Saturday, May 26, 2007


I found a site a year or so ago (or did I, I can't recall how I came across it), a webzine devoted to funicular railways, called Funimag. A funicular is a railway where the carriages get hauled up and down hills by cables driven by steam, electric or internal combustion engines, and I suppose the odd beast of burden. A good example is the Scenic Railway at Katoomba in the Blue Mountains, which was originally used to haul coal out of the Jamison Valley, but today survives as a tourist attraction.

Just off the top of my head I believe that I have been on two funiculars. The first being the scenic railway, which remains as one of my earliest childhood memories from when my dad took me on it when I was 2 years old. It's funny to look back on it now, but this was one of the most terrifying experiences of my life. Earlier in the year when I went to Sydney I conquered my demons and once again rode the scenic. I am quite certain that I was justified for being scared as a two year old, because that thing is steep, and travels quite fast too. It was more fun this time though.

Scenic Railway, Katoomba, NSW February 2007.

My other funicular experience is the funicular that climbs Montmatre in Paris. This is a much more sedate ride, in equipment of more modern appearance. The ticket to ride it was a standard Paris Metro ticket, which I still have.

Montmatre Funicular ticket from October 1994

EDIT - Apologies for the smaller writing, I did something to the font in this post and I can't get it to go back to normal.

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