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Discussion Starter · #21 · (Edited)
Types of Funiculars

There are three basic types of funiculars that differ only in track design: two rails, three rails, and four rails. The earliest ones were four rail (two track) funiculars, but they are the costliest to build because rails are expensive, they take up a lot of space, and they need double stations. More advanced three rail funiculars are less expensive but a little harder to build because they require a passing switch. The least expensive is the modern two rail funicular. They use less iron rails, don’t need double stations, and occupy less real estate, but have the harder to build passing switch. This unique type of funicular was invented in 1890 by Swiss engineer Carl Roman Abt (1850–1933) for the Giessbach Hotel funicular which is still in operation. It was made possible by his innovative and revolutionary ABT passing switch - the only railroad switch without any moving parts! Abt called it the “automatic turnout” solution. It became an instant success and most funiculars constructed afterwards use the ABT design to this day.








 

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Discussion Starter · #23 ·
60569

60570


The funicular now has a reason for being. I've connected the upper station to a 104 ft. long (at 1:24 scale) suspension foot bridge that leads to the re-modeled Treehouse Complex. The two supporting cables of the bridge run through holes drilled in each plank, and are attached to steel disks on the station by magnets to prevent any damage to the station from a heavy falling branch or strong winds. If the bridge is overly stressed, it will automatically disconnect and protect the station. The other end of the cables are attached to the elevator boarding platform at the tree house with miniature turnbuckles for adjusting tension and extension springs to allow for slight motions. The stainless steel cables are the same 1/32" stainless steel cable used in the funicular. The tree house along with a restaurant, salon, gazebo and lodge now has a new Victorian elevator to travel between levels, and it really works!

see photos (after Supercar and Trolley) here:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/jlcarmichael/
 

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Discussion Starter · #28 ·
Amazing work!

:D I could not figure out those frogs at all until i saw that only one side of the axle is double flanged
You're not alone. The first time I saw a photo of a funicular ABT switch it took me three days to figure it out. One problem was that I couldn't find any photos or drawings of the wheels! If you look at all the funicular photos and videos that tourists put on the internet, you can never see the wheels clearly! Finally after much searching, I located a photo of a funicular wheel set in a museum in Japan. That confirmed it. Even the train guys have a hard time figuring it out if they don't see the wheels. This is what makes them so much fun.

Thanks for tuning in.
 

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Discussion Starter · #29 ·
60607

Here is that photo I mentioned of a real funicular's double flanged and flangeless wheels. Thought you'd like to see the real ones.

Note the flangeless wheel is proportionately wider than the one on my model. This is because the real one probably had wider cable gaps in the switch. Wider cable gaps and wider flangeless wheels are used when extra space is needed to allow space for a rack & pinon gear braking system (for emergencies and for slowing down when approaching stations or to counteract imbalance caused by two cars that have different weights (passengers or cargo).
 
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