2014-12-11

Duquesne Incline | The oldest funicular of USA

The Duquesne Incline is an inclined plane railroad, or funicular, located near Pittsburgh's South Side neighborhood and scaling Mt. Washington. Designed by Samuel Diescher, the incline was completed on 20 Nov. 1877 and is 800 feet or 244 meters long, 400 feet or 122 meters in height, and is inclined at a 30-degree angle. It is an unusual track gauge of 5 ft (1,524 mm). Originally steam-powered, the Duquesne Incline was built to carry cargo up and down Mt. Washington in the late 19th century. 

The Duquesne Incline  is an inclined plane railroad, or funicular, located near Pittsburgh's South Side neighborhood and scaling Mt. Washington. Designed by Samuel Diescher.
The single-car of the Duquesne Incline prepares to enter the station on Grandview Avenue. 
Pittsburgh incline

It later carried passengers, particularly Mt. Washington residents who were tired of walking up footpaths to the top, the oldest funicular of the USA. Inclines were then being built all over Mt. Washington. But as more roads were built on “Coal Hill” most of the other inclines were closed. By the end of the 1960s, only the Monongahela Incline and the Duquesne Incline remained.

Pittsburgh Funicular

In 1962, the incline was closed, apparently for good. Major repairs were needed, and with so few patrons, the incline's private owners did little. But local Duquesne Heights residents launched a fund-raiser to help the incline. It was a huge success, and on July 1, 1963, the incline reopened under the auspices of a non-profit organization dedicated to its preservation. The incline has since been totally refurbished. The cars, built by the J. G. Brill and Company of Philadelphia, have been stripped of paint to reveal the original wood. An observation deck was added at the top affording a magnificent view of Pittsburgh's "Golden Triangle", and the Duquesne Incline is now one of the city's most popular tourist attractions. [Text Source]

Pittsburgh incline photos
First Image credit Phil Squattrito
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Image credit Carlos Lowry

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Image credit Coder Chick

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Image credit JJS Photo

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Image credit Coder Chick

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Image credit JJS Photo

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Image credit Adrian Mosby

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Image credit Peter Radunzel

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Image credit Philip Kromer

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The Duquesne Incline, 1197 West Carson Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15219, USA. Image credit Coder Chick

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