Johnstown Inclined Plane

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One thing that never gets old, no matter how many times you do it, is riding the Johnstown Inclined Plane. This is the steepest vehicular incline in the world, meaning that it has the ability to carry an automobile up the funicular. It was built two years after the fateful 1889 flood in order to allow for quicker egress out of the Conemaugh Valley in the case of another flood. The incline allows people to get out of the valley within 90 seconds, instead of the ten minute drive (without traffic) or longer hike up and out of the valley.

Once you reach the top, you are in the borough of Westmont and get a spectacular view of Johnstown and the valley. 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 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.

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