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Dubuque, Iowa: Fenelon Place Elevator

An incline railway that runs 296 feet up and down a hill. Built as a cable car in 1882 by rich banker J.K. Graves: his house was at the top of the hill, his bank was at the bottom, and he wanted a short-cut so he'd have time to go home for lunch and take a nap.

512 Fenelon Place, Dubuque, IA
South side of downtown. Runs up and down the hillside between Fenelon Place and W. 4th St. Better to park at the top (residential street parking) and go down to visit shops at bottom in Cable Car Square, then ride elevator back up to top; at bottom there are parking meters.
Daily April-Nov. 8am-10pm (Call to verify) Local health policies may affect hours and access.
Round-trip $4.
RA Rates:
Worth a Detour
Save to My Sights

Visitor Tips and News About Fenelon Place Elevator

Reports and tips from visitors and Roadside America mobile tipsters. Some tips may not be verified. Submit your own tip.

Fenelon Place Elevator.

Fenelon Place Elevator

Round-trip is now $4. We found out that the turnstile was brought back from the 1893 Columbian Exposition in Chicago! The citizens that had taken over the elevator wanted to rebuild it with cutting edge technology, so they went to the Fair and brought back the turnstile, steel cable, and a streetcar motor to run it. It used to be a cable car system where the cars hung above the ground, but after another fire they decided to make it a rail car system with the cars on the ground.

The Fenelon Place Elevator website bills it as the "Shortest and Steepest Railroad in the World!"

[Hannah Hudson, 05/22/2023]

A belated thank you to the 19th century citizens of Dubuque for making their odd transportation system even better.

Fenelon Place Elevator

Great view from the upper deck even if you don't ride the train. Cash only.

[LAT, 08/02/2021]


Fenelon Place Elevator

The Fenelon Place Elevator is exactly as described by your previous tipsters. Price is now $3.00. Definitely worth a detour!

[Alan Mitchell, 05/07/2013]

The posted instruction for travelers: "Cable car is operated from above," gives this particular elevator a reassuring touch of divinity.

Fenelon Place Elevator

Cheap ride with a great history brochure. Take the kids! You can park and ride from either the top or bottom of the elevator.

[Dana, 07/29/2012]

Fenelon Place Elevator.

Fenelon Place Elevator

The Fourth Street Elevator is a funicular railway located in Dubuque, Iowa. Also known as the Fenelon Place Elevator, it is claimed to be the shortest and steepest railroad in the world (although several other funiculars also make this claim). It is listed in the National Register of Historic Places

[Richard Stockman, 02/26/2012]

Nearby Offbeat Places

Miniature Statue Of LibertyMiniature Statue Of Liberty, Dubuque, IA - < 1 mi.
Miniature Statue of LibertyMiniature Statue of Liberty, Dubuque, IA - < 1 mi.
Walk-Thru CatfishWalk-Thru Catfish, Dubuque, IA - < 1 mi.
In the region:
Big Carved Cardinal, Darlington, WI - 31 mi.

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