Saturday, October 21, 2006

The Johnstown, Pennsylvania USA Inclined Plane

Mira woke up this morning well-rested with a lot of fresh questions on her mind. One of her questions was regarding the Inclined Plane in Johnstown, PA USA. Who knows where she gets these questions from, but if I'm well-rested I'm ready for whatever she asks, and luckily this morning it was a topic that is near and dear to my heart.

The Inclined Plane sits on the side of a mountain, what Western Pennsylvanians call "hills" and slowly moves up and down, carrying people along with one or two cars at a time. It was originally built to move passengers and carriages up Yoder Hill in Johnstown.

Statistics for the Inclined Plane:
Elevation: 1693.5 ft.
Length: 896.5 ft.
Lift: 502.2 ft.
Grade: 70.9%

The thought of the inclined plane still makes me queasy. One doesn't realize how steep the grade is until 1) you're riding on it, or 2) you're married to an engineer who is fascinated by the structure that was built many years ago.

Even though I'm living in Egypt -- pass by the Pyramids on a regular basis, have been to the Cairo Museum, have lived near Washington, DC and visited the monuments and Smithsonian museums on many occasions, and went boating in the Tidal Basin (ok so it was a paddle boat) at the peak of Cherry Blossom season, the Johnstown Inclined Plane is still one of my favorite all-time sightseeing attractions.



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