Hi, all --
I spent several childhood years riding the Angel's Flight narrow gauge funicular railway in Los Angeles (pre-tear-down; stupidly redesigned rebuild; fatal accident; re-closure; second rebuild with different stupid design flaw; second non-fatal accident; and third closure), and am also a freelance modeller of Rock City atop Lookout Mountain in Chattanooga, Tennessee, home of The Incline Railway, a standard gauge funicular railway.
I am now considering the feasibility of modelling a G-scale narrow gauge funicular railway on my layout. My era is the 1920s-1930s, but in a setting that features older (e.g. 1900-1920) equipment as well.
I have seen HO-scale funiculars in operation, but i have never seen a G-scale one, hence my request for help.
First, i do have sufficient slope and will not need to perform any great feats of landscaping to achieve a constant angle.
Second, i know that there are several types of designs for cars on funicular railways; my interest is exclusively in those with inclined cars built and mounted at an angle.
European funicular railway; Nerobergbahn, Wiesbaden, Germany, built in 1888; water-powered (!):
American funicular; original Angel's Flight, built in 1901, Los Angeles:
Third, I realize that The Lookout Mountain Incline would be more true to the rural and forested ET&WNC prototypes on which i have based the rest of my layout, and that the OLD Incline cars are much nicer than the current model of "urban-bus-like" cars ...
The original Incline Railway, Lookout Mountain, Tennessee, built in 1895; seating is inclined but the car is not:
Second incarnation of trolley-style incline-built cars on The Incline Railway:
Modern (ugly) bus-style cars on The Incline:
.... but Angel's Flight, with its orange and black livery, stair-stepped windows, and fabulous entrance portals, is just "prettier" to me, so i hope to give my funicular cars its basic look.
Angel's Flight in its current position (post 2001) in Los Angeles, with restored portal:
So, now to my questions are:
Are there any ready-to-run European funiculars, for instance from LGB, or must the entire system by hand-built?
(Note that i am not a mechanism-freak -- the model need not actually BE a funicular, just look and operate as one -- battery power or R/C would be fine, even though the rest of my line is track-power.)
If a ready-to-run European-style G-scale set-up exists, could it be kit-bashed to run inclined American-style cars?
If a ready-to-run European-style G-scale set-up exists, is there a builder who could be hired to do the kit-bashing?
All hints, clues, experiences, and pointers to articles on G-scale funicular railways will be gratefully accepted by this newbie non-builder.
The East Tennessee and Western Northern California Railroad
"Future Home of Angel's Flight? -- Well, Let's See About That!"