Dinorwig quarry inclines
Dinorwig quarry inclines, Gilfach Ddu, Llanberis
To each side of the Llanberis Lake Railway’s Gilfach Ddu station are inclined planes, once used to bring slate down from quarry faces high in the nearby mountains.
To the south-east (turn right as you leave the station) is the foot of the Garret Side incline system. Walk up it a little way to see close up how the system allowed the weight of descending laden wagons to haul the empties up. A cable connected both sets of wagons, resting on rollers between the rails. The cable passed over a winding drum at the top, where brakes were used to regulate the wagons’ speed.
This incline was the bottom section of a string of inclines that brought slate from workings c.200 metres (2,000ft) above sea level. A similar incline existed at the far side (the Braich, or “branch”, side) of the Dinorwg quarries. Significant civil engineering was required to maintain an even descent, with towering dry-stone walls constructed in places.
To the north of the station was a flight of platform inclines, alongside the Vivian quarry. The second lowest of these, the V2 incline, was restored to working order in 2001by the National Slate Museum, with support from the Heritage Lottery Fund. This incline, built in the 1870s, features two large wagons, each providing a level surface on which small quarry wagons can sit. It uses the same gravity-powered funicular principle as the Garret Side incline. The museum occasionally demonstrates the V2 incline in operation.
Postcode: LL55 4TY