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Designing a water-balanced railway

The design story

The Centre for Alternative Technology (CAT) is built on the flat top of a slate tip, 30 metres above the car park where many visitors arrive. In the past, limited parking space at the top meant that everyone had to walk up a steep path. Although good exercise for many, access was hard for elderly people, families with small children and people using wheelchairs.

CAT wanted to design a system for transporting people up the cliff that: In the 19th century, the problem of transporting people up and down cliffs was solved by designing cliff railways with water-balanced carriages. Someone suggested that a similar system might work here. The people who worked at the Centre talked through the options together and decided to:



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

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