Devil’s Dyke Steep Grade Railway, c1905

This postcard shows a steep grade railway in Devil’s Dyke on the outskirts of Brighton. The railway was removed in 1909.

How does it work?

This type of transport system is known as a funicular railway. Designed for use on steep cliffs and hillsides, a funicular railway uses two cars on parallel tracks.

The cars are permanently attached by a single cable, so that the weight of the car descending from the top helps pull up the car at the bottom. This reduces the power necessary to run the railway.

What is unclear from this postcard, however, is which car was going up, and which was going down.

 

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