St Michael's Mount Tramway, Marazion, Cornwall - October 27, 1988
The 2ft 6 inch gauge St Michael's Mount Tramway runs from near the harbour up to the castle which dominates the tidal island of St Michael's Mount, in Cornwall.
The tramway was built circa 1900 by the castle's owner - Lord St Levan - to haul supplies ranging from building materials to groceries up to the castle and carry waste downhill. It has never operated a passenger service though modification for passenger carrying was considered in the 1930s
The single track tramway originally ran from the quayside, but some years ago it was cut back to start from a short, level, enclosed loading area. At the castle end of this loading area the line enters a tunnel and begins its ascent which is entirely in tunnel. Most of the tunnel was built using the cut and cover method, with just the uppermost few yards being bored through granite. The tunnel is generally about 5 feet (1.5 m) wide and 7 feet (2.1 m) high, except for the section through granite which is about 6 feet (1.8 m) high.
The line is level only at the loading areas at its ends. In between it runs on slopes ranging from 1 in 14 (7.14 %) near the foot to 1 in 1.9 (52.6%) for the last 40 yards (37 m), giving a total rise of 173 feet (53 m), emerging near the castle's kitchens.
Various winding engines have been used over the years it is currently believed to be operated bt a Crompton Parkingson electric motor.