Episode 2 Funiculars

This episode features a history of funiculars and stories of far flung places, marketing ploys, and a few odd individuals. Funiculars enable us to travel up and down very steep slopes. Their history goes back hundreds of years and it is unique. Funiculars exist all over the world, yet they are not necessarily well known as a mode of transportation and they are often confused with trams, elevators, and other modes. But this a mode with its own quite famous, also hummable, Italian folk song. Moment in equity topic: Early Atlantic slave trade.
Episode 2: Funiculars

In this episode, we define the term funicular and quickly delve into its history, with odd characters, wealthy businessmen, and marketing gurus along the way. We also talk about where funiculars can be found today as well as many that only exist in the pages of history.

What is a funicular? Basically, a funicular is one of a paired set of carriages that use a cable or rope in order to be moved up or down a steep incline, with each carriage counterbalancing the other. Spoiler alert: Some famous ones are Angel's Flight in LA, Peak Tram in Hong Kong, and about 30, which I don't think are individually named, in Valparaiso, Chile. Hence another term for funicular is an incline. 

While the early history is not well documented, we do have evidence of funiculars dating back to the Middle Ages. Look through our sources as well to go enjoy performances of Funiculi, Funicila, an Italian folk song. You might get lost there. 

Sources for more information
Please note that the newspaper articles are available for free through many public library systems. They are not all available otherwise on the Internet.
·      Oxford English Dictionary – free access through library cards from many public libraries in the United States
·      Merriam-Webster Dictionary – definitions are available for free online
·      Matt Hickman, 14 Fabulous Funiculars from Around the Globe, Treehugger: Sustainability for All (blog and website) (Nov. 21, 2018) at https://www.treehugger.com/fabulous-funiculars-from-around-the-globe-4863745 – Treehugger states that it is “the only modern sustainability site that offers advice, clarity, and inspiration for both the eco-savvy and the green-living novice.” 
Funicular traveler writings
·      Joseph Brennan, All the Funiculars: Explorations in Britain (2019) (webpage and blog posts about each funicular visited and the surrounding town; lots of photos and a map) – http://www.columbia.edu/~brennan/fun/ 
o   Example of his treks from London – West Hill Lift, Hastings, East Hill Lift, Hastings   – http://www.columbia.edu/~brennan/fun/10_HASTINGS.html 
·      Matt Hickman, 14 Fabulous Funiculars from Around the Globe, Treehugger: Sustainability for All (blog and website) (Nov. 21, 2018) at https://www.treehugger.com/fabulous-funiculars-from-around-the-globe-4863745
·      Wayne Bernhardson, The Hills of Valparaíso, Chile, Moon (undated) (neighborhoods on the steep hills, landmarks, and funicular transportation) – https://www.moon.com/travel/trip-ideas/the-hills-of-valparaiso-chile/ 
·      Tom Osborne, The 15 Coolest Things to Do in Valparaíso, Chile, Worldly Adventurer (Mar. 21, 2021) (public art, hilly neighborhoods, views, funiculars, and food and drink, as well as earthquakes) – https://worldlyadventurer.com/things-to-do-valparaiso/ 
·      Ulrike Lemmin-Woolfrey, The Most Fantastic Funicular Railways You’ll Experience in Europe, Fodors Travel (Jan. 28, 2020) – https://www.fodors.com/news/photos/the-most-fantastic-funicular-railways-youll-experience-in-europe 
·      History blog (Untitled) (June 2011) – http://the---history.blogspot.com/2011/06/history-of-train.html 
·      Timeline of Railway History, Wikipedia (Oct. 4, 2021) – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timeline_of_railway_history 
·      The Monongahela Incline: A Pittsburgh Icon, The Monongahela Incline – https://monongahelaincline.com/ 
·      Early History (About the Incline page), Duquesne Incline – http://www.duquesneincline.org/index8656.html?page=about-the-incline 
·      Iowa SP Fenelon Place Elevator, National Archives Catalog (1978) (primary source document available online) – https://catalog.archives.gov/id/75338808  
·      Marshall Cohen, Fourth Street Elevator, Encyclopedia Dubuque (Sept. 19, 2021) – http://www.encyclopediadubuque.org/index.php?title=FOURTH_STREET_ELEVATOR  
·      Jim Swenson, Up-and-down history: Dubuque's elevator attraction still drawing them in, Telegraph Herald (Nov. 22, 2017) – https://www.telegraphherald.com/news/tri-state/article_98e97014-71dc-5768-a4d5-226a02bee57b.html 
·      James E. Jacobsen, Phase V Dubuque Historical and Architectural Survey of the Fenelon Place, North Main and Broadway Neighborhoods (2005) (Report prepared by History Pays!; funded by a State of Iowa Certified Local Governments grant with matched funding being provided by the City of Dubuque, and federal funding from the National Park Service. The report provides a detailed description of the neighborhood.) – https://www.cityofdubuque.org/DocumentCenter/View/2926/Phase-V-Report?bidId=   
·      Los Angeles and Southern California – Nathan Masters, Three Forgotten Incline Railways from Southern California History, KCET (Nov. 3, 2018) – https://www.kcet.org/shows/lost-la/three-forgotten-incline-railways-from-southern-california-history  
·      Mark Dodge, Lookout Mountain Funicular — a ride of a lifetime, Golden History Museum & Park (Feb. 15, 2017) (noting the many requests for the museum’s history blog to provide information about the funicular).
·      Lookout Mountain Funicular, Golden History Museum & Park (Jan. 5, 1998) (undated entry) 
·      Franchise Granted for Lookout Line, Republican-Advocate (May 4, 1910) – https://www.coloradohistoricnewspapers.org/?a=d&d=RPA19100504-01&e=-------en-20--1--img-txIN%7ctxCO%7ctxTA-%e2%80%a2%09Lookout+Mountain+Funicular-------0------ (available for free and without library card)
·      Fenelon Place Elevator Company History, Fenelon Place Elevator Co. – https://www.fenelonplaceelevator.com/history/  
·      World's highest urban funicular opens second line in Bolivia, EFE News Service (Sept. 16, 2014) 
Funiculars for tourism and at ski resorts
·      Funicular lifts wordwide, Skiresort.info – https://www.skiresort.info/ski-lifts/lift-types/lift-type/funicular/ 
·      Ben Schlappig, Review: St. Regis Deer Valley (Park City, Utah), One Mile at a Time (Set. 14, 2021) (funicular description, photos, and experience are covered midway through the post) – https://onemileatatime.com/reviews/st-regis-deer-valley/ and the video of the funicular ride at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=czLmtMCxPIQ 
·      Broken River Ski Area, Wikipedia – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Broken_River_Ski_Area 
·      Eric Grundhauser, 14 Amazing Gravity-Defying Funiculars, Atlas Obscura (July 13, 2016)
·      Switzerland unveils world's steepest funicular railway, CNN Wire Service (Dec. 15, 2017) (steepest funicular) – available through public library periodical database
·      Katoomba Scenic Railway – https://www.infobluemountains.net.au/rail/ksr/Default.htm 
·      Schwebebahn Dresden, Germany for Visitors (undated) –https://europeforvisitors.com/germany/dresden/schwebebahn.htm
Funicular information sources
·      Michel Azema, Funimag (blog, twitter feed, youtube, facebook) – https://twitter.com/funimag and https://www.funimag.com/photoblog/  
o   Part 2: History and Description (1997) (History and details of the Reiszug funicular in Salzburg, Austria) – https://www.funimag.com/funimag10/RESZUG02.HTM 
o   Frequent posts on twitter.
o   Amazing historical photos of American funiculars, many of which look like roller coaster cars – https://www.funimag.com/photoblog/index.php/articles/us-the-great-era-of-lost-american-funiculars/ 
·      Bruse Persson, Bruse’s Funiculars.net – https://www.funiculars.net/ (Worldwide database of operational, defunct, and funiculars no longer in existence; listed by countries, with dates of operation. Be careful to double check information about funiculars noted as still in operation and also the database does not include funiculars built after 2001.)
Other sources tangentially related to funiculars
·      Konstantinos Tzanakakis, The Railway Track and Its Long Term Behaviour: A Handbook for a Railway Track of High Quality (2013) (includes a history of rail infrastructure dating back to ancient times, but mostly about engineering, safety, and maintenance) 
·      Hohensalzburg (former residence of Matthäus Cardinal Lang, who became the Archbishop of Salzburg a few years after writing the first known document to mention a funicular) – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hohensalzburg_Fortress
·      Hohensalzburg Fortress (full history and current activities at the former residence of Matthäus Cardinal Lang, who became the Archbishop of Salzburg a few years after writing the first known document to mention a funicular) – https://www.salzburg.info/en/sights/top10/hohensalzburg-fortress 
·      Castle of the Week, Hohensalzburg Castle, Austria, Heraldic Times (Oct. 18, 2010) https://heraldictimes.wordpress.com/2010/10/18/castle-of-the-week-hohensalzburg-castle-austria/ 
·      Broseley, Wikipedia (July 3, 2021) – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Broseley#History 
·      Angel’s Flight (Los Angeles, California)
o   Michel Azema, Accident at Angels Flight Funicular, Funimag (undated) – https://www.funimag.com/funimag18/AngelsFligth01.htm
o   First accident in 87 years closes L.A. funicular, Metro Magazine (Mar. 1, 2001) – https://www.metro-magazine.com/10009438/first-accident-in-87-years-closes-l-a-funicular 
·      Mottarone Funicular (Italy)
o   Blame in Italy cable car deaths rests with technician who disabled emergency brake, judge rules, NBC News, from Associated Press (May 30, 2021) – https://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/blame-italy-cable-car-deaths-rests-technician-who-disabled-emergency-n1269115  
·      Czech Republic
o   One killed in Czech cable car accident, CNN, from Reuters (Oct. 31, 2021) – https://www.cnn.com/2021/10/31/europe/czech-cable-car-accident-intl/index.html 
Funiculi, Funicula performances
·      Andrea Boccelli singing - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PG4SbelgIFk 
·      Flashmob performance at the Viewnna train station – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HzIDVeQmYOo 
·      Many more versions available through a search
Moment in Equity: Early Atlantic slave trade
·      Free the Slaves, Slavery in History – https://www.freetheslaves.net/slavery-in-history/

Episode 2 Funiculars
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