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Specifications

Current Status: Inoperable
 
Design: Single track, balanced car, upper power station funicular with pronounced curve along its route.
 
Designer: Otis Elevator Co., Yonkers, NY (now a division of UTC, CT)
 
Construction: Mohawk Construction Co., Mohawk, NY (primary sub-contractor)
 
Construction Cost: $165,000 ($4,061,255 in 2007 dollars) 
 
Current Ownership: Scenic Hudson Land Trust
 
Vertical elevation: 1,540 ft (470 meters) above sea level
 
Average Gradient: 64+% 
 
Maximum Gradient: 74% (for approximately 800 feet of run)
 
Ascent/descent time: 4 1/2 minutes
 
Maximum Speed: 500 ft per minute
 
Emergency Breaking Speed: 700 ft per minute
 
Power: Two 75-hp electric motors, 500 rpm, 500 volts DC, later converted to AC
 
Track and rail bed: standard cut and fill

  • Manufacturer: Ramapo Iron Works (frogs, switches and idlers)
  • Length: 2,200 feet
  • Gauge: 3 feet (narrow gauge)
  • Configuration: 2-4-2 (single trackway with “Brown patent turn-out”)
  • Lay of Track: Primarily ground, plus 225 ft trestle on upper course, avg. height = 10 ft
  • Bents: 18 (trestle) and 5 (approach to power station) with masonry supports
  • Ballast: stone along entire length
  • Idlers: Every 36 feet, 12” diameter on straight run, 15” on curved sections of track
  • Rails: 32 lbs per yard

Cable:

  • Manufacturer: (?) John A. Roebling's Sons Co., Trenton, N. J. 
  • Type: 1 3/8 inch steel wire rope, Lang-Lay pattern
  • Weight: 7,000 lbs.  
  • Strength: 62 tons (124,000 lbs) 

 
Cars:

  • Manufacturer: Ramapo Iron Works, Hillburn, NY
  • Design: Open cars with canvas side curtains for inclement weather, wood body over channel iron, 9 ea. transverse bench seats between 10 bulkheads. Foot platforms and benches were raked at an angle for passenger comfort on the steepest gradient.  
  • Length: 33 feet
  • Width: 7.5 feet
  • Weight:  6.5 tons ea. (13,000 lbs)
  • Wheels: 24" diameter, 2 double-flanged (outer) wheels, 2 flat (inner) wheels, 8"wide
  • Wheelbase: 20 feet
  • Passenger Capacity: 54 passengers, 1 conductor per car
  • Carrying Capacity: 10,000 lbs
  • Color scheme: Red (?) or yellow exterior with natural wood interior. Over the years, the cars were also painted off-white and orange.

          
Electricity: Cars were illuminated with incandescent lamps and had downward facing headlights mounted at the roof, both front and back. The electric lighting plant was likely furnished by Westinghouse, Church, Kerr & Co., New York City.
 

Sources for technical data include: 1904 Annual Report of the NY State Board of Railroad Commissioners; 1908 Annual Report of the NY State Board Public Service Commission; and the 1903 professional trade publication, The Elevator Constructor.