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cliff railway aberystwythDid you know….

Aberystwyth is home to the longest funicular railway in Britain.

The railway still runs to this day up and down the side of Constitution Hill providign amazing views of the town for those who don’t fancy the steep path to the summit.

The cliff railway consists of two connected cars on cables which carry 30 people each, with a large horizontal wheel at the station at the top of the hill. As the wheel turns, powered by electricity it lowers one carriage down the hill, and another carriage up the hill.

The railway was opened in 1896 and was built by the Aberystwyth Improvement Company, and was popular with the victorian tourists of the time, and is still popular with many people today.

When the path for the track was put into the side of the hill, it was not wide enough for the carriages to pass one another, hence the small bend in the tracks at the point where they pass one another every time they go up or down the hill. In total it climbs 130 metres in just 237 metres, which makes it steeper than a 1:2 gradient. The middle section involved the removal of around 12,000 tonnes of rock from Constitution Hill in total.

It was originally powered by water, until its conversion to electricity in 1921. The cars are known as Lord Geraint and Lord Marks (named after George Croydon Marks who designed the Pier Pavillion and Constitution Hill).

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