Ropeway Database - Manual

Table of contents

Content of the database

The ropeway database contains ropeways in Germany and Switzerland, including both installations currently in operation and those that have already been dismantled. The database is limited to ropeways that were or are licensed for passenger transport. Pure material ropeways are therefore not entered. Likewise, no portable small ski lifts (rope tows, handle tows, télécordes) are listed.

Structure of the database

Each ropeway represents a separate data set. Ropeways that replace an older installation can be found as separate data sets. The individual data sets are provided with various information - with geographical, operational, temporal and technical information about the respective ropeway. Not all detailed information is always known. However, the basic information such as place, state, name of the ropeway and the location are entered in all cases.

Stored information

The following information is stored in the database for each ropeway:

Name of the installation
Altitude of the bottom station
Altitude of the top station
Difference in altitude
Coordinates of the bottom station
Coordinates of the top station
Coordinates of turns

Operational status
Possibility of ascending
Possibility of descending

Year of construction
Year of reconstruction
Year of closure

Type of ropeway
System category
Manufacturer of the machinery (original construction)
Manufacturer of the machinery (reconstruction)
Manufacturer of the electronics
Manufacturer of the rope
Travel time
Number of towers
Number of carriers
Location of the drive
Location of the tensioning system

To search for specific ropeways, use the search engine. You have a full text search at your disposal, with which you can search for individual keywords. For more specific searches, we offer an advanced search form that allows you to search for specific terms in individual data fields.

Full text search

To search for a single keyword, we recommend using the full text search. For example, you can use this search form to search for installations at a specific location. Enter the desired location in the search form. The full-text search always displays all data records in which the entered character string occurs. For example, if you enter the keyword Saas, all the installations in Saas-Fee, Saas-Grund, etc. will appear in the search result.

If you wish, you can switch the search function to an exact mode. If you select this mode, only those facilities will appear in the search results that contain the exact term. For example, if you enter the term Lenz, only facilities in Lenz will be displayed, but not those in Lenzerheide.

After the input you have the possibility to sort the ropeways by a certain data field. You can also specify whether the entries should be sorted in ascending or descending order according to the selected data field.

Advanced search

The advanced search offers you the possibility to narrow down the search according to several criteria. Various selection lists and free text fields are available for this purpose, with which you can search specifically for terms and contents in individual data fields.

When searching, only fill in the data fields where you want to limit the search. Leave the rest of the fields empty. Note that the advanced search only finds the exact term in the respective data field by default. However, you can use the * character as a wildcard. For example, if you enter the keyword Lenz* in the location field, the search will list all ropeways that are located in Lenz as well as in Lenzerheide.

Types of ropeways

The system types are categorized and abbreviated for the purpose of clarity. Below you will find an overview of the abbreviations used:

Surface lifts
SLE = Platter, J-Bar or T-Bar lift with feeders (system Constam)
SLF = Surface lift with fixed grip sticks (system Poma)
SLG = Surface lift with belts (system Hefti)
SLI = Surface lift with special grips for turns (system Habegger)
SLK = Surface lift with detachable sticks (system Poma)
SLV = Small surface lift (system Vogler)
SLZ = Surface lift with two ropes (system Küpfer)

SBF = Chairlift with fixed grips (addition /B for chairs with weather protection)
SBK = Chairlift with detachable grips (addition /B for chairs with weather protection)

KBF = Gondola with fixed grips (cabriolet lifts)
KBK = Gondola with detachable grips (one rope, two ropes, Funitel)

Pulsed gondolas
GPB = Pulsed gondola with jigback operation (one rope, two ropes)
GUB = Pulsed gondola with continuous operation (one rope, two ropes)

Aerial tramways
LPB = Aearial tramway with jigback operation (one rope, two ropes, Funifor)

SPB = Funicular with jigback operation
FUNI = Sledge ropeway (system Annen)

System categories

The classic designations for the individual ropeway types, which have become established in linguistic usage over the years, are well suited for quick communication and have a high recognition value. However, they do not allow a logical-systematic categorization of the individual ropeway systems in the sense of a typology with complete and disjunctive categories. For this reason, the database further categorizes the individual installations according to a specially developed system. The derivation of this system categorization can be read in the section Technology & History (only available in German).

Basically, the system categorizes ropeways according to four essential dimensions. The type of ropeway system, the operating principle, the rope system and the type of mounting of the carriers. The defined characteristics of these four dimensions make it possible to assign each individual ropeway system clearly and without overlap to a category.

The system is supplemented by information on the type of carriers used and the maximum number of passengers per carrier. The following table systematically lists the individual dimensions and their characteristics:

Type of system
L = Aerial lift (Luftseilbahn): All ropeway systems independent of the ground
F = Funicular: Ground based ropeway systems
S = Surface lift: Ground contact only with passengers
H = Hybrid of aerial lifts and surface lifts

Principle of operation
P = Jigback operation (Pendelbetrieb)
U = Continuous operation (Umlaufbetrieb)

Rope system
M = (Monocable system): Support and traction function combined
B = (Bicable system): Independent track rope(s) and haul rope(s)

Mounting of the carriers
F = Fixed grips: Not automatically detachable during the operation
K = Detachable grips (kuppelbar): Automatically detachable during the operation

Types of carriers
P = Sticks (system Poma)
E = Feeders (Einzugsapparate)
G = Belts (Gurte)
S = Chairs (Sessel)
K = Cabins / Gondolas (Kabinen)
W = Carriage (Wagen)
T = Tower

The system of a ropeway is described by stringing together the abbreviated dimension characteristics, supplemented by the type of carriers and the number of passengers per carrier. If different types of carriers are used in a system (for example in the case of combined ropeways with chairs and cabins), these are also listed one after the other. If the carriers are not attached to the haul rope at continuous intervals, but in groups (so-called pulse lifts), this is indicated by the addition of the letter G.


  • LPBF-K80: Aerial lift with jigback operation, bicable system, fixed grips and cabins for 80 passengers (classic aerial tramway)
  • LUMF-S4: Aerial lift with continuous operation, monocable system, fixed grips and chairs for four passengers (classic fixed grip chairlift)
  • LUMK-S6K8: Aerial lift with continuous operation, monocable system, detachable chairs for six passengers and cabins for eight passengers (classic combination of chairlift and gondola)
  • LUMF-K6G: Aerial lift with continuous operation, monocable system, fixed grip cabins in groups for six passengers (classic pulse lift)
  • SUMK-P1: Surface lift with continuous operation, monocable system, detachable sticks for one passenger (classic Pomalift)
  • FPMF-W100: Funicular with jigback operation, monocable system, fixed grip carriages for 100 passengers (classic funicular)
  • HUMF-E2S1: Hybrid of aerial lift and surface lift with continuous operation, monocable system, feeders for two passengers and single chairs (classic combination of surface lift and chairlift invented by Constam)

Tips and advice for searching

  • When searching for ropeways, it is advisable to start the search rather generically at first and only narrow down the results afterwards. The entered terms should not be too long or too complicated. In the advanced search, you should not enter terms in too many fields at the same time.
  • Do not search for general terms such as chairlift, ski lifts, cable car, mountain, lake etc. or for technical terms such as VR101, sheave train, towers etc. This will not lead to any result.
  • Do not enter multiple terms in a single field. Entries like Chairlift in Kandersteg, Prau Ault Flims or Habegger, Bettmeralp will not lead to any result.
  • Note that the database only includes ropeways in Germany and Switzerland. You will not find ropeways in other countries in our database.
  • Ropeways that are newly built will be added to the database only in November / December of the current year after their completion. The projects page informs about the state of construction of ropeways that are currently built.
  • The names of the installations may not correspond to the names published by the ski areas. These marketing names, which often contain the suffix Express, Jet or Shuttle, cannot be found in the database. The database bases the names of the lifts on the official field names.
  • Note the abbreviations used on this page for the ropeway types. English abbreviations, which are sometimes used on other pages or by manufacturers, are not stored in this database and therefore cannot be searched for.

Contributing to the database

  • Adding a ropeway
    As a registered member you can easily add missing ropeways. Click on the icon in the navigation at the top of the page and then select the option Edit Database. On this page you have the possibility to enter a new ropeway. A form will appear in which you can enter the available data. After submitting, the data will be checked by an administrator and then published.
  • Editing a ropeway
    If a ropeway already exists in the database, but the given data is incomplete or outdated, you can correct or complete it. Navigate to the search engine and enter e.g. the location of the ropeway you want to edit. In the search result you will find the icon on the right hand side under Options. Click on this symbol for the installation in question. A form will appear with all the data that you can edit and submit. After a check by an administrator, the data will be published.
  • Adding a photo
    For many ropeways a suitable photo is still missing in the database. You can add one by either selecting the icon in the Options column of the search results or by clicking on the icon at the top of the page, navigating to Edit Database and then selecting the Add Photo form (in this case you have to enter the ID of the ropeway manually). There you have the possibility to upload a photo for the ropeway in question. After a check by an administrator the photo will be published.
  • Writing a ropeway documentary
    You know a certain ropeway inside out? Then you can write in the forum section Technical Documentaries about the history of the ropeway and its technical features and illustrate the report with photos. This is possible for ropeways all over the world. We are happy for documentaries in English as well!