[8] Larger freight items, including motor cars, were moved by the railway into the late 1950s. Many water-powered funiculars were later fitted with electric motors. [2] Most goods, including coal, lime, foodstuffs and other essentials, were delivered by sea to Lynmouth and then carried by packhorses and carts up the steep hill to Lynton. [6], An unusual feature is the halt just below Lynton station at North Walk which has road access. Ponies, donkeys and carriages were available for hire, but the steep gradients led to the animals having short working lives. Funiculars are an odd mode of transport, but at the same time, they are one of the most energy-efficient one. The cliffs posed difficulties for the burgeoning tourist industry in the region. The Lynton and Lynmouth Cliff Railway releasing water from the tanks. [2] The cars were horizontal platforms with sprung, demountable passenger carriage bodies on them. [13][4] The cars require no power to operate, and the system has a relatively low carbon footprint. Local contractor Robert Jones was involved in designing the funicular's innovative braking system and the line's construction and maintenance in the first decades of its operation. [6] The wooden sleepers have since been replaced with modern concrete ones. In 1885, another proposal was made for a pier and cliff lift. [6] The railway was completed in February 1890. Its flat platforms were converted into passenger carriages in 1947. The other are the Bom Jesus do Monte Funicular in Braga, Portugal, and the Funiculaire Neuveville-St.Pierre in Fribourg, Switzerland. Halfway up the incline is a passing bay where increased separation of the tracks allows the car to pass. The civil engineer George Croydon Marks played a key role in both its design and bringing in financing from his business partner, Sir George Newnes. Lynton and Lynmouth are separated by a high cliff, making it hard for people and goods to move between them. [5] When the descending car arrives at the lower station, its tank is emptied ready for the return journey. A cutting was excavated in the limestone cliff to form the trackbed and three bridges were built over it to carry existing cliff paths. The Lynton and Lynmouth Cliff Railway is also unique. They are attached to cables running up and down from each car and passing round 5 ft 6 in (1.676 m) pulleys at each end of the incline, an example of a bottom towrope used to balance the weight of the cables. Get a round-up of all our stories published during the past week delivered to your email every Saturday. The weight of the two cars counterbalances each other, so that only a minimal amount of energy is required to pull up the ascending car, which is usually provided by an electric motor. [5], In April 2018, the cliff railway was briefly closed for safety checks following a landslip near the middle bridge. Former water-powered funicular railways converted to electricity‎ (22 P) Pages in category "Water-powered funicular railways" The following 7 pages are in this category, out of 7 total. The famous Lynton and Lynmouth funicular Cliff Railway opened in 1890 and is the highest and the steepest totally water powered railway in the world! [9][10] During rail replacement operations in winter 2006, the halt was used for access and material storage. Once a sufficient imbalance is achieved, the brakes are released and the funicular is set into motion solely by gravity. [5] Jones served as the company's engineer until 1921. Most water-powered funicular needs water to be pumped up the hill to fill the tanks at the upper station, but in Lynton and Lynmouth Cliff Railway the water is discarded and fresh water is taken from a nearby river requiring no pumping. [6] During the descent, the speed is controlled by a driver in each car; they communicate using hand signals to synchronise their efforts. The Leas Lift is a grade II* listed funicular railway that carries passengers between the seafront and the promenade in Folkestone, Kent.Originally installed in 1885, it is one of the oldest water lifts in the UK. While early use was largely focused on moving freight, the funicular railway became popular with tourists and it became mostly used for passenger travel. The scheme would have used a stationary steam engine at Lynton but was not progressed. [12], The railway has two cars, each carrying up to 40 passengers. The lift operates using water and gravity and is controlled from a small cabin at the top of the cliff. [2], Coordinates: 51°13′53″N 3°50′04″W / 51.2314°N 3.8344°W / 51.2314; -3.8344. It was given the perpetual rights to extract up to 272,760 litres of river water from the Lyn Valley per day. Originally the line used larch sleepers bolted to the exposed rock, and in places to blocks of concrete. [2], The parallel 3 ft 9 in (1,143 mm) gauge tracks rise 500 feet (152.4 m) and are 862 feet (262.7 m) long, giving the line a gradient of 1:1.724 (58%). This historic funicular Cliff Railway is bronze winner of Devon's Large Attraction of the Year 2018. While most of its incline railway contemporaries were steam driven, The Funicular of Fribourg ingeniously used something a city with a brewery has in abundance: waste water. Holidaymakers arrived at Lynmouth on paddle steamers from Bristol and Swansea and other ports in the Bristol Channel, from about 1820. [11][2], In June 1995, the upper and lower waiting rooms were given Grade II listed status. [2], In 1881, proposals for a tramway or a rail-based lift emerged. He then knows the exact amount of water that needs to be filled into the tank of the upper car to make it heavier than the car at the bottom of the hill. The last one is of particular interest as it utilizes waste water coming from a sewage plant to power the funicular. Thankfully, some still operate to this day. So when one car goes up, the other comes down. Funiculaire Neuveville-St.Pierre, the world’s only poo-powered funicular. [3][2], The water-powered railway was designed by civil engineer George Croydon Marks, who provided the company's engineering expertise. [2], The cliff railway opened on Easter Monday, 7 April 1890,[7] and has been in continuous use ever since. The track uses Bullhead rails. The system originally used single cables, but this was later replaced by double cables, presumably as a safety measure. [2] On 18 September 2014, the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMECHE) recognised the railway as a unique and outstanding example of British engineering as the first public water-powered total-loss funicular railway in the UK.