Western State Normal Railroad
Western State Normal College (Western Michigan University today) operated a cable railcar known as a funicular between 1908 and 1949. The cable car railroad helped students and faculty travel up the hill between David Street and East Hall, a welcome respite from the often icy stairs that led up what was then known as Prospect Hill. Changes to the design of the campus, along with the proliferation of private automobiles, led to declining need for the funicular. From a peak of over two thousand passengers per day, Western State Normal Railroad ceased operations in 1949. This replica of one of the cars and a section of track was built be engineering students in 2003.
Backstory and Context