Skip to main content

Johnstown Inclined Plane - Pennsylvania

Recently, I had the opportunity to check out the Johnstown Inclined Plane in Johnstown, Pennsylvania. Like the more famous Duquesne Incline and Monongahela Incline in Pittsburgh, the Johnstown Inclined Plane was built with Western Pennsylvania's topography in mind in to carry people and goods between Point A and Point B. Built in 1890 and opened in 1891, just a few years after the devastating Johnstown Flood of 1889, the incline railway goes up and down Yoder Hill between downtown Johnstown and the Borough of Westmont on the top of the hill.

The Johnstown Inclined Plane features a double track of rail with two cars permanently attached to steel cables, counterbalancing each while in operation. As one car rises, the other is lowered. Power is only needed to lift the net weight. The grade of the Inclined Plane is quite steep, at just over 70% as it travels 896 feet up the hill. For a thrill seeker like myself, I was also impressed by the scenic views of Johnstown and the surrounding valley that I could see while a passenger on the Inclined Plane.

A view of Johnstown while traveling down the Johnstown Inclined Plane.

A view looking down the Inclined Plane.

Since the ride on the Inclined Plane only takes a couple minutes to go up or down the hill and runs every 15 minutes, I had a few minutes to poke around at the bottom of the hill. Here, we have a sign denoting the high water mark during the Johnstown Flood of 1889.

A bridge over the Stonycreek River will lead you to the entrance of the Inclined Plane.

The posted fares as of November 13, 2017 for using the Johnstown Inclined Plane. I estimated that the cab of the Inclined Plane cars can comfortably fit one mid-sized SUV. However, I was a walk on passenger that day.

Riding back up the Inclined Plane.

Passing cars.

Almost at the top.

Sources and Links:
"The History of the Incline" --- The Inclined Plane

How to Get There:


Crossposted to Quintessential Pennsylvania -


Popular posts from this blog

The Central Freeway of San Francisco (US Route 101)

The Central Freeway is a 1.2-mile elevated limited access corridor in the city of San Francisco.  As presently configured the Central Freeway connects from the end of the Bayshore Freeway to Market Street.  The Central Freeway carries the mainline of northbound US Route 101 from the Bayshore Freeway to Mission Street. The Central Freeway has origins with the establishment of Legislative Route Number 223 and is heavily tied to the history of the once proposed Panhandle Freeway.  The Central Freeway between the Bayshore Freeway and Mission Street was completed during 1955.  The corridor was extended to a one-way couplet located at Turk Street and Golden Gate Avenue in 1959 which served to connect US Route 101 to Van Ness Avenue.  The Central Freeway was damaged by the 1989 Loma Prieta Earthquake and has since been truncated to Market Street.   The Central Freeway as pictured on the blog cover was featured in the May/June 1959 California Highways & Public Works.  The scan below is fro

The Bayshore Freeway (US Route 101)

The Bayshore Freeway is a 56.4-mile component of US Route 101 located in the San Francisco Bay Area.  The Bayshore Freeway connects the southern extent of San Jose to the Central Freeway in the city of San Francisco.  The corridor was originally developed as the Bayshore Highway between 1923 and 1937.  The Bayshore Highway would serve briefly as mainline US Route 101 before being reassigned as US Route 101 Bypass in 1938.  Conceptually the designs for the Bayshore Freeway originated in 1940 but construction would be delayed until 1947.  The Bayshore Freeway was completed by 1962 and became mainline US Route 101 during June 1963.   Part 1; the history of the Bayshore Freeway Prior the creation of the Bayshore Highway corridor the most commonly used highway between San Jose and San Francisco was El Camino Real (alternatively known as Peninsula Highway).  The  American El Camino Real  began as an early example of a signed as an Auto Trail starting in 1906.  The era of State Highway Mainte

Former US Route 101 and California State Route 41 through Paso Robles

Paso Robles is a city located on the Salinas River of San Luis Obispo County, California.  As originally configured the surface alignments of US Route 101 and California State Route 41 converged in downtown Paso Robles.  US Route 101 originally was aligned through Paso Robles via Spring Street.  California State Route 41 entered the City of Paso Robles via Union Road and 13th Street where it intersected US Route 101 at Spring Street.  US Route 101 and California State Route 41 departed Paso Robles southbound via a multiplex which split near Templeton.   Pictured above is the cover of the September/October 1957 California Highways & Public Works which features construction of the Paso Robles Bypass.  Pictured below is the 1935 Division of Highways Map of San Luis Obispo County which depicts US Route 101 and California State Route 41 intersecting in downtown Paso Robles.   Part 1; the history of US Route 101 and California State Route 41 in Paso Robles Paso Robles ("Pass of the