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Engineering News — December 21, 1889

The Dunderberg Mountain Gravity Railway

The railroad shown on the accompanying map was evidently not laid out in the manner in which the Czar of Russia located the railway from St. Petersburg to Moscow; nor is it presented as a sample of the art of locating railways with minimum curvature as practiced in the United States.

It belongs to a class of railways of which very few examples exist, but which are destined to become more and more common, whose purpose is merely to carry pleasure travel, and to do it without the more or less disagreeable adjuncts which are inseparable from the use of a locomotive.

Dunderberg Mountain is located in the Hudson Highlands in Rockland County N Y. about forty miles from New York City. The projected railway shown on the map will start from a point on the West Shore Railroad near the river level, and will ascend the mountain by an inclined plane, worked by cables, having a grade of 29 percent to an altitude of 1,100 ft. From the summit of this plane the gravity road runs by a circuitous route, as shown, all around the flanks and foothills of the mountain, and finally returns to its starting point. The total length traversed is about fifteen miles, so located as to give passengers the best opportunity of enjoying the wild scenery of this region.

The total cost of the railroad and all equipment is estimated at $500,000. It is believed by the projectors that the proximity of New York and Brooklyn and other large cities will insure the road a very profitable traffic. The popular route for excursions will doubtless be by steamer up the Hudson from New York City, giving pleasure seekers a two-hours' sail through the Hudson Highlands in addition to their thirteen-mile trip by rail on the mountain.

The enterprise is projected by Messrs., T. L. and H. J. Mumford who have managed for some years the Mauch Chunk, Summit Hill & Switch Back Gravity Railway at Mauch Chunk, Pa. The line has been located, and is expected to be put under contract early in the coming year.

From an engineering point of view, the enterprise is a highly interesting one, and seems perfectly feasible in every way. A well kept gravity road, by virtue of its easy riding and freedom from noise, smoke, and dust, is peculiarly suited for pleasure excursions A road on a similar plan to the above, but on a smaller scale, has been built the past sea son near Reading Pa; and a short one with moderate grade has been proposed in Philadelphia for Fairmount Park.


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