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Funicular Railways Here and in Europe

Discussion in 'Narrow Gauge Railways' started by Roger Farnworth, Apr 2, 2018.

  1. 30854

    30854 Resident of Nat Pres

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    Blimey. We're really not pulling our weight in the UK!

    I'm aware of one here in Sussex (The Devil's Dyke Steep Grade Railway) which closed well before WWI - apparently due to 'safety concerns' - after a fairly short and unremarkable existence. There was an 'aerial cableway' up there too ... somewhere. Unless you know what to look for, evidence of either is tricky to spot these days.

    I couldn't imagine South Downs National Park having any truck with notions of restoring either facility, despite the lack of all but pedestrian access to/from Poynings and other villages north of The Downs.

    Current facilities at 'The Dyke' comprise an open-top bus service (Brighton & Hove service No.77. Sat/Sun & Public Hols only), some 'popular' car parks (remember that episode of BBC TV 'Sherlock' - "The Hounds of Baskerville" - the one with the mysterious lights flashing morse code? 'Nuff said!), a pub so soul-less that even I've never felt the slightest desire to enter (!) and non-wildlife related daytime entertainment which comes courtesy of endless barneys between kite flyers, model aircraft enthusiasts and the hang gliding brigade!

    There's not much on-line on the 'Steep Grade'. Here's one of the better articles:

    http://www.mybrightonandhove.org.uk/page_id__8046_path__0p115p195p789p.aspx
     
  2. Forestpines

    Forestpines Part of the furniture

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    In my experience the "triangular frame" design is more popular in the UK. I suspect there are two advantages: it makes the carriagework simpler, and probably streamlines the embarking and disembarking process. Most of the funiculars I am familiar with use the triangular frame design with end doors on the carriages, which are not really possible with a stepped design.
     
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  3. 30854

    30854 Resident of Nat Pres

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    The thing you can do with the trianular framed design is hoik the superstructure off to provide a flat platform for transporting anything which fits on said platform.

    The Lynton&Lynmouth lift (whose cars feature a readily removable superstructure) has a road access point below Lynton platform, primarily to enable maintenance kit to be readily loaded/unloaded.

    I'm unaware of any hydraulic cable lift using the stepped format. A stepped water tank is conceivable, but would call for a far more complex shape with much more potential to spring a leak.

    The late Bill Brewer, a modeller of no small distinction and father of the Greenwich Gorilla (Dave of that ilk ... who left us well before his time), constructed a marvellous counterbalanced funicular which was a popular feature at many a Greenwich & District NG Railway Society exhibition. Unfortunately, I've no idea whether this model is still in existence or who now owns it.
     
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  4. CLN_WVR

    CLN_WVR Member

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    As far as I know the Aberystwyth one began as hydraulic and was then converted - of course this might mean the carriages were also changed during the conversion

    Oh and thanks for the info about the practicalities of a flat platform
     
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  5. 35B

    35B Nat Pres stalwart

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  6. 48624

    48624 New Member

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    I've been on two in Genoa but I think there's three altogether.
     

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