Dewi's Trains,
Trams & Trolleys

The Great Orme Railway,

Comments/corrections to: Dewi Williams

Date/Time: August, 1952. All photos taken on reversal monochrome film. My camera did NOT have a built-in exposure meter.

The Great Orme is a rocky headland - almost an enormous rock - that marks the Western end of the resort town of Llandudno, North Wales. The Great Orme Railway (now known as the Great Orme Tramway) allows you to ride up the Orme for views, bracing walks, and tea at the Tea-Room. Both names are misnomers, as the railway/tramway is really two funiculars end-to-end. At the time I took these pictures in 1952, the cables were still powered by coal-fired steam engines.

The lower funicular starts in a narrow street, and is laid in a paved roadway with the cable in a conduit like San Francisco cable-cars. The cars are hauled by a single rope driven from the engine-house: as one car ascends, the other descends.

The upper funicular is laid as open tracks, with the cable clearly visible, running over its pulleys. The cars are hauled by an endless cable driven from the engine-house: the cable runs around an idler pulley at the topmost terminus.

I didn't keep any tickets from that visit, but Dave Thompson has been kind enough to provide some:

Related pages: There are recent pictures of the Great Orme Tramway (its current name) at

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This page last updated on 2005-02-22.