Tecnical data funicolare San Salvatore
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Funicular railway with carriages moving in opposing directions
The railway is 1660 m in length and divided into two sections of 830 m, each of differing gradients. The first section (section 1) has a gradient of up to 37% and the second section (section 2) up to 61%. Given these differing gradients, the two carriages have different construction features but both offer the same capacity (68 + 1 person) and travel in opposite directions to and from the middle station, without ever crossing. The carriages travel alongside one another on even track at the Lugano-Pazzallo middle station for approx. 10 metres.
Since the construction of the site in July 1888, the drive unit and engine room have been based at the middle station so that the station is accessible from the road to make it easier to change carriages. The track is not electrified and the two carriages are linked via a single steel towing cable of 1650 m in length and 33 mm in diameter which powers the railway.
This configuration is currently unique in railways of this kind. The engine room is also fitted with a hydrostatic diesel auxiliary unit which ensures the operation of the railway at reduced speed in the event of a power outage.