[as of 2018 ]


Founded: 1284
Population: 20 701 (2011)
Location: Llandudno

Network Stats

Operator: Great Orme Tramway

Lower segment opened: 31.07.1902
Upper segment opened: 08.07.1903
Line length: 1,6 km. (a mix of single & double track)
Gauge: 1067 mm
Operating speed: 8 km/h
Number of passenger vehicles: 4
Annual seasonal ridership: 200 000

Network map: 2018

Timetable 2018:
Late March & Late October
10:00 - 16:20 (up); 16:50 (down) / Every 20 min.
April - September
10:00 - 17:20 (up); 17:50 (down) / Every 20 min.
Actual headways may be reduced as per demand.

The Great Orme Tramway operates between late March & early October. Check with carrier's webiste for exact dates. The tramway is owned and operated by the Conwy County Borough Council.

The line is divided into two segments - the lower and the uppers segment, at 0,8 km. each. Each segment is operated by two cars as a funicular. Passengers transfer between trams at the Halfway Station. There are only 3 stations: the lower Victoria Terminus, the Halfway Station, and the upper Summit Terminus. 3 additional intermediate request-only stations were in use in the past, but these were abandoned.

The line is mostly single track with passing loops, one for each of the lower and upper segments. Within the lower segment of the line, the section of track between the passing loop and the Halfway Station has 3 parallel interlaced rails, with the middle rail shared by trams in each direction of travel. This arrangement excludes a point at the upper tip of the passing loop. The section of the lower segment of the line between the Victoria Terminus and the passing loop is on a right-of-way via city streets in mixed traffic, while the section between the passing loop and the Halfway Station (with the passing loop itself) is on a segregated siding of the road. Within the entire lower segment the cable is hidden below the surface in a conduit between the rails. The entire upper segment of the line is on a segregated right-of-way via the natural terrain. The cables between rails are in the open. Operation within streets in mixed traffic is unique due to the fact that trams are permanently attached to the hauling cable the funicular style. The maximum gradient within the lower segment is 26,15%, while the maximum gradient within the upper segment is 10%.

The power plant and the control rooms for both segments are located at the Halfway Station in the middle of the line. Thus, while there are two haulage cables used between cars for the lower segment of the line the regular funicular-style, the third cable connecting cars via a sheave at the Summit Terminus in addition to haulage cables is needed for the upper segment. A more powerful 125 hp electric motor is used for the steeper lower segment, while a 75 hp electric motor is used for the less-steep upper segment. The line is operated by two winchmen, one for each segment of the line, positioned at the Halfway Station, maintaining communications with the drivers via an induction-loop radio system. The Halfway Station is equipped with two maintenance shops, one for each segment of the line. The engine room, the control center and the maintenance shops can be viewed by general public through windows upon transferring between cars at the Halfway Station.

Overhead wires were used as a telegraph communication system between 1902 - 2001. The overhead was removed in 2001, communications replaced with an induction-loop system. Trolley poles on cars and a few overhead support poles were retained for authenticity.

The line was converted from steam power to eclectic power in 1958. Reconstruction of the entire line took place in 2001, with the new station complexes built, as well as the control room and the power plant completely rebuilt and re-equipped.

Passage along the line or over the tracks is forbidden, however, violators jumping over moving steel cables are usually met with a local hospitable smile.

Rolling Stock

4 St Tudno bogie car (1902)
5 St Silio bogie car (1902)
6 St Tudno bogie car (1902)
7 St Silio bogie car (1902)

Withdrawn cars:

1 - 3 4-wheel freight cars (1902-1911)



Last updated: 03-Sep-2018
© 2002 Author: Yury Maller - Usage of material found herein for public display is possible with authors' permission only.