Elements of ropeways

The components of a ropeways

The stations

Premium station

At least two stations are necessary for a ropeway system - one at the starting point and one at the end. In terms of technical aspects, a typical ropeway vehicle has no motor, no service brake and no control panel, as these facilities are installed directly in the station buildings.

Because of the way it is integrated into the natural environment and the differing characteristics of the area, every station is unique. There is therefore a wide choice of types of station, such as long or short, the middle station and the HCL station.




The drive system


Depending on the requirements of the installation, the drive system can be installed at the bottom or top station, implemented as an overhead or underground drive and used as a drive or drive-tensioning station. It consists of the drive, the service brake, safety brake and the gearbox.

The DirectDrive, an exclusive offer from LEITNER, is the world’s only ropeway drive system that can be operated without a gearbox. The drive is directly connected with the bullwheel.

The lack of a complex gearbox brings significant operational benefits. The DirectDrive system provides a very quiet ride with noise levels around 15 dB lower than before. Its maintenance requirements are minimal and its operating costs are unbeatably low.


LEITNER drive system

The line


The line is the part of a ropeway that is affected by topographical conditions. It is therefore very important to develop highly adoptable products that provide passengers with comfortable and safe rides. The lines are formed by a variable number of components, for example the towers, the roller batteries and the rope itself.



The LEITNER Towers

The towers

The towers are built in a robust manner as they have to bear the weight of the vehicles with passengers. The cabins pass on both sides of the tower. The towers are made from tubular steel in a variety of lengths, diameters and wall thicknesses. Depending on the terrain, they can be divided into small sections, transported by helicopter and reassembled on site.

Special towers are towers more than 30 m in height that are constructed as lattice towers or tubular towers with two or more legs.

The roller batteries

The roller batteries

The roller batteries guide the hauling rope along the line. Each roller battery is made up of a system of rollers. The number of rollers depends on the load that the rope is carrying. Every roller consists of the base body, the roller ring and the side board.

The rope

Ropes are found in all ropeway systems. Steel ropes are made of strands that are twisted around the rope core. Specialized companies are responsible for manufacturing the ropes and installing them on site.

Control system


The control system monitors the safety of the installation and its passengers. The control panel provides the operator with real-time data and the information necessary for the operation of the ropeways installation. It enables the machine operator to regulate the service as required.

Drive Electronics

The perfect interplay between the motor, the converter and the mechanical parts is a fundamental aspect that guarantees high passenger comfort. Intelligent drive solutions are required to ensure the smooth and reliable movement of the rope under any operation and load conditions. The drive technology controls the travel speed and the response of the installation when it starts and stops. Motor powers ranging from a few kW to large drives in the 2-4 mW range are adjusted precisely and powerfully to the requirements of the mechanical system by control algorithms.


LEITNER control system

The vehicles

The chair

The vehicles are the part of all ropeway systems that passengers experience most intensely. The vehicles vary from the fixed-grip 2-seater to the detachable 8-seater chair to cabins for aerial tramways or funicular ropeways up to 200 passengers.

The chairs

Every chair, regardless of whether it is fixed or detachable, offers a high level of comfort. They can be equipped with a wide bench seat, backrest, footrest and lockable safety bar for a better seating position, comfort and safety. The seats are available with or without heating and soft comfort padding. Chair transport capacities range from 2 to 8 passengers. The 4-seater to 8-seater chairs are available with or without bubbles.

Luxury Cabin Symphony 10 Sassolungo

The gondola

Gondolas for detachable ropeways can transport between 4 and 35 passengers and are available in different designs. All gondolas have an aluminum supporting structure; the area between the profiles is mainly made of glass creating extremely low wind resistance providing a unique sense of space and stunning panoramic views. Various seat covers are available.

The grip

The grip

There are two types of grips that can be perfectly adjusted to various system-specific requirements, the fixed and detachable grips; the force of the grips is generated by parallel coil springs.

Detachable grips have a moving grip jaw allowing the direct opening and closing of the grip that in normal position remains closed.

Fixed grips have a long history and have a reputation for being very secure and reliable. The grip structure is made up of two drop- forged main parts that are joined together and attached to the rope.

Newsletter subscription

The top stories about our projects and products. Register now!