This past summer I scored a behind the scenes tour of the Kaatskill Flyer at Hunter Mountain with their lift operations director. I got to see inside both terminals and I learned some interesting facts about the lift. This was the video that I took inside the bottom terminal which was the drive. Video of the top return terminal to come soon.
Use of the electric drive motor and gearbox is the main brake force for most purposes.
They normally then have the first layer of emergency braking in the event of motor failure or gear box failure, In the video above it looks like its using pads on a flywheel attached the the main drive line.
Then finally the 3rd layer is typically a catastrophic brake. This would only be used in the event the other two systems failed, and a roll back was likely to occur. In older designs a lot of times this involved ratcheted teeth on the top of the bull wheel with a mechanism coming down on the teeth and locking up the wheel, exerting massive force and bring everything to an abrupt stop. It could be operated in the event of power loss or loss of hydraulics. This had the potential to cause significant damage to the lift.