construction works are still ongoing and will be completed in about two months, but the cableway route does not depend on it.
The lowest levels of the sun terraces reach waterside, where there is more seating, hangers, board racks and the all important cableways.
Main parts of such cableway are mobile chassis (trailor or truck), hydraulic foldaway tower with pulleys, a set of winding drums with cables and their driving system.
The support will be granted to the municipality of Pec pod SneA3/4kou, as owner and main shareholder of the cableway operator that connects the town with the summit of Mount Snezka.
It has been planned that 2.5 kilometre cableway would have 40 to 50 cable cars, and the project is likely to be completed within one year.
In the new Budget revision, the Government has set aside 600 million denars for construction of a cableway to the Millennium Cross on Vodno and 180 million denars for adaptation of the Villa "Vodno" and the complex of villas in Ohrid.
Council leaders say a cableway is a potential solution to improving links between the two areas.
Beicio Llanberis submitted plans for a pounds 12m mountain biking centre which would include building a cableway.
South African newspaper the Cape Times reported earlier this week that the city of Cape Town has joined with the Table Mountain Aerial Cableway Company and Table Mountain National Parks to launch a new initiative that will encourage operators of diesel-powered tour buses in the Cape Peninsula region to shut off their engines while passengers are sightseeing.