Suspended Railway at Loschwitz, Saxony

A suspension railway, the first mountain railway of its kind in the world, for the conveyance of passengers, has recently been opened for traffic. It runs fromLoschwitz, a village on the banks of the river Elbe about five miles fromDresdon, to the top of the Rochwitz Heights, which command a most beautiful view of the Saxon capital. The railway is two hundred and fifty meters (eight hundred and twenty feet) long, with a gradient of thirty-two per cent and is constructed according to the "Langen" system. Thirty-three iron piers of different heights, weighing about three hundred tons, the highest being fifteen meters (49.2 feet) carry the rails on which the cars are hung. Each car holds fifty passengers, and weights, when occupied, 12.8 tons. Their shape and construction differ entirely from all other railway cars, and even from those used by the Barmen-Elberfeld suspension railway. A steel cable forty-four millimeters (1.7 inches) in diameter connects the two trains and locks them firmly together. It is operated by two powerful machines of eighty horse-power each, stationed at the top terminus of the road. The cable has a strength of 95,000 kilograms (209,437 pounds).

Particular attention and care has been given to devices to insure the safety of passengers and to regulate the running of the cars. A most ingenious signal system—with visible and audible signals—serves to regulate the arrival and departure of trains, and is operated from both the tower and upper stations. Each car is provided with a danger signal apparatus, consisting of an alarm and a telephone, which enables the conductor to communicate from any point of the road, with the engine house. The car is provided with three brakes—system Bucher-Durer—two of which work automatically at the least slackening of the tension of the cable, and stop the car. The third brake can be operated by hand from the platform of the car. From a hand attached to the disk upon which the cable is rolled, the engineer can always determine the exact position of the cars on the road, and an automatic bell warns him if the train is running too fast.

The greatest safety consists in an automatic brake both at the lower and top station, which is put into action by the arriving car and stops it, no matter how careless the engineer may be. The fare is twenty pfennigs (4.76 cents) up and ten pfennigs (2.38 cents) down; round trip ticket twenty-five pfennigs (5.95 cents). Reduced fares are allowed institutions, societies, schoolchildren, and working people. The journey takes three minutes and 15,500 passengers can be carried each way per day, or a total of 31,000. The iron work and cars were constructed in Nuremberg.

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Fearing the Worst
October 31, 1901

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