The Bridgnorth Cliff Railway, also called the Bridgnorth Funicular Railway or Castle Hill Railway, is a funicular train line in the city of Bridgnorth in the English county of Shropshire. The line links the Low Town of Bridgnorth, opposite to the Stream Severn, with the High City , diagonally opposite to the ruins of Bridgnorth Castle. The line is one of 4 funicular railways in the United Kingdom built to identical elementary design ( the others were the Clifton Rocks Railway in Bristol ; the Lynton and Lynmouth Cliff Railway in Devon ; and the Constitution Hill Railway in Aberystwyth, Wales ). It is among the steepest railways in the country, and 1 source ( the info panel outside of the top station ) claims it is both the most steep and shortest. The Bridgnorth Castle Hill Railway Company L.T.D was registered in 1891, and construction started on 2 Nov 1891.
The train line was opened on seven July 1892 by Mayor William Burton, with a public vacation being announced to commemorate the occasion.Originally the train line was powered by an easy system using water and gravity. Water was pumped into a 2k imperial gallon ( 9000 litre ) tank underneath the top auto till its weight, up to 11.5 long tons ( 11.7 metric tonnes ), triumphed over that of the lower vehicle. When the automobile reached the bottom station the tank was emptied and pumped up to a thirty thousand imperial gallon ( 136,000 litre ) tank on top of the higher station.
Between 1943 and 1944 the system was reconstructed to use electricity, with an official re-opening on nine May 1944 by Mayor T.C. Pembro who had taken office just two hours formerly. In 1955 the original heavy wooden automobiles were replaced by the 'up-to-date ' stronger and lighter ( 5.4 long tons, 5.5 metric tonnes ) aluminum monocoque ones still in use today.Each auto can carry up to eighteen passengers.The rails were replaced in about year of 1972 with the bullhead design previously used on mainline railways. A crucial part of the town's framework the train line operates 362 days a year ( it is closed on Xmas day, Fighting Day and New Year's Day ).
Each journey takes about one and a quarter mins, and on a median day roughly 2 hundred trips are made. As of Sep 2009 return tickets cost £1.00 with deductions available for groups.Single tickets aren't available.
The line has the following technical parameters :
* Capacity : eighteen passengers per automobile
* Configuration : Double track
* Track gauge : three foot 6 inches ( 1067 mm )
* Traction : Electricity
* Operation : By hand driven from higher station
* Length : 201 feet ( 61 metres )
* Height : 111 feet ( 34 metres )
* Maximum Steepness : 64%
* Autos : 2
The railway is controlled and run by a personal company, the Bridgnorth Castle Hill Railway Company Limited, which was incorporated in 1970.