Aerial tramway or cable car is a type of aerial lift which uses one or two stationary ropes for support while a third moving rope provides propulsion.
An aerial tramway (U.S. English) or cable car (British English) or aerial tram is a type of aerial lift which uses one or two stationary ropes for support while a third moving rope provides propulsion. The grip of an aerial tramway is fixed onto the propulsion rope and cannot be decoupled from it during operations.
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 while 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. As such, 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 cabins suspended from a continuously circulating cable whereas aerial trams simply shuttle back and forth on cables.