How it Works
Understanding a funicular system
The Great Orme Tramway operates by a funicular system and is controlled by a team of Winchmen and Attendants. What is a funicular system? Allow us to explain…
On a funicular system such as the Great Orme Tramway the descending tram moves easily down the track. The downward gradient and gravity help it on its way.
The ascending tram needs a lot of help. It is impossible for a heavy vehicle to climb such a steep slope and against gravity without a form of power to help it. Some of this power is found in the descending tram.
The trams are linked by cable which makes it possible for the one tram to pull the other up.
The Winding Shed, found at the top of the tracks contains a large winding drum that the cable is wrapped around the several times. This ensures there’s sufficient friction for the brake to slow the speed of the wagons without the cable slipping.
The Tramway is controlled from the engine house at the Halfway Station. When you visit here look out for the powerful electric motors, and for the drums and cables which are attached to the trams. Here also are the two Winchmen who control the motors, one winchman for the upper track and one for the lower track.