Saturday, 12 January 2019

Unique Funicular at Miyagase Dam

Unit 2 of the Miyagase Dam Incline

I am going to show you a unique funicular today. I recently visited Miyagase Dam in Kanagawa Prefecture. The purpose of my visit was to see and ride "Miyagase Dam Incline".

Miyagase Dam Incline is a means of transport for visitors to climb up the dam crest. It was originally used for constructing the dam but was modified to a funicular for sightseeing later. Connecting Dam-shita and Dam-ue stations, its route length is 216 meters. The height difference between the two stations is 121 meters and the maximum inclination of the route is 35 degrees.

It is a bucket-type funicular and operated by an inverter electric system. Different from the standard funiculars, the track is double. It means that there is no station in the middle of a single-track for train meet. The operation interval is 6 to 10 minutes. The operation speed is 60 meters/minute. It takes about 4 minutes to get from Dam-shita to Dam-ue station. The present vehicles, named car number 1 and 2, were built by Tokyo Sakudo in 1998. Each car has a 5.1 meter-long and a 2.6 meter-wide body and can accommodate 46 passengers. The operation is driver-less. To be exact, this transportation system is NOT classified as a funicular under the Railway Business Act.

Incidentally, Miyagase Dam is one of the major dams in the region. It is a multipurpose concrete gravity dam of 156 meters in height. The water is supplied to many cities and towns in Kanagawa Prefecture including Yokohama.

Entrance of Miyagase Dam