Escalator Terminology Part 2 of 3

We continue our three part series of lift terminology. Continue reading to learn more.

Handrail Drive Chain

An escalator handrail drive chain is a component of the escalator’s handrail drive system that drives the handrails forward or backward along the escalator’s handrail guide. The drive chain is typically located within the handrail guide and is powered by an electric motor that is located at the top or bottom of the escalator. As the motor rotates, it causes the drive chain to move, which in turn drives the handrail forward or backward. The handrail drive chain is typically made of high-strength steel or other durable materials that can withstand the heavy usage and wear of the escalator.

Inlet Guard

An escalator inlet guard, also known as an entry comb plate, is a safety feature located at the entrance of the escalator that prevents passengers from getting their clothing or other objects caught in the gap between the moving steps and the stationary floor. It is typically made of durable materials, such as metal or plastic, and is designed to fit tightly against the floor to create a smooth transition between the stationary floor and the moving steps. The inlet guard also serves as a visual cue for passengers to step onto the escalator and provides a non-slip surface to improve traction and prevent slipping.

Interior Pane

An escalator interior panel is a decorative and functional component of the escalator that covers the mechanical and electrical systems housed within the escalator’s truss. It is typically made of durable materials such as metal, plastic, or glass and can be customized to match the aesthetics of the surrounding environment. The interior panel provides protection to the escalator’s internal components, improving safety and preventing damage due to exposure to dust, debris, or moisture. The panel can also serve as a barrier between the escalator and the surrounding environment, reducing noise levels and improving the overall passenger experience.

Lower Machine Room

An escalator lower machine compartment, also known as a machine room, is a space located beneath the escalator that houses the mechanical and electrical components that power the escalator’s movement. It typically contains equipment such as the escalator’s motor, gearbox, control panel, and other systems necessary for the safe and efficient operation of the escalator. The lower machine compartment is accessible through a door or hatch and must be kept clear of obstructions to allow for easy maintenance and inspection.

Lower Sprocket

The lower sprocket on an escalator is a critical component of the escalator’s drive system that transfers power from the motor to the steps. It is located at the bottom of the escalator and is connected to the motor gearbox through a drive chain. As the motor rotates, it spins the sprocket wheel, which meshes with the links of the drive chain, causing it to move. The movement of the chain, in turn, drives the lower sprocket, which drives the steps of the escalator, transporting passengers between floors. The lower sprocket is typically made of durable materials, such as high-strength steel or cast iron, and requires regular maintenance and lubrication to ensure smooth and reliable operation.

Main Track

The main track of an escalator is a stationary structural component that provides support and guidance for the moving steps. It is typically made of heavy-duty steel or aluminum and is bolted or welded to the building structure. The main track consists of two parallel tracks, one on each side of the escalator, that run the entire length of the escalator. Each track has a series of comb-like teeth that mesh with the grooves on the bottom of the steps, ensuring that the steps remain properly aligned and in sync with each other. The main track also contains a variety of safety features, such as safety edges or bumpers, to protect passengers and prevent accidents.


The motor is the heart of the escalator and provides the power needed to move the steps. The motor is typically located at the top or bottom of the escalator and is connected to the gearbox.

Newel End

An escalator newel end is a decorative and functional component of an escalator system that is located at the top and bottom of the escalator. It is a vertical post that provides structural support for the handrail and helps to guide passengers on and off the escalator. The newel end is typically made of a durable material such as stainless steel or glass, and may feature decorative accents to enhance the aesthetics of the escalator. In addition to its decorative function, the newel end also serves as a safety feature, providing a visible barrier to prevent passengers from accidentally stepping off the side of the escalator

Newel End Roller

An escalator newel roller is a component of an escalator system that serves as a guide for the handrail. It is a small roller located at the top and bottom of the escalator newel post that helps to keep the handrail in its proper position and prevent it from sliding off the newel post. The newel roller is typically made of a durable material such as nylon or steel, and must be regularly inspected and maintained to ensure its proper function and safe operation of the escalator.


An escalator riser is a vertical section located between the moving steps of an escalator that helps to support and guide the steps as they move along the escalator’s track. It typically consists of a series of interconnected metal plates that are linked together to form a continuous, rigid structure. The riser helps to prevent the steps from sagging or twisting during operation, ensuring that they remain level and stable for passengers to step on and off safely. The riser also provides a visual cue for passengers to indicate the location of the moving steps and can be customized with decorative features to match the aesthetics of the surrounding environment.

Escalator Terminology Part 1

Escalator Terminology Part 3

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