Book and Calendar Purchases

Book and Calendar Purchase Options

5.03.2015

Johnstown: Inclined Plane, Point Stadium, River System, and more

In part one of our look at Johnstown we visited the Johnstown Flood Memorial. Today we visit the Inclined Plane. One of the neatest things that I have seen in the state is the Johnstown Inclined Plane. This 896.5 foot tall funicular is the world's steepest vehicular incline. It was completed in 1891 as a means of quick escape from Johnstown in the case of another emergency. It was designed by Samuel Diescher, a Hungarian engineer that also designed the famous Duquesne Incline in Pittsburgh in addition to a number of other inclines. He even designed the machinery for the first Ferris Wheel at the 1893 Colombian Exposition in Chicago. 

The Johnstown Inclined Plane was built two years after the 1889 Johnstown flood tragedy that killed over 2000 people. Since construction it has helped with two major floods, the Johnstown Floods of 1936 and 1977, in addition to helping people commute. Since the Cambria Iron Company/Bethlehem Steel plant closed in 1992, the commuter traffic has significantly declined, however, tourism has played an integral role in preservation of this funicular. At 90 seconds, it is still the most efficient way between Johnstown and the town of Westmont. The drive around can take upwards of ten minutes or more, precious seconds that can save lives during a catastrophe. 
 This is an awesome place to visit. The views are absolutely stunning.
Here is the motor room for the incline. You can see the parts numbered, including the motor, surge protector, overspeed governor, air brake, emergency drum brake, air compressors, reserve air reservoir, and the main cable drum.
 The incline has become a cool tourism destination because of the unique ride and awesome views.
 Some specs on the Inclined Plane
The view of Johnstown from the top. The industrial past has given way towards a cleaner place for recreational opportunities. Baseball and hockey are both very popular in the city, along with tubing and rafting down the Stonycreek River. Music festivals are also happening in the city and a grand vision has been created for helping build the city as more of a tourism hub. An article on this can be read here at Keystone Crossroads. In the photo below you can see how the rivers have been channeled into concrete troughs similar to the famed LA River that you see in the famous chase scene in the Terminator 2 movie. They have saved the city from numerous serious floods and also saved it from greater damage and lost lives during the flood of 1977.
Below you can see some of the old steel buildings, and in the foreground you can see the Stone Bridge (railroad arch bridge) that dates back to 1887. This was one of the few things to survive the horrific Johnstown Flood of 1889. The bridge is a symbol of resilience, but also tragedy, in that it caught the giant pile of wreckage from the flood and then a giant fire occurred which killed many trapped in the pile. The inferno burned for three days. Recently the bridge was fully renovated with fresh paint and the addition of LED lights. 
The baseball stadium plays hosts to multiple PIAA uses including both baseball and football. The All-American Amateur Baseball Association has a huge history at the ballpark. The original ballpark was built in 1926 and was replaced in 2005. University of Pittsburgh-Johnstown's Division II baseball team also calls the stadium home.
 Better watch that guy on first!
Advance the runner! Notice the football lines in the turf. 
Looking upstream. Really pretty place. The weather was strange that day. 
So now I see where uptown girl is from...I couldn't resist. A look uptown.
Johnstown is a pretty neat place that is worth a visit. In the summer we will likely try to get back to do Coal Tubin' again. 

No comments :

Post a Comment

Blogger Widget