Friday, September 30, 2011
Have you ever taken a funicular (aka incline)? I love these things! It’s a cross between an elevator and a train, designed to take people up and down a big hill quickly. Most of them were built in the late 1800’s to early 1900’s and there aren’t many still in operation in the US.
Logically, they were built in hilly cities, like Cincinnati, where there were five at one time, now all closed. Pittsburg still has two and there are loads of them still being used in Europe. I swear that I’ve seen a private one in the yard of an exclusive estate perched atop a cliff overlooking Lake Erie between Toledo and Cleveland. Private ones have also been built at golf courses, hotels, ski resorts, etc.
I've recently learned about a couple inclines that I’ve been near, but never took – in Puerto Rico and Niagara Falls. Oh, shucks, I’ll have to go back . . .
Here are shots of some funiculars I’ve ridden.
A fun look at a few more.