SN5882 : Cliff railway car

taken 1 month ago, near to Aberystwyth, Ceredigion/Sir Ceredigion, Great Britain

Cliff railway car
Cliff railway car
It was raining!
Aberystwyth Cliff Railway
The Cliff Railway in Aberystwyth climbs Constitution Hill to the north of the town. The hill rises 114m (374') from sea level and the funicular railway climbs most of this height on its 778' (237m) long track. Two carriages counterbalance each other, such that as one ascends the other descends and they meet in the middle. Originally these carriages used the water balance system still employed at Lynton and Lynmouth, but it was electrified in 1921.
This little railway opened on August 1st 1896, though it had had its inauguration ceremony - with a visit from the Prince of Wales (later Edward VII) - the previous year as it was late being completed. It is the longest electric Cliff Railway in Britain, and I think that at the time of its electrification, in the World, though now surpassed.
At one time it was the longest funicular of any kind in Britain, but the Cairngorm Mountain Railway completed in 2001 is considerably longer and higher (and much, much faster), though at a much gentler gradient, so not considered a Cliff Railway.
The track gauge is 4'10" (1.473m) (see note below) and the carriages are hauled on cables by a 55hp electric motor. There are four independent braking systems on the carriages and two more on the winding gear to ensure the safety of passengers. These systems can apparently stop the train within 9 inches.
The little carriages make more than 20,000 journeys a year, and when I visited were operating roughly every 10 to 15 minutes and travel at about 4mph (or 1mph according to a leaflet about Constitution Hill) allowing an enjoyable stately journey up and down the hill.
See their website for more information, ticket prices etc. LinkExternal link
Note: Constitution Hill continues to rise after the area containing the Camera Obscura etc. up to a maximum height of 148m (485') where there is a triangulation pillar.
Note: The Wikipedia article claims that the railway climbs 130m (430') - this must be wrong as the hill itself is only 114m above the summit station - and the Bottom station is not at sea level. I would estimate that the actual vertical rise of the railway is no more than 90m
Also the Wikipedia article states that the gauge of the railway is Standard Gauge (4'8") - but this is not what information at the site itself says.

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SN5882, 654 images   (more nearby )
Photographer
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Date Taken
Tuesday, 5 September, 2017   (more nearby)
Submitted
Saturday, 16 September, 2017
Geographical Context
Historic sites and artefacts  Railways 
Place (from Tags)
Constitution Hill 
Primary Subject of Photo
Railway 
Subject Location
OSGB36: geotagged! SN 5841 8255 [10m precision]
WGS84: 52:25.3533N 4:5.0171W
Camera Location
OSGB36: geotagged! SN 5841 8253
View Direction
North-northeast (about 22 degrees)
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Cliff Railway 

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Image Type (about): geograph 
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