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. Usually, the tanks are empty at the beginning of the journey. [4] Its construction was financed mainly by his business partner, publisher Sir George Newnes[5] who owned a large residence at Hollerday Hill and who also backed the Lynton & Barnstaple Railway in 1898 and the construction of Lynton Town Hall in 1900. [2], In 1888, an Act of Parliament authorised the formation of the Lynmouth & Lynton Lift Company. Due to the steepness of the railway, the original carriages incorporated four independent braking systems, the primary system using hydraulically-actuated callipers that directly clamp onto the under-side of the rail heads, secondary friction brakes are provided by steel shoes that press onto the rails; water instead of oil is used as hydraulic fluid, a unique feature of the Lynmouth & Lynton Cliff Railway. The Lynton and Lynmouth Cliff Railway is a water-powered funicular railway joining the twin towns of Lynton and Lynmouth on the rugged coast of North Devon in southwest England. Leas Lift in Kent, England. Once a sufficient imbalance is achieved, the brakes are released and the funicular is set into motion solely by gravity. [5], In April 2018, the cliff railway was briefly closed for safety checks following a landslip near the middle bridge. [2], Coordinates: 51°13′53″N 3°50′04″W / 51.2314°N 3.8344°W / 51.2314; -3.8344. So when one car goes up, the other comes down. After passengers had boarded both cars, the operator at the upper station is informed of the number of passengers that had entered the ascending car. [2], The cliff railway opened on Easter Monday, 7 April 1890,[7] and has been in continuous use ever since. 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. [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. 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. It is the world's highest and steepest water-powered cliff railway in operation.[1]. Ponies, donkeys and carriages were available for hire, but the steep gradients led to the animals having short working lives. As the 19th century progressed, it was apparent that the cliffs were restricting the transport of goods between the villages and deterring prospective visitors. [11][2], In June 1995, the upper and lower waiting rooms were given Grade II listed status. 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 high cliffs separating Lynton and Lynmouth made travel and economic development in the area difficult. In 1885, another proposal was made for a pier and cliff lift. Its flat platforms were converted into passenger carriages in 1947. [13][4] The cars require no power to operate, and the system has a relatively low carbon footprint. The track uses Bullhead rails. Originally the line used larch sleepers bolted to the exposed rock, and in places to blocks of concrete. 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. The two cars on the funicular are attached by a cable, so when one car is at the top, one is at the bottom. [6] The railway was completed in February 1890. [6], An unusual feature is the halt just below Lynton station at North Walk which has road access. [6] Each car has a 700-imperial-gallon (3,182 L; 841 US gal) tank mounted between the wheels. A few examples of water-power funiculars still operating are the Lynton and Lynmouth Cliff Railway, in North Devon (operating since 1890), the Bom Jesus do Monte Funicular in Braga, Portugal (operating since 1882), the Leas Lift in Kent, England (operating since 1885), the Nerobergbahn in Wiesbaden, Germany (operating since 1888), the Saltburn Cliff Lift in North Yorkshire, England (operating since 1884), and the Funiculaire Neuveville-St.Pierre in Fribourg, Switzerland (operating since 1899). The system originally used single cables, but this was later replaced by double cables, presumably as a safety measure. The Lynton and Lynmouth Cliff Railway is one of only three fully water powered railways in the world. The lift operates using water and gravity and is controlled from a small cabin at the top of the cliff. {{posts[0].commentsNum}} {{messages_comments}}, {{posts[1].commentsNum}} {{messages_comments}}, {{posts[2].commentsNum}} {{messages_comments}}, {{posts[3].commentsNum}} {{messages_comments}}, George Cayley: The Man Who Invented Flight, Pericles' Funeral Oration, The Most Famous Speech in History, How Alexander Turned The Island of Tyre Into a Peninsula, The Hanging Cages of St. Lambert's Church in Münster, Anatoli Bugorski: The Man Who Stuck His Head Inside a Particle Accelerator. The cliffs posed difficulties for the burgeoning tourist industry in the region. The lower platform was fitted with inter-connected hydraulic buffers - the arriving down car would push the water from its pair of buffers through a narrow pipe into the opposite pair, thus setting them for the next descending car. [6] During the descent, the speed is controlled by a driver in each car; they communicate using hand signals to synchronise their efforts. Robert Jones, was appointed the contractor to build the cliff railway; Jones also contributed to the system's design. The Lynton and Lynmouth Cliff Railway is a water-powered funicular railway joining the twin towns of Lynton and Lynmouth on the rugged coast of North Devon in southwest England. At the end of the journey, the descending car is emptied of water and the process is repeated. [2], Water is piped over 1 mile (1.6 km) from the West Lyn River through 5-inch (127 mm) diameter pipes to a storage reservoir at the upper station. 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 completed railway was opened on Easter Monday 1890; it has been in continuous use since. The scheme would have used a stationary steam engine at Lynton but was not progressed. Lynton and Lynmouth are separated by a high cliff, making it hard for people and goods to move between them. [2] The cars were horizontal platforms with sprung, demountable passenger carriage bodies on them. © Amusing Planet, 2020. In the late 1800s, interest arose in building a funicular or cliff lift to join them. 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! The collapse, caused by a combination of heavy rain, freezing conditions, and high winds, deposited debris onto the track; the railway was not operating at the time. [2], Construction started in 1887. Photo credit: Phil Beard/Flickr. Some historic funiculars made the system even more energy-efficient by using water as the motive force. It was given the perpetual rights to extract up to 272,760 litres of river water from the Lyn Valley per day. [5] Jones served as the company's engineer until 1921. The last one is of particular interest as it utilizes waste water coming from a sewage plant to power the funicular. Once passengers have loaded at both stations, water is added to the tank in the upper car until it begins to descend, hauling the lower car up the incline. Thankfully, some still operate to this day. In 1887, construction commenced and a year later, an Act of Parliament authorised the Lynmouth & Lynton Lift Company to operate it. [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. [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%).