The Angels Flight Funicular in Los Angeles, California in 2017. Photo Credit: Difference engine [CC BY-SA(]

A Funicular is a bottom-support fixed grip transit system primarily designed for inclines. This form of transportation in often used as a last-mile solution where other modes cannot ascend steep geographic areas.

A funicular typically has two passenger vehicles (cars) or two groups of vehicles. The cars counterbalance each other and as one ascends the other descends. In this configuration, both cars are fixed to one haul rope

Funiculars were historically constructed with two parallel tracks.  This configuration is shown in the graphic below.  Modern funiculars often implement a mid-way passing point, allowing for one lane of track for most of the length of the system.  This improvement reduces the cost and time to construct a funicular. The concept for this layout is show in layouts 2 and 3 below.

Image credit: Cmglee at English Wikipedia [CC BY (]

Major Characteristics

Support: Bottom-supported by track.

Grip: Fixed

Cables: One cable that loops over a pulley at the upper end of the tracks shuffling both cars

Speed: 8 m/s to 14 m/s

Capacity: 10 to 400 passengers

Tracks: Ground or elevated structure

Cost: US $10 million/km to $60 million/km

The Hastings Cliff Railways in Hastings, United Kingdom. Photo Credit: Tony Hisgett from Birmingham, UK [CC BY(]

The Gondola Project has profiles on several Funicular systems, including: