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Related to funicular: Funicular polygon, funicular hernia


1. a railway up the side of a mountain, consisting of two counterbalanced cars at either end of a cable passing round a driving wheel at the summit
2. relating to or operated by a rope, cable, etc.



a cable-drawn, hoisting and conveying system for moving passengers and freight for short distances up steep grades. Funiculars are used in cities and resort centers as well as in mountainous regions. The use of the funicular as a form of passenger transport was first proposed in 1825, with the first installations opening in 1854 in Genoa, Italy, and Sommerein, Austria.

A funicular may be described as a hoist with cars that are connected by cable to a power-driven winch; the cars move between upper and lower stations along an inclined railway. The winch and its drive are usually located at the upper station. Carrying passengers, freight, or both, a funicular may use one car, which alternately ascends and descends, or, more often, two cars, which are fastened to opposite ends of a cable and move counter to each other, the weight of one counterbalancing that of the other.

Two-car funiculars have either a double track, with a separate path for each car, or a single track with a siding halfway up the run. Passenger cars are built so that the floor remains nearly horizontal regardless of the inclination of the track (usually less than 35°C). Freight cars, which transport such materials as timber and rock, are designed more simply than passenger cars, and the stations are equipped for loading and unloading operations.

The safety features of funicular cars include emergency brakes, warning devices, communications gear, and block signal systems, all of which may be used to coordinate operations between the upper and lower stations and bring cars to a halt if an emergency arises.

Intermittent operations, lengthy periods required for loading and unloading, speeds of less than 3 m per second, and the inability to travel complex routes limit the use of funiculars, which generally handle no more than 600 persons per hour. In the USSR, funiculars are used in Odessa, Kiev, Tbilisi, and Sochi.



References in periodicals archive ?
Once opened, the Stoos railway line will take the title of world's steepest funicular from the nearby Luzerner Hausberg Pilatus, which was built in 1889.
The longest funicular electric cliff railway in Britain would be on <B your doorstep if you stayed in the Aberystwyth apartment
The arrival of tourism aboard the funicular in 1907 opened Braunwald to the world, but it merely added to the village's unique character.
A funicular railway certainly won't pull you to the top of a steep gradient in record speed, but it will give you plenty of time to enjoy the view as you head to the summit.
Funicular Index = Length of first funicular segment/Length of second funicular segment x 100
Gwawr Jones Llyn Elsi near Betws y Coed and (inset) Aberystwyth's funicular lift
4 veces tan largo como ancho, el primer segmento funicular en forma de triangulo y el segundo segmento subcuadrado; el lobulo medio del mesoescudo con 6 setas, ala anterior cerca de 2.
Ride the funicular up to Alto Bairro for an evening of folk music.
Furthermore, 18 funicular railways--known locally as inclines--once operated as vertiginous mechanical veins connecting hilltop homes to workplaces down in the city.
ITC) won a thirty-year concession to operate the famous funicular linking Caracas with the Hotel Humboldt, located atop Mount Avila at an altitude of over seven thousand feet above sea level.
The original guidebook to the funicular, illustrations from which are reproduced here, spends much of its pages explaining how safe and reliable the system was.
Plans and pictures were sent by e-mail to Swiss consultants Doppelmayr, in Geneva and Zurich, with experience in repairing funicular and Alpine railways.