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Monday Train Blogging: Slippery Slope

by DoDo Wed Feb 1st, 2006 at 08:44:57 AM EST

back from the frontpage

I again had no time for the research to finish a planned story, but here is something else. A steel wheel on a steel rail slips at smaller forces than a rubber tyre on asphalt. So to climb mountains on rails, some help is advisable – and you get rack railways and funiculars. However, some tramways hazard a ride up a slippery slope.

The Pöstlingbergbahn, in Linz/Austria, is usually considered the world's steepest adhesive railway:


The upper end station enters a onetime fortress:

However, while an almost constant 10.5% (= 1:9.5) average grade may be world record, the maximum is "only" 11.6% (= 1:8.6) – easily outdone by a curve along Lisbon's tramway line 28, at 13.5% (= 1:7.4):

For the lovers of funiculars, pictures of two from my region. The first is the long (1937 m) funicular (lanovka) from Starý Smokovec (1025 m above sea) to the skiing and wandering station Hrebienok (1272 m above sea) on the Slovakian side of the High Tatra mountains (grade: between 11.3% and 14.9% [1:8.85–6.7]):

The other is the Sikló up the hill of the castle mountain (gains 48 m over 95 m, i.e. 50.5% / 1:1.98 grade) in Budapest. First built 1870, damaged in WWII, it wasn't restored to working order until at long last the Party bowed to a civilian initiative. It was re-opened 1986:

Previous Monday Train Bloggings:

  1. (Premiere/ modern Austrian trains & locos)
  2. Adventure
  3. Fast Steam
  4. Heavy Haul
  5. Forgotten Colorado
  6. The Hardest Job
  7. Blowback
  8. Highest Speed
  9. New England Autumn
  10. Trainwreck
  11. Bigger Than Big Boy
  12. Tunnels
  13. Failed Designs
  14. Demarcations
  15. Crazed Designs
  16. Trains In The Arts
  17. Railway Cathedrals
  18. Design Dictators

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Thanks  Dodo, for listening to my prayers. I used to go to school in one of those.


well not quite . but I had to go up that hill

with one of those


on the left

and even though I wanted to, I never actually went into one of these:

which is no excuse, since they are

still going

by PeWi on Mon Jan 30th, 2006 at 11:23:40 AM EST
For your viewing pleasure: RailFanEurope has a lot of photos of the trolley-buses in my hometown Budapest (as well as another Hungarian city; those of Budapest are the red ones).

You'll recognise three types: on the first pictures a modern type of Polish-Hungarian production, then pictures of an earlier Hungarian articulated type (made by Ikarus, which used to be the semi-monopolist bus builder in the 'Communist' Bloc, their chief factory is just a kilometre from my home). Further down you'll see a typical sillyness of planned economy: an older Soviet type; Ikarus used to make non-articulated units too, but for some reason those went to the USSR. (On the other hand, on the bad inner-city roads of Budapest, the old Russian type's suspension is better than the hypermodern new one's...)



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Mon Jan 30th, 2006 at 03:26:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
When ever I see O-Busses, I have to think of the joke about the driver, who wanted to make up time by overtaking his colleague....
by PeWi on Mon Jan 30th, 2006 at 06:51:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I was initially going to cite Grenoble, or Montmartre, then I thought I might as well lose the focus on France, so here's another funicular that I've taken on several occasions (we had to exit Taiwan every 3 months to renew our visas, so we'd go to ... Hong Kong). Here it is, Hong Kong's Peak Tram, first in service in 1888:

  • Double reversible funicular system
  • Lower Terminal - 28 metres above sea level
  • Upper Terminal - 396 metres above sea level
  • Length of Track - 1,365 metres
  • Track Gradient - From 4 degrees to 27 degrees
  • Hydraulic actuated and spring return disk brakes ensure fail-safe operation

http://www.thepeak.com.hk/tram/history.html
by Alex in Toulouse on Mon Jan 30th, 2006 at 11:46:08 AM EST
Heh, reading you, I updated the diary with the data of the two funiculars.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Mon Jan 30th, 2006 at 03:14:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by PeWi on Mon Jan 30th, 2006 at 11:46:55 AM EST
upps, this obviously belongs to my other entry
by PeWi on Mon Jan 30th, 2006 at 11:49:16 AM EST
am I still asleep or is post here not working or is my internet capability deteriorating?

No, don't answer that.

by PeWi on Mon Jan 30th, 2006 at 11:50:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
well, just testing, and it does seem to work.

Strange. Must be the age.

by PeWi on Mon Jan 30th, 2006 at 11:51:22 AM EST
[ Parent ]
This one has an interesting trick. It hasn't an electric motor, but it uses the gravity force of waste water of the city (Fribourg in Switzerland) to move the cabins up and down.
In summer it's a bit smelly, but you get used to!

by Hansvon on Mon Jan 30th, 2006 at 03:46:35 PM EST
Talking about Tram's

a Tram with history

More here

by PeWi on Mon Jan 30th, 2006 at 06:48:42 PM EST
For adhesion railways in Colorado the limit was about 7% because of the winter weather. The Argentine Central was one of these, located west of Denver on Gray's Peak. It used Shay geared locomotives.

Modern heavy trains have difficulty with the 3.5% grade over Raton Pass, south of Denver going into New Mexico.

by asdf on Mon Jan 30th, 2006 at 10:01:56 PM EST
Fully in the olympic spirit, I beat you with the funicular... of the olympic city:

Turin "dentiera"

... 3.100 metri (between)... Sassi (225 metri s.l.m.) ...and .. Superga (650 metri s.l.m.).
average: 13,5%,
Max:  21%.. at the end between ..Pian Gambino e la Stazione di Superga


La répartie est dans l'escalier. Elle revient de suite.

by lacordaire on Tue Jan 31st, 2006 at 03:47:43 AM EST
It gets you just under the rainbow:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/78158384@N00/83137621/

The sight from the top is amazing: http://www.flickr.com/photos/yawgmoth/86106127/

The station:
http://www.comune.torino.it/torinoplus/english/turingrandtour/fotogallery/2738.html

La répartie est dans l'escalier. Elle revient de suite.

by lacordaire on Tue Jan 31st, 2006 at 03:57:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
By the way, could you help me retrieving a map of the Olympic installations? (I'm curious where the ski jumping ) I went to the official page, (www.noi2006.it), but it is apparently Italian-only, and my little railway-Italian is not enough to find the map...

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Tue Jan 31st, 2006 at 06:04:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Scrap that... NOI is apparently some side event, I found the real official (and multilingual) page.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Tue Jan 31st, 2006 at 06:07:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Ok, I don't beat you, it's a rack tramway.
Mais l'important, c'est de participer.

La répartie est dans l'escalier. Elle revient de suite.
by lacordaire on Tue Jan 31st, 2006 at 04:00:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Shibuya in 1959. This is the area I grew up. The picture shows a rather steep tramway. This really is a tough hill to negotiate. I remember drivers pulled off the top speed at the bottom to give the tram enough momentum.

My sister attended a modern mission school nearby, which featured parties, bazaars, Christmas pageants, and other American stuff. They sent me to a local public school, however, claiming it is better for boys.  

(Source: Tokyo Tram Diary)

I will become a patissier, God willing.

by tuasfait on Tue Jan 31st, 2006 at 02:30:34 PM EST
Does it still exist? Or something on its place?

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Tue Jan 31st, 2006 at 03:02:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Nope, the trams have all gone except one local line:

(Source: Tokyo Tour of Tokyo-ists)

I will become a patissier, God willing.

by tuasfait on Wed Feb 1st, 2006 at 08:43:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]


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