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Water Powered Funicular

Design a conceptual funicular that inspires modern use of low-tech public transportation using water weight to eradicate or decrease the electricity that is used to run the system

What is a funicular?

System of two balanced cars that transport people or goods up and down a slope using a pulley system

Due to the weight balance system and ability to use a shared track, funiculars are one of the most energy-efficient methods of transportation.

Modern funiculars mostly run on electricity today, but the first funiculars were water-powered. Water-powered funiculars save much more energy with only a pump needed to send water to the top of the slope.

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Existing Funiculars

Water-Powered Funiculars

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Pittsburgh, Pennslyvania

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Bergen, Norway

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Valparaiso, Chile

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Braga, Portugal

Wiesbaden, Germany

Why Funiculars?

Modern funiculars mostly run on electricity today, but the first funiculars were water-powered. Water-powered funiculars save much more energy with only a pump needed to send water to the top of the slope.

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Due to the nature of a funicular (with opposite cars approaching the top/bottom at the same rate), fewer resources are required to build a track. Instead of two separate tracks, the cars can share a track with a break only in the middle

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Why Water?

Resource Savings

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Design Inspiration Board

the design should be modern to induce excitement and appeal to modern society

a warm aesthetic is more likely to feel inviting to passengers

passenger accommodations should also be considered and valued

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this design felt simple and adaptable but fluid and complete

Angel Island

Angel Island is the largest natural island in San Francisco Bay. The site features breathtaking views of the bay area and acts as a serene escape from San Francisco's urban area. Previously, the site was home to Native Americans and Spanish explorers. Between 1910 to 1940, the island served as an immigration site for the United States. There is also a strong military history up until it became a California State Park.

Today, the site attracts visitors with its trails, Barracks Museum, tram tours, picnic areas, and views.

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"Not only does it offer the beauty of nature, it also allows you to learn about the history of the immigrants from 1910-1940."

"A few steep trails, trails for bike as well."

"You can hike around the island in 2 hours and have the most spectacular views."

"There [is] only one mid-tour offloading for a way too brief photo opportunity."

"It's a nice place to spend time with the family. Lots of benches and even suitable for barbeques. If you want to cover the entire island it is better with a bike."

Accessibility Issues with the Trams

Few time options for touring

Can't go at your own pace

Not everyone has a nice view

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Features

Wheelchair Access

Handrails

unobstructed view

handbrakes

water window

water spout

headlights

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Personal Item Storage

Other Applications

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Angel Island

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Bryce Canyon

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Inupiaq Gates