Express & Star

Bridgnorth Cliff Railway boss reveals list of challenges still to overcome before reopening

The owner of the Bridgnorth Cliff Railway has said that he is hoping to reopen soon but there is a long list of work to be done before it can begin ferrying passengers from Low Town to High Town.

Cliff Railway owner Malvern Tipping at the stricken funicular railway earlier his year

Malvern Tipping, who runs the funicular train in Bridgnorth, said now that the Town Council has finished repairs to the wall, work is beginning to get the attraction up and running again.

But he warned there was a lot of work to be done.

He said: "Before the structural problems with the retaining wall became apparent, we had been intending to undertake a massive updating and upgrading of the cliff railway’s electrical and control systems.

"Also, we have just discovered that vibrations caused by the carriages over the year have cracked structural brickwork at the bottom station. We have consulted a structural engineer, who has devised a solution, but the cost of that poses a new challenge."

He added that issues with the sewers were still not resolved by Severn Trent and that the ropes that drive the winding gear needed to be examined.

"Once all these problems have been resolved, we need to recommission the Cliff Railway. Although our retained skeleton staff have been maintaining the Cliff Railway during its closure, there will be parts which have become seized through being stationary. Those are matters which will have to be dealt with.

"Before we can resume passenger services, we also need to be given certification by our regulator, H.M. Inspectorate of Mines."

He added: "I am very much hoping that the Cliff Railway will have a viable future ahead and that it will be able to re-open before too long.

"My family and I have found it very draining and I know that it has been the same for many members of our staff, who just want to see it running again.

"We just want to be able to get on with what we are supposed to doing: providing a passenger link, using a piece of transport heritage, between Low Town and High Town for locals and tourists alike.

"We know that because the cupboards are now bare that the next few years are likely to be very challenging, but we shall nonetheless be so relieved to see those carriages trundling once again up that cliff."