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[:RU]Funicular — as a means of transportation[:]

[:RU]Old lifts in Europe quite a lot. In addition to performing transport work, they are often the subject of attention and attraction of tourists. Among them are several lifts claim to the oldest. After all, they were used to transport people in the highest places of the city since the Middle Ages.

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1. But the cable car — not only vehicles, but also the opportunity to see the beautiful panorama opens from the top.

2. In the Italian spa town of Montecatini, too, have a two-rail funicular cable steering, which was built in 1898.

3. How to find the locals, it is the oldest funicular railway in the world operating a similar design. With it, admiring the panorama, you can reach the historic center of Montecatini Alto. So I looked the lower station of the cable car at the beginning of the XX century.

4. funicular station has only two (upper and lower), the car moves along the road without stopping from start to finish. The path length of 1,050 meters, height 202 meters, maximum slope — 38,50 °. Walking is the rise will take at least an hour. The bottom station is equipped with an electronic scoreboard.

5. Rare trailer last century looks quite colorful, and the funicular is worth a visit if only to see this masterpiece of good technical ideas outside and inside. For the rise of visual impressions when you can use the open platform to the small car.

6. At the same time in the same trailer can accommodate up to 40 people.


8. Funicular moves slowly, but it grinds.


10. Module buildings painted in bright red color. Middle of the road trailers are leaving.

11. The work of the cable car and the condition of the track closely watched. On the way to meet the workers, checking or repair the path.

12. On the track move towards each other two trailer — Jijo and Gigi.

13. funicular Montecatini is arranged on the most common pattern with two non-motorized carriages, rigidly connected by a rope thrown over a pulley. In this scheme, a pulley and a motor to rotate it, located on the upper station of the cable car. The engine drives the thrown through the pulley and between the support rails laid rope, the ends of which is rigidly fixed cars. The carriages thus are leaving in the middle of the line. Such a scheme is the most economical — no energy is expended on the ascent and descent of cars themselves, but in fact the carriage weight difference of two differently filled passenger cars, as well as to overcome the frictional force and braking. Note that the double rail funicular, as in this case, one wheel of the wheelset smooth (without comb) and the other has a double-sided comb. The gap in the rails allows trailers to disperse.

Schemes chetyrёhrelsovogo (left), trёhrelsovogo (center) and two-rail (right) lifts.
The rails are marked in green, the two cars are used (Fig. Wikipedia).


14. For 7 euros «round-trip» can be, firstly, to get to Montecatini Alto, and secondly, just to enjoy the breathtaking views. By taxi it is a pleasure will cost 40 euros, «round-trip».

15. Castle of Montecatini Alto, which we climb — a majestic old building, located on a hill.


17. This is already visible upper station. The distance between the stations Terme Alto funicular overcomes in 10 minutes.

18. Operators are closely watching the movement of the cable car and manage the process of arriving at the station.

19. The pulley and engine torque it, located on the upper station of the cable car. The engine drives the thrown through the pulley and between the support rails laid rope, the ends of which is rigidly fixed cars.

20. Now the trailer is ready to go down another piece of wanting to go down already waiting at the station of Montecatini Alto.


22. Control the process — everything very seriously.

23. Ticket office at the upper station.

24. A arrived in Alto go for a walk or to the restaurants.

25. Terrace, where summer is a cafe, near the upper cable car station.

26. But the most important thing is that from the height of Montecatini Alto opened as Verdi said, «the most beautiful view in the world».

27. After such an exotic trip to rattling trailer, you can wander through the streets of Montecatini Alto using an old map to avoid getting lost. After all, this city has not changed since the last century.

28. That ride!

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