Historical Film from 1902

This rare footage of the Mount Beacon Incline Railway was filmed in the summer of its inaugural season, capturing this lost mountaintop railway in its prime. Remarkably, it was shot from the moving rail cars themselves, quite a feat given the primitive nature of motion picture equipment at the time. In fact, the stability of the images is a testament to the smoothness of the ride provided by the Otis incline railway design.

The film provides two perspectives: one looking upward as the car departs from the top of the mountain, and one facing downward as the car pulls into the lower station. If you watch carefully, you'll see a waiting trolley at the base of the station as the incline pulls into the car barn. No doubt, you'll also notice a gentleman chasing the rail car down the mountain from the powerhouse, riding the pine safety rail on a small contraption that was affectionately known as "Go Devil." This allowed the railway's engineers to move down the mountain at a much faster pace than the cars themselves, although sometimes with disastrous results.