An anonymous reader writes with this except from a beautifully illustrated, thought-provoking article: "These days, we use them almost exclusively to transport skiers and snowboarders up snow slopes, but before the 1940s, aerial ropeways were a common means of cargo transport, not only in mountainous regions but also on flat terrain. An electrically powered aerial ropeway is one of the cheapest and most efficient means of transportation available. Some generate excess energy that can be used to power nearby factories or data centers. An innovative system called RopeCon (not to be confused with a role-playing convention held annually in Finland) can move up to 10,000 tonnes of freight per hour."
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