The Duquesne Incline is a inclined plane railroad, or funicular, located near Pittsburgh's South Side neighborhood and scaling Mt. Washington. Designed by Samuel Diescher, the incline was completed in 1877 and is 800 feet long, 400 feet in height, and is inclined at a 30 degree angle. It is an unusual 5 ft gauge.
Originally steam powered, the Duquesne Incline was built to carry cargo up and down Mt. Washington in the late 19th century. It later carried passengers, particularly Mt. Washington residents who were tired of walking up footpaths to the top. 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.
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.
© 2003–2018 by Will Moneymaker