And so to the Glen Tramway, Shipley's premier visitor attraction (if you don't count Saltaire, which I suspect the residents would prefer to categorise as a separate place); a small thing, with a long history, and, it seems, two competing websites - beware, only the latter is approved by the Trustees!
The motive power was originally provided by a gas engine supplied by John Robson of Shipley. The proprieters of Saltaire would not allow mains town gas to be piped across the park to the tramway, so it had its own gas plant for a number of years. Eventually it was supplied from the gasholder at Saltaire, but in 1915 was converted to run on oil - probably paraffin (hooray! It's a long time since that's had a mention on the blog). This was relatively short-lived, with an electric motor being installed in 1928, lasting for nearly forty years until it was irreparably damaged by vandalism and theft during one of the Tramway's very few and brief periods of disuse in 1967. It now has a new electric motor.
I eventually found the Bottom Station after a few fruitless detours through the car parks of Shipley. There's a small 'museum' here - basically a nice little collection of old tins and adverts in a shop setting. Passengers were outnumbered by volunteers when I arrived and I rode up the hill (top photo) almost alone (and I think the other three passengers were all volunteers).
There is not much to do at the top, other than go down. You can buy sweets in the shop, or make a selection from some rather sad looking postcards
If you're in Saltaire, and especially if you have children to entertain, it can't hurt to go and have a ride. If you're a fan of historic funicular railways, you're probably already a volunteer.
Another back to home mooring trip.
3 weeks ago