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Castle Hill Railway, Bridgnorth
Castle Hill, Bridgnorth, Shropshire
Castle Hill Railway, Bridgnorth
associated engineer
George Croydon Marks
date  November 1891 - 7th July 1892
UK era  Victorian  |  category  Railway  |  reference  SO716930
ICE reference number  HEW 1703
photo  Jane Joyce
England's only inland cliff railway. With an average slope of 1 in 1.5, it is also claimed to be the steepest in Britain. It has twin cars, one per track, each seating 18 people.
A deep rock cutting with vertical sides has been made in Castle Hill to take the railway, which runs from road level at the main bridge over the River Severn up to Castle Walk, 111ft above.
Two lines of flat-bottomed rail laid on sleepers bolted to the rock carry the cars. The guage is 3ft 6in.
These days, the rail is powered by electric motor, at a maximum speed of 250ft per minute. However, originally the cars were connected together by two steel cables running on rollers between the rails and made the journey up the hill by water power. Each car had a 2,000 gallon tank beneath it. The tank of the lower car was emptied, which put the system sufficiently out of balance to move the car upwards. Two gas-powered engines circulated the water.
The system was altered in 1944. Each car was given its own haulage rope, running over a pair of linked drums. A common safety rope ran over the original head wheel. The electric motors went in at this time too.
The original cars were coach-built tram-type ones. These were replaced in 1943 and again in 1955, which are the versions we have today. The cars sit on triangular steel frameworks.
Hydraulic brakes were installed at the beginning. These were controlled by a brakeman inside the car. Later the brakes were controlled from the top station, leaving only automatic safety brakes on the car. The system now has air operated brakes.
reference sources   CEH W&W

Castle Hill Railway, Bridgnorth