The etymology from funicular refers to the Latin word funicŭlus, which translates as "rope" . The term allows naming a vehicle which is betrayed through a cable , a rope , a chain or a similar element.
The most common use of the concept refers to funicular railway , which is used to Climb terrain with steep slopes by using cables . This type of vehicle does not have its own displacement capacity: mobility is given by an engine that allows driving a pulley , which moves the cable used for traction. The funiculars, however, have their own braking systems in case there is a problem with the cable, the pulley or the motor.
The operation of a funicular is similar to that of a elevator or elevator , although the funiculars circulate on rails . Usually it's about two cabins of which one goes up and the other goes down, taking advantage of the potential energy.
It is possible to find funiculars in many countries . The Chilean city of Valparaiso , for example, is famous for its funiculars that facilitate the ascent to the hills. The first of these elevators began operating in 1883 .
The Chilean capital also has funiculars: it is located in the Santiago Metropolitan Park . These were opened in 1925 to favor the arrival at the top of the Hill San Cristobal .
The funicular of Montjuïc , on the other hand, it is a public transport that allows you to go from Barcelona to the mountain of Montjuïc . He system , which has two stations, runs almost 800 meters and allows to ascend 76 meters.
It is important to note that the funicular is one of the oldest creations of the human being to perform paths to high-rise sites, inaccessible or too dangerous to do on foot. Its invention took place more than a century ago, although some scholars point out that there is evidence of its existence in the seventeenth century.
Let us not forget that for several centuries only a few people could reach the tops most imposing: whether they were the wealthiest or who had the greatest physical preparation, it was a true elite who could carry out expeditions that were not within reach of the majority. Thanks to the arrival of the funiculars, and later of the cable cars, such a line was dissolved to allow anyone to know these stunning landscapes.
While currently no person outside the world of mountaineering he imagines ascending to some of the highest peaks without the help of a funicular, it goes without saying that the work of many people in really dangerous situations was necessary for its manufacture. The comfort offered by this technology, which has advanced a lot since its inception, faces risk lovers and those who simply want to know the mountains without making any physical effort.
Something similar happens with shelters : While the fearless climbers argue that luxury and sophistication are not necessary, but that it is enough to focus on protection, many require a deployment of architectural technology to offer an experience similar to that of a five-star hotel.
According to historians, the first known Spanish funicular is that of Tibidabo; it was built in the Serra de Collserola, Barcelona, in 1901. On the other hand, one of the most modern, that of Mamariga, dates from 2010 and is located in the municipality of Santurce, in the Basque Country. Among the reasons that led to the emergence and development of the funicular as a means of transport to and from peaks Mountainous are tourism and population growth in regions with steep slopes.