The Saltburn Cliff Tramway transports its passengers the 207 feet of its tracks on a gradient of 71% in just 55 seconds – controlled by carefully balanced water and a brake man at the top.
It might sound scary, but this unique funicular tramway has been delighting visitors since it opened in June 1884, 135 years ago! Refurbishments last summer have seen the red and white docking stations and carriages returned to their former glory.
The intriguing history of both the tramway and the town of Saltburn itself are explained by the staff – all with a typical sense of Yorkshire humour!
Now the oldest water balanced funicular in operation in Great Britain, the Saltburn Cliff Tramway links the quaint Victorian town of Saltburn with the only remaining pleasure pier on the North East and Yorkshire coast.
The tramway uses an ingenious system of counterbalancing water tanks. Each of the two carriages – which hold up to 12 people – is fitted with a 1500 litre water tank. The carriage at the top has its tank filled with water until it over balances the weight of the carriage 120 feet below, and descends the cliff pulling its counter up the slope.
Whether you’re riding for the magical nostalgia or just to give tired legs a break after a day building sandcastles on Saltburn’s beach, you’re sure to be amazed by the precision engineering and stunning views of the majestic Yorkshire coastline.