I have been to Pittsburgh three times in my life. Once when I was a teenager (16 or 17 years old), once to visit IKEA (4-5 years ago) and on Saturday, April 23, 2016. Of those three times, I have ridden the Duquesne Incline two times. Both times were memorable. When I was there as a teenager it was because this was my first time to a “big city” without my parents. This time, it was because I got to use a little bit of sign language and enjoy making another memory with my husband, Bobby.
The Duquesne Incline is an impressive form of transportation. Bobby and I each paid the 50 cents needed to access the gear room of the incline. The gears rotate so the cable “rope” can pull the car up the 30-degree incline for a total of 794 feet to the top of Mt. Washington. The view is amazing. There is a lookout at the top of the incline that allows you to see where the three rivers converge and a view of downtown of Pittsburgh.
When Bobby and I got to the Incline, we made the mistake of trying to park by the “Lower Station.” First off, the gravel lot next to the station isn’t for parking–at least not for tourist. Second off, it is a treacherous, pothole covered, gravel parking lot. This we did not know until we tried to traverse it. After seeing the sign that there was “no parking for the Duquesne Incline,” we headed to the actual parking lot. That is located on West Station Square Drive. The lot is still gravel, but much less dangerous.
After paying for parking at the Kiosk, Bobby and I walked up the many stair steps to the Lower Station. You have to have exact change when riding the Incline. One way trips are $2.50 per person. A round trip (up the incline and back down) is $5.00. I’m not sure why you would only ride one way, but maybe that’s because I am a tourist.
Our trip up the incline lasts 80 seconds. The car we rode up was full. There was a larger family group (probably 6-7 people), another group of four, a family of three and then two other couples besides Bobby and me. The group of four seemed a little nervous. The man had to keep reassuring the three women he was with. The large family group must have ridden the incline before, because they were also reassuring the women. The family of three were using sign language. Since I know a little, I tried not to watch, as that is like eaves dropping–at least too me.
It was cool to watch the cars pass each other on the track. Since the incline has been in operation since 1877 with just two years when it was being restored (1962-1964), I can’t imagine how often this has happened (one car passing the other), still to us, it was pretty neat.
Once we were at the top, we went to the lookout. Bobby took some pictures of the large family group together. The family using sign language was taking turns with getting their pictures. That is when I signed to them and asked if they wanted their picture together.
Then I had Bobby take the picture (since he is much better photographer than me). The trip on the incline itself was 160 seconds, but with the pictures Bobby took, it will be one I remember for a long time.