Duquesne Incline

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Duquesne Incline
Downtown Pittsburgh from Duquesne Incline in the morning.jpg
HeadquartersPittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Locale1220 Grandview Ave., Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Dates of operationMay 17, 1877 (1877-05-17)[1]–present
Track gauge5 ft (1,524 mm)
Length800 feet (244 m)
Duquesne Incline
Duquesne Incline is located in Pittsburgh
Duquesne Incline
Duquesne Incline is located in Pennsylvania
Duquesne Incline
Duquesne Incline is located in the United States
Duquesne Incline
Coordinates40°26′21″N 80°1′5″W / 40.43917°N 80.01806°W / 40.43917; -80.01806Coordinates: 40°26′21″N 80°1′5″W / 40.43917°N 80.01806°W / 40.43917; -80.01806
ArchitectSamuel Diescher
Architectural styleSecond Empire, T pattern
NRHP reference No.75001609[2]
Added to NRHPMarch 4, 1975

The Duquesne Incline (/dˈkn/) is a funicular located near Pittsburgh's South Side neighborhood and scaling Mt. Washington in Pennsylvania, United States. Designed by Samuel Diescher, the incline was completed in 1877 and is 800 feet (244 m) long, 400 feet (122 m) in height, and is inclined at a 30-degree angle. It is an unusual for United States (but standard for Finland, Mongolia and ex-USSR) track gauge of 5 ft (1,524 mm).[3]


Originally steam powered, the Duquesne Incline was built to carry cargo up and down Mt. Washington in the late 19th century. It later carried passengers, particularly Mt. Washington residents who were tired of walking up footpaths to the top. Inclines were then being built all over Mt. Washington. But as more roads were built on “Coal Hill” most of the other inclines were closed. By the end of the 1960s, only the Monongahela Incline and the Duquesne Incline remained.

In 1962, the incline was closed, apparently for good. Major repairs were needed, and with so few patrons, the incline's private owners did little. But local Duquesne Heights residents launched a fund-raiser to help the incline. It was a huge success, and on July 1, 1963, the incline reopened under the auspices of a non-profit organization dedicated to its preservation.

The incline has since been totally refurbished. The cars, built by the J. G. Brill and Company of Philadelphia, have been stripped of paint to reveal the original wood. An observation deck was added at the top affording a view of Pittsburgh's "Golden Triangle", and the Duquesne Incline is now one of the city's most popular tourist attractions.

In popular culture[edit]

  • The incline is featured in the opening scene of The Next Three Days trailer. The same scene is featured about halfway through the film.
  • It is also featured in the 1983 film Flashdance.
  • In the 1987 movie Lady Beware the characters played by Diane Lane and Cotter Smith ride the incline.
  • The Duquesne Incline is a featured Pittsburgh landmark on Yinztagram.[4]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Conquering New Territory". Pittsburgh Commercial Gazette. May 18, 1877. p. 4. The plane was opened yesterday to the public....
  2. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. July 9, 2010.
  3. ^ "Monongahela and Duquesne Inclines" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2009-08-16. Retrieved 2009-05-21.
  4. ^ "Yinztagram By Pegula". iTunes Store. Apple Inc. 2012. Archived from the original on August 28, 2012. Retrieved December 13, 2012.

External links[edit]