Pittsburgh's expanding industrial base in 1860 created a huge demand for labor, attracting mainly German immigrants to the region. This created a serious housing shortage as industry occupied most of the flat lands adjacent to the river, leaving only the steep, surrounding hillsides of Mt. Washington or "Coal Hill" for housing. However, travel between the "hill" and other areas was hindered by a lack of good roads or public transport.
The predominantly German immigrants who settled on Mt. Washington, remembering the Seilbahns (cable cars) of their former country, proposed the construction of inclines along the face of Coal Hill. The result was the Monongahela Incline, which opened May 28, 1870. Earlier inclines were used to transport coal in the Pittsburgh area, including the Kirk Lewis incline on Mt. Washington and the Ormsby mine gravity plane in nearby Birmingham, later annexed to the city of Pittsburgh.
It is operated by the Port Authority of Allegheny County, which operates the rest of Pittsburgh's transit system. Transfers can be made between the incline and the light rail and buses.
- Bridge up Mount Washington on Inclined Rail
- Pittsburgh, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania
- Open to traffic
- Built 1870; Renovated 1882-83, 1993 & 1994
- - John Endres of Prussia
- - Funicular
Total length: 635.0 ft.
Posted to the National Register of Historic Places on June 25, 1974
- Approximate latitude, longitude
- +40.43234, -80.00497 (decimal degrees)
40°25'56" N, 80°00'18" W (degrees°minutes'seconds")
- Approximate UTM coordinates
- 17/584398/4476219 (zone/easting/northing)
- Quadrangle map:
- Pittsburgh West
- Inventory numbers
- NRHP 74001742 (National Register of Historic Places reference number)
BH 57098 (Bridgehunter.com ID)
- July 11, 2013: Added by Dave King