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East Cliff Railway

East Cliff
United Kingdom

Category: Attraction

The Heritage Trail - Bournemouth Cliff Trams

The East Cliff Railway, or East Cliff Lift, is a funicular railway located in the English seaside resort of Bournemouth. The line serves to link the seaside promenade and beach with the cliff top and the town behind.

The line is owned and operated by Bournemouth Borough Council and has the following technical parameters:

* Length: 170 feet (52 m)
* Gradient: 68.9%
* Cars: 2
* Capacity: 12 passengers per car
* Configuration: Double track
* Gauge: 5 feet 6 inches (1.68 m)
* Traction: Electricity

The line was constructed for Bournemouth Corporation, and opened in 1908. It was electrically operated from the start, with winding gear situated at the upper station driven by a 25 horsepower (19 kW) winding motor. The line was controlled by a driver at the upper station, assisted by an attendant at the lower station. Wooden-bodied cars were used.

The cars were replaced in the 1960s by aluminium-bodied cars intended to be interchangeable across all three of Bournemouth's surviving cliff railways. In 1987 the track was re-laid, and during the 1990s the line was further upgraded with the installation of an electronic control system.

The East Cliff Railway is one of three such cliff railways in Bournemouth, the other two being the West Cliff Railway and the Fisherman's Walk Cliff Railway. All three operate between April and October.


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