Did you know that Cincinnati used to have a funicular? Neither did I until this photo showed up on the endlessly fascinating Shorpy site recently:

(The full size is available here.) As it turns out, Cincinnati used to have not just one, but  five funiculars. Funiculae?

For those unacquainted with funiculars, they consist of a track on an incline traveled by two train cars that counterbalance each other by way of a cable. Kind of a cross between a cable car, a see-saw, and a ski lift. Or something. All I know is they’re mighty convenient for pedestrians with a steep hill to scale, they usually offer spectacular views, and the cars tend to be kind of hilarious looking, since they’re pretty often more or less horizontal, while the track is generally at a pretty steep angle. (And yes, that last picture I linked to is a funicular in Alaska, but no, I haven’t ridden on it.)

I’ve ridden on some fine funiculars in Pittsburgh, Barcelona, and İstanbul (two in İstanbul, actually). But not this Cincinnati funicular, since it, like so many others, is, alas, no more.



This entry was posted on Monday, June 14th, 2010 and is filed under urbanism. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.
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