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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 ?
IT was the proudest day in the history of market town Bridgnorth when the Cliff Railway came into service.
Former Bridgnorth resident Karen Sanders used the cliff railway to go to work in High Town from her home on the riverside.
The ongoing programme is aimed at restoring the hill complex, improving facilities for local people and visitors and securing the future of the 112-year-old cliff railway.
Down she goes: The jaw-dropping view down the Bridgnorth Cliff Railway connecting the high town and low town and (below) the railway lies neglected and rustingin 1992.
Above and top, pen drawings of the Bridgnorth funicular from the original guidebook; right, Saltburn Cliff Railway seen from the pier in about 1900
Lynmouth, with its ancient inns and narrow streets, is just a short ride on the water-operated cliff railway to Lynton.
The local shop and pub are just a few minutes away or you can ride the water-operated cliff railway 150 metres down to the village of Lynmouth.
These days, scores of visitors, both daily and residential, ride the water balanced cliff railway to the mellow reclaimed quarry hidden away in the hills close to Machynlleth.
Lynmouth, famous for its seafood, is popular with day-trippers, drawn by its Victorian water powered cliff railway to or guide to Somerset.
And, lest we forget, there's the aforementioned amazing 180ft water-powered cliff railway (honestly, I've seen pictures of it) to enjoy and help you soak in the magnificent mountain vista view.
In Post Life Vintage wedding fashions, the new MG6, interview with actor Neil Morrissey, punk band The Undertones and director Nicolas Roeg In Post Property Two properties on the market in a much sought-after village near Hagley, plus the sale of the famous Cliff Railway in Bridgnorth Neither J-Lo nor Serena Williams have responded to a single message so I've dropped them '' Richard McComb on Twitter - Page 29 The Birmingham Post can keep you up to date with its online daily news through an email alert, sent direct to your inbox every morning.