Funicular do Monte Serrat
This electric funicular links Santos downtown, at sea level, with the top of Monte Serrat ("Serrat Hill"), 157 m above. This funicular, with 242 meters of length, was planned in 1910. However, due to the difficulties imposed by World War I, its construction only began in 1923. It was inaugurated in 1927; seven years later a casino was built in the top of this hill. In 1946 the Brazilian government forbidden gambling and the casino was closed. However, the funicular remained alive and kicking even after the closure of the casino; its building lodges the machines of the funicular, a snack bar, a convention center, a belvedere and radio and TV antennas. The view from the belvedere is splendorous, particularly in clear days: almost all Santos harbour, historical downtown, the beaches, Santo Amaro island, Bertioga channel, the Serra do Mar and so on.
This funicular was planned in Germany; it is powered by a 100 HP AEG electrical motor, with a 64 HP Marelli emergency motor. It has two 4.0 meter flywheels, the first one for adherence and the second for traction; this one weights 12,000 kg. This system has two brake systems: manual and automatic. The cars are pulled by a 1 1/2 inch diameter steel cable which can deal with loads up to 90 tons. The two cars operates in a synchronized way; each one can carry 45 passengers and has a total weight of 6 tons. Each trip is done in four minutes.
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Last Update: 20 March 2003
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© Antonio Augusto Gorni