Shropshire History

Shropshire Inclines

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Image result for incline railway

 

An incline, or cable railway, is a steeply graded railway that uses a cable or rope wound on a winch drum. Some systems had parallel tracks, while others had a single track but with a passing place in the middle. Yet others had three rails in parallel where the middle rail was shared. These were powered by different methods, ie

 

Stationary Engine – an engine drives the winding drum to haul wagons to the top of the incline and provide braking for descending loads. Only a single track and cable is required for this type.

 

Gravity Balance - two parallel tracks are used, with an ascending empty wagon on one and a descending full wagon on the other. A single cable is attached to both trains and wound around a winding drum at the top of the incline to provide braking. The weight of the full wagon is thus used to lift the ascending empty one.  The main disadvantage is that loads can only be moved downhill but it is less expensive than a powered one.

 

Platform Incline – worked in a similar way to gravity inclines but the wagons were pushed on and off platforms on wheels attached to the rope rather than running on their own wheels.

 

Water Balance – worked in a similar way to the platform incline but had a water tank fitted.  The weight of the empty truck at the top is increased by adding water to the tank until it is heavier than the wagon travelling uphill. At this point gravity allows the uphill train to ascend. At the bottom, the water tank is emptied. The advantage of this system is that loads can be hauled uphill.

 

 

Canal Inclines

 

Brierly Hill Incline (SJ669051)

Captain Ahab

This was on the Shropshire Canal, which linked Donnington Wood with Coalport and Coalbrookdale. It was at the terminus of the Coalbrookdale branch and goods were transferred to wagons to go down the incline. More details are HERE.

 

Hay Incline (SJ695027)

P J Whitehead

This was on the Shropshire Canal, which linked Donnington Wood with Coalport and Coalbrookdale. It was on the Coalport branch and lowered boats down to river level. It had a 207ft rise and was a counter balanced incline using full boats to pull up empty ones on a double track incline.  More details are HERE.

 

Hugh’s Bridge Incline (SJ739150)

This was on the Donnington Canal, which linked coal mines at Donnington Wood and a wharf at Wrockwardine Wood with limeworks at Lilleshall. The incline lowered the barges down to the level of the quarries. It had a 369ft rise and was a steam assisted twin incline. More details are HERE.

 

Ketley Incline (SJ679106)

P Whitehead

This was on the Ketley Canal, which linked coal and iron mines at Oakengates with an ironworks at Ketley.

It had a 73ft rise and was a counter balanced incline using full boats to pull up empty ones on a double track incline.  More details are HERE.

 

Trench Incline (SJ686122)

K Harris

 

This connected the Ketley Canal and Shrewsbury & Newport Canal. It had a 75ft rise and was a counter balanced incline using full boats to pull up empty ones on a double track incline. More details are HERE.

 

Wrockwardine Incline (SJ702122)

Captain Ahab

This was on the Shropshire Canal, which linked Donnington Wood with Coalport and Coalbrookdale.

It had a 120ft rise and was a counter balanced incline using full boats to pull up empty ones on a double track incline. More details are HERE.

 

Windmill Incline (SJ700056)

This was on the Shropshire Canal, which linked Donnington Wood with Coalport and Coalbrookdale. It had a 126ft rise and was a counter balanced incline using full boats to pull up empty ones on a double track incline. More details are HERE.

 

 

 

 

 

Mine Inclines

 

Bitterley Incline (SO595777)

M Teasdale

This brought down stone from Titterstone Clee Quarry to the railway line at Bitterley. It was a counter balanced incline using full wagons to pull up empty ones on a double track incline.  More details are HERE.

 

Brown Clee Incline (SO596871)

Derelict Places

This brought down stone from Abdon Burf Quarry to the road at Hillside, where there was a concrete and tarmac plant. It was a counter balanced incline using full wagons to pull up empty ones on a double track incline.  More details are HERE.

 

Bulthy Incline (SJ309128)

A miner who worked at Bulthy Mine in 1918-20 confirmed that barite was brought out of Main Adit, around the hillside on a tramway and then down an incline to the road. From here, it was taken by cart to the railway station.

 

Clee Hill Incline (SO587761)

D J Norton

This brought down stone from Ddu Stone Quarry and Clee Hill Works to the railway line at Bitterley. It was a counter balanced incline using full wagons to pull up empty ones on a double track incline.  More details are HERE.

 

Llanymynech Incline (SJ267212)

Image result for shropshire incline

S Hutchinson

This brought down stone from Llanymynech Hill Quarry to the limeworks at Llanymynech. It was a counter balanced incline using full wagons to pull up empty ones on a double track incline.  More details are HERE.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Funicular Railways

 

Bridgnorth Cliff Railway (SO717930)

Image result for bridgnorth rack railway

B Samuels

This is a passenger railway that has been connecting Low Town and High Town in Bridgnorth since 1892. More details are HERE.

 

Blists Hill Inclined Lift (SJ695032)

August 2009  The new Incline Lift

S Hutchinson

This is a passenger railway that has been constructed for museum visitors and it is not original. It is only included here for completeness. More details are HERE.