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Designing a water-balanced railway

Ten cliff railway facts

  • 1. It is 30 metres high.
  • 2. It travels a distance of 53 metres.
  • 3. The carriages weigh 3.5 tonnes each, plus up to 1.5 tonnes for the water tanks.
  • 4. The cables weigh half a tonne.
  • 5. On a typical summers day, the railway makes about 100 runs a day.
  • 6. The railways average speed is 0.7 metres per second (+/- 20%).
  • 7. On an average day, 100,000 litres of water are sent down, 10% of which is pumped back up.
  • 8. It takes 50 seconds to completely fill the 1600 litre tank.
  • 9. There are 189 steps from the bottom station to the top station.
  • 10.It is the only railway of its kind in Europe.

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    Practical Action - Technology challenging povertyEuropean Commission - Department for International Development

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