Clamps and grips

The difference between detachable and fixed-grip urban cableway

A central component of cableway techno- logy is the cable grip. Choosing the right system impacts the operation of an urban cableway.


The cable grip constitutes the connection between an endless circulating haul cable and the passenger carrier. Most modern circulating cableways for passenger transport have grips designed to detach during operation. Upon entering a station, they open, whereupon the cabins or cars are decelerated by the tires in the sta tion, slowly moving the cabins or cars through the station for passenger entry and exit or else bringing them to a complete stop.

The Minimètro in perugia (top picture) is a circulating cableway with a cable grip that detaches during operation while the reversible cableway Hungerburgbahn in Innsbruck (bottom picture) is connected with a traction cable by a fixed grip. Photos: LEITNER ropeways

One positive aspect of this system is that the cabins or cars can also be brought into a parking garage outside of operating hours or during off-peak hours with lower passenger flows. The garage is also the ideal location for cleaning and maintenance operations.

Cable grips that are not designed to be detached during operation are used with group aerial tramways, pulsed circulating cableways, fixed grip chairlifts, and most surface lifts. With bicable or tricable aerial tramways and with most funiculars, the cabins or cars have a fixed connection with a traction cable on the drive station side, while on the side of the tensioning station, there is a „counter- cable” to compensate for the weight of the cable and to maintain constant tension.

Source: Anton Seeber (2010) “The Renaissance of the Cableway”, Prokopp & Heckensteiner: Bolzano.