Allegheny Portage Railroad National Historic Site in Cambria County, Pennsylvania — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
Inclined Plane No. 6
In front of you is the site of Inclined Plane No. 6, one of ten inclines on the Allegheny Portage Railroad. The track visible today has been reconstructed.
From 1834 to 1854, railroad cars bearing canal boats, freight, and passengers were pulled up and lowered down this slope by a continuous rope driven by steam engines located in an engine house to your right. The rope ran between the rails, supported by idler pulleys every 24 feet. Whenever possible, ascending cars were counterbalanced with descending cars.
In an open shed at the foot of the incline, a "hitcher" connected westbound cars to the main rope with a short rope. Up here at the engine house, another hitcher disconnected them for the continuing journey by horses or locomotives along the Summit Level.
A Passenger's Perspective
"Three short hours have brought you from the torrid plain to a refreshing and invigorating climate. The ascending apprehension has left you, but it is succeeded by the fear of the steep descent which thought trembles in your mind, that it [the tram] may slip over the head of the first descending plane, rush down the frightful
Actual size cross section of hemp rope
used on Incline No. 6. By 1849, all inclines converted to wire rope which was stronger and more durable.
Inclined Plane - Allegheny Portage Railroad elevation profile [across bottom of marker]
Erected by National Park Service.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Industry & Commerce • Man-Made Features • Railroads & Streetcars • Waterways & Vessels.
Location. 40° 27.364′ N, 78° 33.005′ W. Marker is in Allegheny Portage Railroad National Historic Site, Pennsylvania, in Cambria County. Marker is along the trail leading from the Visitor Center to Engine House No. 6. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 110 Federal Park Road, Gallitzin PA 16641, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Allegheny Portage Railroad (here, next to this marker); Engine House No. 6 (here, next to this marker); Skew Arch Bridge Trail (here, next to this marker); Railroad Stone (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); The Lemon House (about 400 feet away); Levels (about 400 feet away); Summit Level Historic Area (about 500 feet away); a different marker also named Lemon House (about 700 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Allegheny Portage Railroad National Historic Site.
Also see . . . Allegheny Portage Railroad National Historic Site. (Submitted on March 21, 2012, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. It was originally submitted on March 21, 2012, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania. This page has been viewed 488 times since then and 23 times this year. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on March 21, 2012, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.