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Hay Inclined Plane, Coalport
Coalport, Shropshire
Hay Inclined Plane, Coalport
associated engineer
William Reynolds
date  1792 - 1793
era  Georgian  |  category  Railway  |  reference  SJ693026
ICE reference number  HEW 639
photo  Jane Joyce
In the background of the picture can be seen the twin rails (restored) of the inclined plane that used to transport boats up and down the hill between the Shropshire Canal and the River Severn.
The canal is at the top of the hill, the river at the bottom. In the foreground of the photo is the lower basin, restored in 1976.
The parallel sets of rails were used to raise and lower tub-boats on trolleys, one on each track, moving simultaneously. As the main goods traffic was down, the loaded boat descending provided enough power for the empty boat to rise.
The trolleys were linked to a common winding drum that acted as a brake wheel. They were lifted through a vertcal height of 207ft at a gradient of about 1 in 4. A pair of 5-ton boats took 3 and a half minutes to make the trip. The same lift through conventional locks would have taken over 3 hours.
At the top, the loaded boats were lifted over the sill of the basin using a steam-powered beam engine.
The plane closed in 1907 and the original rails were removed in 1910.
reference sources   CEH W&W

Hay Inclined Plane, Coalport