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Saltburn Cliff Tramway – How It Works

Redcar and Cleveland Visual Border

How It Works

Have you ever wondered how the tramway operates or what the most important parts of it are?

Let’s find out!

On June 28 1884 Saltburn’s unique funicular Cliff Tramway opened to the public replacing the vertical hoist.
Still in use today, this incorporates the same ingenious system of counterbalancing water tanks. Two cars each fitted with a 1500 litre water tank, run on parallel tracks, the carriage at the top of the 71% incline has its tank filled with water until it over balances the weight of the carriage 120ft below and gently descends while the lower car ascends.

When the carriage reaches the bottom its water is re-pumped to the top and the process begins again.

The entire operation is controlled by the brake man from the cabin at the top station of the tramway.

Saltburn Cliff Tramway Facts & Figures

Height of Lift: 120 feet
Gradient 1 in 1.40 (71%)
Length of Track: 207 feet
Track Gauge: 4’2.5”
Capacity of Carriage: 12 persons
Motive Power Water balance
Electric pump installed 1924
Capacity of water tanks on each carriage 1500 litres
Journey time Approximately 55 seconds

Did you know…

The original wheel from 1884 that was replaced in 1998 now forms a point of interest as a flower bed outside the top station.

 

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