Charles Dickens on the portage railway

“On Sunday we arrived at the foot of the mountain which is crossed by a railway. There are ten inclined planes, five ascending and five descending; the carriages are dragged up the former and let slowly down the latter by means of stationary engines; the comparatively level space between being traversed, sometimes by horses and sometimes by engine power as the case demands. Occasionally the rails are laid upon the extreme verge of a giddy precipice, and looking from the carriage window the traveller gazed sheer down without a stone or scrap of fence between, into the mountain depths below…” American Notes, 1842