Association of French Funiculars
A funicular is a ropeway equipped with vehicles traveling along sloping rails in which the traction is provided by a cable to overcome the declivity of the land. It is generally made of two trains attached to each other by one or several cables, each making an half loop at the terminal station. The weight of the descending train counterbalances all or part of the weight of the ascending train, so that the traction energy required stays relatively low.
The motor actuating the cable is located, with very notable exceptions, in the upper station of the line. It provides the power that is lost due to the friction between wheels and rails and to the pulley-cable system and the extra power that may be required to overcome the possible difference in weight between the two trains.
The originality of the different constructions
The majority of funicular operators pride themselves in the originality of their own construction. Indeed, each installation is different and charming due to the fact that is has to be given the attention required by something unique.