Riding the Duquesne Incline

December 28, 2018/Jonathan Rundle/2 Comments

The Duquesne Incline is a National Historic Place and a top attraction in Pittsburgh.

Serving the public for nearly 150 years, the incline was saved from demolition in 1963 and has operated as a non-profit ever since.

Duquesne Incline

As we head up Mount Washington from the lower station, this photo makes it look like we’re moving at warp speed. In reality, the cars move at a top speed of 6mph. As one goes up, the other goes down, passing each other at the half-way point of the track.

Duquesne Incline

The interior of the car is spacious and on a winter night like tonight it’s obvious that it isn’t climate controlled!

Duquesne Incline

The ride takes about 10 minutes to cover the 800 feet of track and 400 feet of vertical gain at a 30-degree grade.

Every passing moment gets you closer to eye-level with the beautiful Pittsburgh skyline.

Duquesne Incline

The incline’s red cars are a Pittsburgh icon.

Duquesne Incline

Duquesne Incline History

Opened May 20, 1877, this incline was the 4th of an eventual 17 total inclines that helped pedestrians navigate the hilly geography around Pittsburgh. Gradually, many inclines saw less use and were removed.

Today only this one and the Monongahela Incline (just east of here) are still in operation.

Upper Station

The upper station has a much more friendly feel compared to the lower station. They’ve got a collection of postcards from around the world featuring cable cars and funiculars. Fun to look at while waiting to board the next car down.

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They’ve also got a mechanical museum you can visit for an additional 50 cent fee. I settled for the free viewing window of the current mechanism.

Duquesne Incline

Outside of the station is a viewing platform where you have a panoramic view of the Pittsburgh skyline and the North Shore, where the sports stadiums are located.

From this vantage point, you can also watch the include cars enter and leave the station.

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Visit the Duquesne Incline

Both the upper and lower stations take only cash and can get busy at prime times in the summer, so be aware. The round-trip is $5 per person, $2.50 for kids.

The Duquesne Incline has really long daily operating hours.

Monday through Saturday:
5:30 a.m. to 12:30 a.m.

Sundays and Holidays:
7:00 a.m. to 12:30 a.m.

Keep in mind this is a station still servicing daily commuters. For attendant hospitality, think more New York Subway than a recreational tourist trap.

Comments (2)

  • Daniel Rundle . January 10, 2019 . Reply

    Have never rode the incline, would like to some day. Mom and I enjoyed the pictures you took. All beautiful! All worthy of framing!

  • Jo A Walsh . December 28, 2018 . Reply

    I’ve never rode this one .Always wanted to.Thanks for the ride ,The view of Pittsbugh was beautiful Thanks for the ride .

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