Babbacombe Cliff Railway

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A car of the cliff railway
The lower station of the cliff railway

Babbacombe Cliff Railway is a funicular railway in the town of Torquay in the English county of Devon. It links Babbacombe Downs with Oddicombe Beach, and is owned and operated by the Torbay Council. The line runs from March to the end of October from 9:30am to 5.55pm. A bell is rung at the bottom station 30 and 15 minutes before closing.


In February 1923, the Torquay Tramway Company commissioned Waygood-Otis Ltd with the engineering and construction of the railway. The line was first opened on 1 April 1926, but ceased operation during World War II for security reasons. The railway reopened in 1951 after modernization by Messrs J & E Hall of Dartford. The railway underwent further refurbishment in 1993 and a three-year programme of renovation commenced in November 2005.

It transferred ownership from the local council to a community interest group in July 2009.[1]


  • Two cars of traditional funicular design with a 40-person standing capacity
  • 720-foot (220 m) track with a 5 ft 8 in (1,727 mm) gauge
  • Rated speed of 2.5 metres per second (8.2 ft/s)
  • Drive equipment located at the top station
  • Direct current wattage drive system, incorporating servomotor-operated controller
  • Hoisting ropes attached to upper ends of car chassis, supplemented by a compensating rope system to load balance for car position on track

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Coordinates: 50°28′53.13″N 3°30′52.54″W / 50.4814250°N 3.5145944°W / 50.4814250; -3.5145944