Opened to the public on May 20, 1877 the Duquesne (pronounced dew-cane) Incline is one of two inclines still in operation on Mt. Washington (was known as Coal Hill until 1876) in Pittsburgh's South Side Neighborhood. The Incline was designed by Hungarian-American Engineer Samuel Diescher for Kirk Bigham and Associates. It was often referred to as "Kirk Lewis Incline" by residents. Diescher became the country's foremost incline builder and built and designed most other that followed.
The car you ride in is called a Funicular. These cars were built in Philadelphia by Brill and Company. The Incline itself is 794 feet long, 400 feet in height, and inclines at a 30.5 degree angle. The track gage is unusual at 5 feet, because that gague is only used in Mongolia, Russia, and Finland. The Funicular travels at 6 mph and 18 people can fit safely in a car. The cost to build the incline was $47,000.
Inside the Funicular.
The Incline was run by The Duquesne Incline Company 1877 to 1962. The Incline served working class people that needed to get from the top to the bottom of Coal Hill for work. (There is a whole local history of The Duquesne Incline Company trying to scare people into taking the Incline by saying the FREE footpaths were haunted by Native American Spirits. Take a tour with Molly's Trolleys to find out more!) The Incline was thought to be no longer needed for operation after The Duquesne Incline Company, and was left to sit for two years. The Neighborhood saw a need for the Incline to be restored and brought back to operation. In 1963 the Duquesne Heights/Mount Washington neighborhood group reopened the incline. In 1964 The Society for the Preservation of The Duquesne Incline was formed, and they have made sure the Incline is beautiful and functioning ever since. The Incline is owned by the Port Authority of Allegheny County.
View from the bottom station
In 1975 the Duquesne Incline was placed on the National Register of Historic Places. In 1977 the Incline was designated as a Historical Mechanical Engineering Landmark by (ASME) American Society of Mechanical Engineers. There was an observation deck added to the top station, and it is phenomenal. You can see all of Pittsburgh, The three rivers, bridges, and lots of important landmarks.
A beautiful view of Fort Pitt, and bridges. The Duquesne Incline has been featured in several films including: Flashdance, Lady Beware, and The Next Three Days.
The circle and green area was Fort Duquesne in 1754 and then Fort Pitt in 1761. When you look for Fort Pitt you'll find a nice park and gorgeous fountain where the circle is. "The Golden Triangle" is the business district. The tip of the triangle is where the Allegheny, Monongahela, and Ohio Rivers meet. It's also called the confluence.
Here you can see Carnegie Science Center, and Heinz Field.
The observation deck is 400 feet above Pittsburgh on Mt. Washington.
Pricing to ride The Duquesne Incline:
Adults (Ages 12-64) $3.50 Round Trip or $1.75 Each Way
Children (Ages 6-11) $1.75 Round Trip or $1.00 Each Way
Cash fares as well as Port Authority connect cards are accepted, but they only take exact change! If you don't have exact change there is a change machine. The change machine gives dollar coins and quarters. You've been warned!
Monday - Saturday
5:30 AM to 12:30 AM
Sundays and Holidays
7:00 AM to 12:30 AM
The Duquesne Incline is a must do when visiting Pittsburgh no matter the time of year. The views from the observation deck are gorgeous and the photos you'll take will be cherished keepsakes.
See Yinz Later!