Great Orme Tramway

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Great Orme Tramway

The lower section of the Great Orme Tramway opened in July 1902. When the upper section opened a year later, tourists could ride almost to the summit of the Great Orme from Llandudno. This allowed visitors to enjoy the vista from the top without having to make a steep ascent and descent on foot.

photo_of_great_orme_tramwayVictoria station, the tramway’s starting point in Llandudno, was named after Victoria House, demolished to make way for the tramway. The line was designed to work as two halves, to match the capacity of the power equipment available at the time to haul the tramcars up the steep gradient. The split also enables the tramcars to run twice as often as they would if there were one long line. The lower section is just under 800 metres in length, the upper 756 metres.

Each section has two tramcars, which pass each other at the midpoint. The steepest part is the first section out of Victoria station, where the gradient is up to 1 in 3.6. While the upper section is segregated from road traffic (except at level crossings), the lower section runs partly in the road. Here the cable between the rails, which hauls the tramcars, is buried in a trough with only a narrow slit open along the roadway. Traffic signals, including special lights for the trams, are provided where the track crosses Tŷ Gwyn Road.

A fatal accident occurred in 1932 when a component broke on a tramcar descending the steepest section. Automatic brakes were introduced in 1934. The tramway passed into municipal ownership in 1949 and is now owned and operated by Conwy County Borough Council. In 2000-01, Conwy CBC upgraded the tramway with improved control equipment and a new building at Halfway station.

Where is this HiPoint?

Website of the Great Orme Tramway

Postcode: LL30 2NB

Other RAILWAY HiPoints in this area:
Great Orme tramcars
Deganwy rail station

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