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BBC Countryfile - Gravity Train
BBC Countryfile - Gravity Train
Published: 2011/07/11
Channel: Ffestiniog &Welsh Highland Railways Marketing
The Gravity Railroad of Reading, PA
The Gravity Railroad of Reading, PA
Published: 2010/09/28
Channel: BerksTimeTrain
Mount Tamalpais Gravity Railroad 1917; Marin County, San Francisco Bay Area
Mount Tamalpais Gravity Railroad 1917; Marin County, San Francisco Bay Area
Published: 2013/02/08
Channel: Jeff Quitney
Lackawanna Gravity Railroad quad ride
Lackawanna Gravity Railroad quad ride
Published: 2008/07/07
Channel: sergel79metro
Mount Tamalpais Gravity Railroad 1917; Marin County, San Francisco Bay Area
Mount Tamalpais Gravity Railroad 1917; Marin County, San Francisco Bay Area
Published: 2017/12/12
Channel: Jeff Quitney
Gravity Railroad
Gravity Railroad
Published: 2016/03/26
Channel: FiskeVideoProduction
The San Antonio Ghost Tracks
The San Antonio Ghost Tracks
Published: 2010/01/08
Channel: DarkHauntsVideos
CHASED DOWN BY RAILROAD WORKERS (COPS CALLED)- Almost Died!!!
CHASED DOWN BY RAILROAD WORKERS (COPS CALLED)- Almost Died!!!
Published: 2017/03/26
Channel: Gravity Station
Mount  Tamalpais Gravity Railroad.mp4 1917
Mount Tamalpais Gravity Railroad.mp4 1917
Published: 2012/12/26
Channel: SuperBostyn
The Gravity Railroad on Mt. Penn
The Gravity Railroad on Mt. Penn
Published: 2017/04/13
Channel: BerksHistory
Delaware-Lackawanna:  Scranton
Delaware-Lackawanna: Scranton's Gravity Railroad
Published: 2016/02/09
Channel: Bernie's Model Railroad
Mount Pisgah Incline
Mount Pisgah Incline
Published: 2008/12/14
Channel: Funimag
Mount Tamalpais Gravity Railroad
Mount Tamalpais Gravity Railroad
Published: 2012/01/14
Channel: publicdomainusa
Footprints on the Mountain book.  5-4-17
Footprints on the Mountain book. 5-4-17
Published: 2017/05/04
Channel: bctv.org
Gravity Rail
Gravity Rail
Published: 2016/09/28
Channel: Miracle Recreation Equipment Company
The Gravity Railroad in Reading
The Gravity Railroad in Reading
Published: 2012/03/23
Channel: BerksTimeTrain
Metal Detecting a Gravity Railroad
Metal Detecting a Gravity Railroad
Published: 2014/09/18
Channel: Can you dig it?
Abandoned Buck Mountain coal company gravity Railroad tunnel
Abandoned Buck Mountain coal company gravity Railroad tunnel
Published: 2016/11/28
Channel: The Wandering Woodsman
Bill
Bill's Train - Gravity Falls Animatic
Published: 2015/06/18
Channel: Marley Mango
GRAVITY RAILROAD
GRAVITY RAILROAD
Published: 2011/01/16
Channel: gewayrrah
Delaware and  Hudson Canal and the Gravity Railroad NY Images of America
Delaware and Hudson Canal and the Gravity Railroad NY Images of America
Published: 2017/06/13
Channel: R Casey
[Mount Tamalpais Gravity Railroad] 1917
[Mount Tamalpais Gravity Railroad] 1917
Published: 2014/02/27
Channel: A/V Geeks
Lackawanna Gravity Railroad quad ride 2
Lackawanna Gravity Railroad quad ride 2
Published: 2008/07/07
Channel: sergel79metro
Train Wrecks in Berks County
Train Wrecks in Berks County
Published: 2010/10/07
Channel: BerksTimeTrain
D&H Canal Gravity Railroad 3 of 3
D&H Canal Gravity Railroad 3 of 3
Published: 2016/06/27
Channel: John Revak
Human-powered railroad car workout
Human-powered railroad car workout
Published: 2011/06/14
Channel: Gravity Janes
The Hotels of Reading
The Hotels of Reading's Neversink Mountain
Published: 2010/09/28
Channel: BerksTimeTrain
Switchback Gravity Railroad Trail (1)
Switchback Gravity Railroad Trail (1)
Published: 2013/09/22
Channel: Brian C
Atv gravity railroad
Atv gravity railroad
Published: 2011/04/23
Channel: fkzbea
Book "Footprints on the Mountain" and old-time views of Reading & Berks County 6-20-16
Book "Footprints on the Mountain" and old-time views of Reading & Berks County 6-20-16
Published: 2016/06/21
Channel: bctv.org
Atv gravity railroad tunnel
Atv gravity railroad tunnel
Published: 2011/04/23
Channel: fkzbea
Hump Yard time lapse - Rangierbahnhof im Zeitraffer - Zug, trainfart, train
Hump Yard time lapse - Rangierbahnhof im Zeitraffer - Zug, trainfart, train
Published: 2009/08/01
Channel: trainfart
Switchback Gravity Railroad Trail (2)
Switchback Gravity Railroad Trail (2)
Published: 2013/09/22
Channel: Brian C
The Gravity Rail
The Gravity Rail
Published: 2017/08/28
Channel: Nicholas Smith
Gravity Rail
Gravity Rail
Published: 2016/02/01
Channel: Jefcoat Construction Company
Delaware and  Hudson Canal and the Gravity Railroad NY Images of America
Delaware and Hudson Canal and the Gravity Railroad NY Images of America
Published: 2017/06/13
Channel: Q Osborne
Delaware and  Hudson Canal and the Gravity Railroad NY Images of America
Delaware and Hudson Canal and the Gravity Railroad NY Images of America
Published: 2017/03/02
Channel: ajinah sarjana
Using gravity to run around the train
Using gravity to run around the train
Published: 2015/01/04
Channel: Joey Bowman
Falls Road Railroad Gravity Runaround in Holley NY 4-3-15
Falls Road Railroad Gravity Runaround in Holley NY 4-3-15
Published: 2015/04/04
Channel: DieselElevators
Mt. Tamalpais & Muir Woods Railroad, 1926
Mt. Tamalpais & Muir Woods Railroad, 1926
Published: 2011/10/19
Channel: marinlibrary
San Francisco Oakland Bay Bridge Construction
San Francisco Oakland Bay Bridge Construction
Published: 2012/10/02
Channel: US Auto Industry
Railroad Boxcar in Siding
Railroad Boxcar in Siding
Published: 2011/08/07
Channel: callmebigpapa
D&H Rail Trail - Wallenpaupack Life
D&H Rail Trail - Wallenpaupack Life
Published: 2016/09/13
Channel: Wally Life
High Water - Railroad Song
High Water - Railroad Song
Published: 2013/10/01
Channel: OTHERPEOPLE
How to Pronounce Gravity Railroad
How to Pronounce Gravity Railroad
Published: 2016/11/29
Channel: Dictionary Voice
Mill Valley Railroad Gravity Car Dedication
Mill Valley Railroad Gravity Car Dedication
Published: 2012/08/26
Channel: coachbobsports
Gravity Rail_Ramsey Creek_2016
Gravity Rail_Ramsey Creek_2016
Published: 2016/08/22
Channel: Bo Calilung
Gravity Falls Abondend RailRoad Part 2
Gravity Falls Abondend RailRoad Part 2
Published: 2017/02/26
Channel: Felipe’s Mexican Channel
Reading of The Honour Roll at Memorial Pavilion
Reading of The Honour Roll at Memorial Pavilion
Published: 2013/09/29
Channel: Canadian Police And Peace Officers Memorial
When Was The First Railroad Built In The USA?
When Was The First Railroad Built In The USA?
Published: 2017/07/21
Channel: blue sparky
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WIKIPEDIA ARTICLE

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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A gravity railroad (American English) or gravity railway (British English) is a railroad on a slope that allow cars carrying minerals or passengers to coast down the slope by the force of gravity alone. The speed of the cars is controlled by a braking mechanism on one or more cars on the train. The cars are then hauled back up the slope using animal power or a stationary engine and a cable, a chain or one or more wide, flat iron bands. A much later example in California used standard gauge steam engines to pull gravity cars back to the summit of Mt. Tamalpais.

The typical amusement park roller coaster is designed from gravity railroad technology based on the looping track incorporated into the second railroad of the United States, the Mauch Chunk & Summit Hill Railroad, which remained in operation for decades as a tourist ride after it was withdrawn from freight service hauling coal.

Types of gravity railroad[edit]

Some gravity railroads were designed to allow the weight of the descending loaded cars to lift the empty cars back up to the top, using a cable looped around a pulley at the top for a portion of the line. A later revision designed by John B. Jervis, used two separate tracks known as the loaded or heavy track which carried cars loaded with coal to the destination, and the light track, used to return empty cars to the mines. This method allowed cars to travel in a loop, without the need for passing sidings. A stationary steam engine and a looping cable, chain or iron bands were used to raise the empty cars up the lift planes. The cars then coasted down a slight grade to the next lift plane. When cars reversed direction at the ends of the line on a switch or turnout instead of a loop, the railroad was known as a switchback gravity railroad.

Switchback gravity railroad[edit]

Switchbacked incline

The term "switchback gravity railroad" is sometimes applied to gravity railroads that used special self-acting (momentum-driven) Y-shaped switches known as switchbacks to automatically reverse a car's direction at certain points as it descends; this essentially folds the incline across the slope in a characteristic "zig-zag" shape. (See diagram: car starts from point A, coasts through switch at B, and comes to a stop at C. Car then rolls through the switch again and proceeds to the switch at D, where the process is repeated.) A separate track was typically used to haul the empty cars back to the top.

The original implementation of this type of system is credited to the Mauch Chunk Switchback Railway, which hauled coal and passengers from 1827 until 1933. This was very popular with tourists, and led to the development of the roller coaster.

Self-acting incline[edit]

In the UK, a self-acting incline is one in which the loaded wagons going down pull, via a cable and drum, the empty wagons going up. There might be two separate tracks, or a single track with a passing loop. This system was widely used on slate railways in Wales.

A variation on this system is the cliff railway for passengers. Both passenger cars are equipped with water tanks and, at the start, both tanks are full. Water is then let out of the tank on the lower car until the difference in weight between the two cars causes them to move.

Examples[edit]

United Kingdom[edit]

The Ffestiniog Railway in Gwynedd, northwest Wales, was built in 1832 to carry slate from quarries high in the hills to the sea at Porthmadog. The line was laid out for the wagons to descend by gravity, while horses were originally used to haul the empty wagons up the hill. On the downward journey the horses travelled in a Dandy waggon at the rear of the train. Later on, steam haulage was adopted. This narrow gauge railway is still operational but all passenger trains are now locomotive-hauled.

A single open railroad car, on a single rail track that twists and turns through a forest. The car is carrying about 30 passengers, all of whom are wearing hats.
Gravity car no. 21 on the Mt. Tamalpais and Muir Woods Scenic Rwy c. 1915.

Demonstration gravity trains are still occasionally run using original wagons - up to 50 at a time.

United States[edit]

In the United States, The Delaware and Hudson Canal Company operated an extensive gravity railroad system from 1828 until 1898. With 22 separate lift planes, the 55-mile (88 km) Pennsylvania Coal Company Gravity Railroad was the longest, and operated until 1885. Equipment and machinery of the railroad was purchased in 1886 by the recently constructed Shohola Glen Summer Resort (1882) and used until 1907.

Due to the success and advancement of the gravity railroads, a gravity operation at Hawley and Pittston was created. This 47 mile route from Paupack Eddy (Hawley) and Port Griffith (Pittston) allowed Pennsylvania Coal Company to directly ship anthracite from its mines to Hudson Canal and Delaware. This means of transportation ultimately led anthracite to the New York markets.

From 1896 through 1929, steam trains carried passengers up Mount Tamalpais in Marin County, California. In 1902,[1] gravity cars began carrying passengers from the mountain's summit down the 8 mile (13 km) twisting single-track railway to the city of Mill Valley and starting in 1907, the first tourists into Muir Woods.[2] Gravity service supplemented the steam train service. The powerful Shay and Heisler geared steam engines of the Mount Tamalpais & Muir Woods Railway then towed the gravity cars back to the summit for the next scheduled run. "Gravities" were kept to a strict speed limit of 12 miles per hour.

On May 3, 2009, the Gravity Car Barn museum opened at the east peak of Mount Tamalpais to display this novel form of transportation. There, a recreated gravity car rolls on eighty-four feet of track.[3]

Italy[edit]

The Modena-Sassuolo railway, activated on 1 April 1883, was also known as the "trenèin dal còcc": in the Modenese dialect the "còcc" was the initial impetus imprinted to the train departing from Sassuolo, taking advantage of the mild and regular gradient up to Modena. Linking the two centers with no other type of propulsion, the train reached speeds between 20 and 30 km/h. It seems that in the train head was placed a heavy load, like sand or pigs, to increase traction in the downstream direction. It was planned only one run per day, without (obviously) any stops between the two cities, led to two runs during the First World War.[4]

Other inclined railroads[edit]

A funicular is not a true gravity railroad, as cars never coast freely and are always connected to a cable. A rack-and-pinion railway or rack railway is also not a true gravity railroad for similar reasons.

See also[edit]

External links[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Runner (2009), at 34.
  2. ^ Runner (2009), at 107.
  3. ^ "Gravity Car Barn". Friends of Mt Tam, Gravity Car Barn. Retrieved May 21, 2012. 
  4. ^ Rosario Serafino. "La ferrovia Modena - Sassuolo" (in Italian). 

Bibliography[edit]

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