Monday Trivia, No. 142 [Anne wins!]

tehachapiloop

Tehachapi, California: the Tehachapi Loop

California has two of these. Colorado, Tennessee, and Utah each have one. No other functioning exemplars of this exist in the United States. By way of comparison, Canada has three, all of which are in British Columbia.

Globally, the nation with the most of these appears to be either Iran or Switzerland; Switzerland has twelve and I think Iran has the same number, but I cannot determine that with precision. Italy is the runner-up with ten and Bulgaria takes third place with seven.

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43 thoughts on “Monday Trivia, No. 142 [Anne wins!]

      • nested comment re DC hydroelectricity

        Why then would Bulgaria be ranked so high?

        Seems like the “functioning exemplars” is an important clue, suggesting that other US states contain non-functioning (perhaps incomplete or decommissioned) exemplars.

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      • Yeah, I’m with Caleb, dams don’t make sense because China’s not on there (unless, as Kolohe speculates, it is a specific type of dam).

        Per Anne’s guess, and because all areas are fairly mountainous, I’ve checked for things like cable cars, funiculars, and aerial gondolas (Burt’s use of the word “functioning” makes me think it’s mechanical in some way; though it could also be an active geographical feature like volcanoes, geysers, etc.)

        Given Burt’s recent focus on CA rail, I’ve also looked into things like monorails and suspended railways.

        No luck on any of those so far, unless I am missing something.

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      • “Why then would Bulgaria be ranked so high?”

        because they would be using old fashioned commie-era stuff. Ditto Iran. It doesn’t really explain Switzerland though. (unless it’s because their stuff is so well made, it lasts forever).

        Caleb has a good point, China’s absence is telling. And after wikiing, hydro isn’t a big thing in Bulgaria so something about skiing may be better. (I meant to include in my first comment ‘i like that guess, Anne’)

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  1. re: Rails… I also looked into funicular, cog and cable mountain railways, and though Italy and Switzerland are tops in both these (and close, but not exactly what Mr Likko states), there are “examples” of these in Michigan, and Pennsylvania… so I’m not feeling it.

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    • Rail (or highway) tunnels above a certain elevation, or over a certain length, or combination of the two? Or tunnels that connect two separate major drainage areas? California could manage that with tunnels in the Sierras connecting the Pacific drainage on one end and one of Nevada’s closed endorheic drainages. Or built before a certain date (California’s Summit and Spring Garden tunnels, Colorado’s Moffat tunnel) and still in use? Or abandoned rail tunnels matched with some of the above, although that stretches the meaning of “functioning”.

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  2. Congrats to Anne. I wish I’d thought of it.

    But I must protest–there is a railroad spiral in Banff National Park (Alberta), that I believe is still in use. Here’s a pic.

    Nevertheless, a very cool topic for a the Monday Trivia.

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