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A funicular or funicular railway, also called inclined railway or inclined plane, or in England a cliff railway, consists of a system of transportation in which cables attach to a tram-like vehicle on rails to move it up and down a very steep slope. The vehicle is specially designed for the particular inclination, so that seats and/or floors remain roughly horizontal. Typically the steepness of the track does not vary very much, which differentiates the funicular from a cable car on rails.

It is thus a hybrid between cable transport and rail transport. Two cars at the end of a cable go alternately up and down on either two tracks or one track which splits and rejoins in the middle.

The word "funicular" derives from the Latin funiculus (thin rope), a diminutive of funis (rope).

Funiculars often occur in mountains. Many cities have short funiculars on hills or cliffs, such as the Montmartre funicular in Paris, or those in the English seaside resort of Scarborough.

Some urban funiculars are associated with a city's transit system. For example, the Montmartre funicular in Paris and the Montjuïc funicular in Barcelona are fare-integrated with those cities' metro systems.

The world's steepest passenger railway is the Incline Railway, a funicular up the side of Lookout Mountain in Chattanooga, Tennessee, USA, with maximum grade of 72.7% (36° from horizontal, 90° being vertical). [1] [1]

Funiculars are also called trams or cable cars in many places.

Gütschbahn in Lucerne from Führer für Luzern,
Vierwaldstättersee und Umgebung, Lucerne, 1893.

Table of contents
1 Funiculars of the world:
2 External Links
3 See Also

Funiculars of the world:

See also British funicular railways

External Links

See Also