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East Hill Cliff Railway: Map

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The upper station and car
View of the line showing both stations
View down the line, also showing the distinctive net shops on the Stade
East Hill Cliff Railway, or East Hill Lift, is a funicular railway located in the Englishmarker seaside town of Hastingsmarker. It provides access to Hastings Country Parkmarker via the East Hill, which overlooks the Old Town and Rock-a-Noremarker, an area to the east of Hastings. The line provides views over the Stade, home to the largest beach launched fishing fleet in Europe.

The line is owned and operated by Hastings Borough Council and has the following technical parameters:

  • Length:
  • Gradient: 78%
  • Cars: 2
  • Capacity: 16 passengers per car
  • Configuration: Double track
  • Gauge:
  • Traction: Electricity


The line was opened in 1903 by Hastings Borough Council. The line was originally operated on the water balance principle, and the twin towers of the upper station contained water tanks for this purpose. The line was modernised between 1973 and 1976, during which time it was converted to electric operation and new cars were provided.

The line was shut in June 2007 because of an incident where a fault in a control panel caused the cars to fail to stop at the correct point, resulting in damage to both cars and stations. In 2008, Hastings Borough Council decided on a major refurbishment involving new cars and new control and safety systems, together with repairs to the damaged stations. It is expected that the line will reopen in October 2009, after a closure of over two years.

Following the closure of lines in Broadstairsmarker and Margatemarker, the East Hill Cliff Railway is now the steepest funicular railway in the United Kingdommarker. It is complemented by the West Hill Cliff Railwaymarker, giving visitors access to Hastings Castlemarker and the Smugglers Adventure in St. Clements Cavesmarker.

References

  1. Broadstairs Cliff Railway (1901-1991)
  2. Margate Cliff Railway (Cliftonville Lido) (1913-1970s)


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