Thursday, October 21, 2010
My friend Jack Wilker sent a photo of the Madison incline that was captured as he walked the path of the tracks. I looked up a few bits of the history, here is a few lines from only one. Read more here.
Perhaps the principal accomplishment now hidden from view is the Madison and Indianapolis Railroad incline that connects the hilltop area to the old city. Completed in 1841, the Madison incline of 7,012 feet was - and remains today - the steepest grade of any line-haul railroad in the country. The incline ascends 413 feet, or 311 feet per mile, giving the tracks a 5.89 percent grade. The railroad incline may be reached on foot by driving west on Main Street to Cragmont, north on Cragmont to Third Street, then west on Third to its end only feet away from the tracks pointing to the sky. From there, the visitor must walk along the rails as they cross Crooked Creek via a huge embankment, before reaching the summit after passing under a stone bridge on the eastern edge of Madison State Hospital property. Hundreds of Irish laborers were imported into Madison to build the incline.