Anatomy of a funicular !!!

Text and photos by Michel AZEMA
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The photo below shows the skeleton of a car used on funicular railways with a siding in the middle of the line.
On this photo it is easy to see the asymmetry of this kind of car. The interior side is composed of two flat wheels with big width even thougth the exterior side has the two double-flanged wheels and three pairs of jaws for the emergency brakes. The brakes are actionned manually from the cabin and also when an overspeed is detected on the rotation of the wheels.

A : Double-flanged wheel to guide the cabin.
B : The flat wheel. Note the width of the wheel necessary to cross the cable gaps.
C, D : The jaws of the emergency brake. The brake is like a vice which squeezes the rail.
E : The chain which commands the screw of the brake.
F : The clutch of the brake. The clutch is clenched with a overspeed rotation of the axle of the wheels.
G : The weigth which maintains the jaws in Open position during a normal course.
H : The manual command of the brake.
I : The piece where the cable is attached.

Compare the width of the wheel B with the width of the rail.
Note the jaws
D squeezing the rail.

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Copyright © 1996 by Michel Azéma, Paris (France)
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